Reviews are always a sticky wicket because of the subjectiveness of the process itself. In today's Devil's Advocate, we take a look at reviews from all angles. Read on and then leave your thoughts in the comments.
I’m mentioning this now because I’ve spent the past month reading the four-part review of Darkfall: Unholy Wars by George Dimmock and observing the comments of people on MMORPG.com and on the Darkfall forums. It seems that, while new games have sprung up since 2010, the talk about spending adequate time to play an MMO for review still occurs.
Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Reviews and the Bell Curve.
The MMO free to play market has exploded over the last year or two with decent high-quality games making it into the MMO space. In The Tourist today, we talk about how becoming a fan of F2P is a good thing. Read on to see if you agree.
Not long ago, many MMO players saw free-to-play gaming as the bane of the industry. They talked about how misguided and segregationist it was, a cash-grab that tempted developers with profits over player interests. Contrary to the picture painted by this column, I was amongst those masses and even went so far as to label MMO tourism as outright harmful. Times have changed but many players have not. Today I’d like like to break from my usual format to talk about how I’ve come embrace the model as a free-to-play convert.
Read more of Chris Coke's The Tourist: Becoming a F2P Convert.
Immediately after last weekend's Astral Diamonds / Zen exploit fix was implemented, we reached out to Cryptic Studios and Perfect World with questions about the issue. We have the answers from the proverbial horse's mouth. Check it out and then join the conversation in the comments.
MMORPG: When was the exploit discovered?
Andy Velasquez: The issue was brought to our attention by our players on Sunday morning (5/19) at which time we took immediate action by bringing the Auction House and Astral Diamond exchange offline. To follow the course of events that day, check out the forum.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Neverwinter: Cryptic's Word on Catursday.
In our final beta diary before the official review, we take a look at Neverwinter's Crown Jewel, The Foundry. In addition, we examine the Catursday nightmare and offer a few random "etcetera" thoughts about the game that defy categorization. Read on and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.
The journey through Cryptic’s Neverwinter has been a fun and entertaining one over the past four weeks. Whether visiting character creation or questing or the Neverwinter store, the trip has been a blast. We have, however, left one aspect of the game untouched until today, namely the Neverwinter Foundry, arguably the crown jewel. We’ll spend a bit of time talking about the Foundry before jumping to a few “Etc.” thoughts and then wrap up our series waiting for the time to post our official review.
As Deckard Cain always says, “Stay awhile and listen.”
Read more of Suzie Ford's Neverwinter Beta Diary #4.
Last weekend was a rough one for Neverwinter developers and players alike as it was revealed that an exploit had essentially trashed the game's economy. In a new editorial, we take a look at the debacle and what it means for players. Read on and then leave your thoughts in the comments.
It was nice of Cryptic to laugh at themselves and provide the equivalent of a virtual T-Shirt that says, “I survived Caturday and all I got was this stupid shirt.” All sarcasm aside this mea culpa is a nice little freebie especially for the players that were not affected by the 7 hour rollback. For the people that were impacted by the 7 hour rollback it does not go far enough. Cryptic must answer individuals’ claims about lost merchandise during this 7 hour period.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Neverwinter: On the Duplication Debacle.
While 2013 has seen its share of "good things" in the MMO world (which we profiled in The List last week!), it's also seen some games that seem to represent the exact opposite side of the coin. Which MMOs are we speaking of? You'll have to read (and watch!) The List to find out. Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments.
Last week, we re-ignited our List column with a very divisive topic: the Best MMOs of 2013... so far. While quite a few folks didn’t quite get that the list was a countdown of the games that are having a stellar year (as opposed to an end-all be-all list of the best games EVER), it was still fun to see who agreed and who disagreed... and who flipped their lids and called for my head on a platter. Ah, opinions. They sure are fun. Well, hopefully this week’s list strikes a similar chord. The selected titles will most likely be games that came out this year, but can include titles that came out in previous years if the game in question is having a particularly rough go of things since January 1st.
Read more of Bill Murphy's The List: The Worst MMOs of 2013... So Far.
Andy Velasquez has published the first Neverwinter State of the Game letter on the official site. In the lengthy note, Velasquez talks about things the team has worked on to fix during the game's open beta, gives a hint at things the team is working on now and drops a big "ranged" hint about the next character class that players can expect to see enter the game in the near future.
I’d also like to talk about class balance. Like any online game, class balance is a huge discussion, both internally and externally. We are definitely hearing this feedback and watching the evolution of PvE and PvP strategies in an effort to help bring everything into alignment. Right now there are a handful of powers and feats that still have bugs associated with them, so we’re working on getting those issues ironed out first. Once we’re able to make sure everything is working properly, our next step will be to start diving into the balance feedback, and do our best to not only make things fair, but also ensure that all of the classes are fun to play in every aspect of the game, from solo play, to group PvE content, to PvP.
Of course, fixing issues isn’t the only thing we’re doing. We’ve got a lot of new content in the works that we definitely feel will take Neverwinter to the next level. Right now, we’re putting the final touches on some new end game content: Gauntlgrym. It will be our first raid-sized, competitive PvP/PvE experience, and our current goal is to release it to OBT within a few weeks. On top of that, we’ve also got new companions, zones, mounts, mechanics, Paragon Paths, and a new class. I can’t share the details about the new class just yet, but as a hint, it’s going to be a “ranged” one. So, while our engineers, testers, and other team members are addressing maintenance, upkeep, bugs, and network issues, our content creators and artists are working on lots of new things for the game.
Read the entire letter on the Neverwinter site.
Rob Lashley continues his series for MMORPG.com that is based around Neverwinter. Called Foundry Focus, Rob shines the spotlight on a specific Foundry quest each week. In this week's article, Rob takes a look at "Torment and the Catastrophe". Check it out and then tell us about your favorite Foundry quests in the comments.
We start off on our adventure by contacting Alrica Fenta in the merchant district. Alrica directs us to seek out a noblewoman who entrusted a note with Alrica for us. Right off the bat you are provided a note from the NPC. While we could have been left just to assume we had received the note Drakedge2 takes the time to make sure that we actually get an item to enhance our immersion. You will also receive a few other items in the first quest such as the Spirit Anchor which allows us to travel through the portals and back to Neverwinter.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Neverwinter Foundry Focus: Torment and the Catastrophe.
Longtime MMORPG.com readers will remember our former managing editor, Dana Massey. After leaving MMORPG.com, Dana joined Rocket City Studios. The team's first game, action-RPG Second Chance Heroes, is a candidate for Steam's Greenlight program. Let's do our bro a favor and head over to vote it up!
Second Chance Heroes is a cooperative action RPG that takes place in a world overrun by apocalyptic disasters! Made weak by over-exposure to kitten videos, reality TV and ironic photos of bacon, the citizens of the modern world are entirely unprepared when the end of the world arrives! Unable to save ourselves from evil robots, nuclear missiles, sentient fast food, alien invasions and hordes of the undead, our only hope lies in the past. Put together a dream team of cloned heroes drawn from throughout human history and use them to push back the apocalyptic tide! Or don't and just let the zombie chickens eat your face.
Head to the Second Chance Heroes Steam page to vote!
Sometimes our favorite MMOs are closed down in a move beyond our control. But once in awhile, we find ourselves involved in an MMO that simply needs to close, to retire into the great beyond. In today's Tingle's Touchy Subjects, we offer a few thoughts about when that should happen. Read on and then leave some of your ideas in the comments.
As time marches on, things get old and eventually die. It is the depressing and ever present truth about life. So as we are now in the all too futuristic sounding 2013, it seems as good a time as any to ask: when do we finally put old timer MMORPGs to bed, and turn out the light for the final time?
EverQuest, Ultima Online, Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, and I could go on and on. The games list on this site is overflowing with the new, but also the very, very old.
Read more of Adam Tingle's Tingle's Touchy Subjects: When Should MMORPGs Retire?
Have yet to try out Trion Worlds' Defiance? If not, this weekend is your chance as the game will be free to download and play via Steam. The weekend runs from May 23-26 and then follow up on May 27 by watching all six of the TV show's first episodes back to back on Syfy.
Gamers who have yet to explore the open world shooter can try it on PC for free on Steam from May 23rd at 10:00am PDT to May 26th at 1:00pm PDT. Steam is also offering a weekend long sale on Defiance for those whose thirst for alien technology and open world action isn’t satisfied by the trial. Both the Standard Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition will be 30% off. In addition, Steam will also be running a sale on “Bits,” the in-game currency for Defiance, during which customers will get more “Bits” for their money.
Check out the Defiance site.
In this first in a series of upcoming developer diaries, Dawngate's Senior Producer Dave Cerra writes about the design philosophy of Waystone Games, their upcoming MOBA Dawngate, and what we can expect to learn through the title's public closed beta process. Check it out at RTSGuru.com!
Bungie has released a brand new 30-second Destiny trailer that will debut on cable's TNT channel on Saturday, May 25th. The trailer features "the award-winning visual effects studio Digital Domain, "Law of the Jungle" gives players a taste of Destiny's action-packed adventures through a live-action and CG interpretation of the epic game universe."
Guilds are an integral part of most MMOs yet the tools for running them are often lacking. In her latest column, Genese Davis makes a few suggestions about how to make management and usefulness of guilds more effective. Read on and then leave your guild management suggestions in the comments.
By now many of us have been playing MMOs for more than a decade, and over the years we’ve tallied up a number of ideas on how to improve various functions in MMOs. One area of discussion revolves around organized groups, aka: clans, guilds, player associations, corporations, supergroups, linkshells, etc. I’ll use the term guilds as a global term to reference these as a whole. Guilds hold a special place in my heart. My first guild experience was a linkshell in Final Fantasy XI where I met the best kind of friends anyone could ask for. Without my linkshell, learning to navigate FFXI would not only have taken ages, but also wouldn’t have been nearly as fun. I always seem to gravitate toward group-play when I game.
The latest Letter from the Producer has been published along with the announcement that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will officially be released on August 27, 2013! This should twitterpate players around the globe who have been eagerly waiting for the re-released version.
Today’s announcement is accompanied by a slew of information. We have samples of the box art, brand-new illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano, the contents of the collector’s edition, and info on pricing as well as preorder bonuses.
We wanted to make sure everyone has the opportunity to explore Eorzea, and so we've done our best to make the game as affordable as possible. Having said that, a lot of work went into the collector's edition, so if you enjoy memorabilia, you won't be disappointed (but even this will be offered at barely cost price). Those of you who played Version 1.0 or are planning to play on PlayStation 3, make sure to read the Lodestone for more details(US/EU) before preordering.
Read the full letter on the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn forum.
In a new video interview with Jeremy Gaffney, he reveals that the WildStar payment model is not "unknown" and that it is a "hybrid model". You can check it out for yourself at 16:14 of the Game Breaker Nation interview.
Thanks so much to DARKHOLME for posting the thread in the WildStar forums!
Aion players will have the opportunity to head back to the dreaded Shugo Tomb with the arrival of the in-game event that is slated to run from May 22nd through June 12th. Players can score some pretty awesome stuff by participating.
The Shugo Imperial Tomb is back and just as you remember it! While inside, you are transformed into a Shugo with special abilities only available inside the instance. Protect the ancient towers from the waves of looters that will try to destroy them. Use special items found off of the spirit enemies that appear in-between waves for an easier time. When the boss monsters appear, defeat them to earn map pieces, keys, and Tags into one of the three treasure rooms!
Read more on the Aion site.
Ecol Browser is what we call an "in between game" for many reasons. We have played Ecol Tactics quite a bit recently and have some thoughts to share about how it fits in the MMO space. See why we call it 'browser candy' before heading to the comments.
The artwork and graphics are adorable in that JRPG/anime way. The look harkens back to some of the Japanese import platform games I had from back in the day; no camera control, always the same ¾ view from above, but it does the job. The attack animations are pretty good considering the limited nature of the 2-D rendering, and the music is bubbly and pleasant.
Read more of Lisa Jonte's Ecol Tactics Online: Browser Candy.
The Pathfinder Online team has posted a long and very detailed blog article about how the alignment system will work in the game on release. According to the post, alignment has been one of the most keenly debated topics on the forums.
During character creation, you can select your character's core alignment. This is basic standard of behavior your character strives to maintain at all times. In fact, the game assumes that your character routinely thinks, acts, and behaves in a way that supports this core belief—there are countless minor events and interactions every day that the game can't detect that provide your character with the opportunity to act his or her alignment. While you may deviate from this standard, over time your natural tendencies assert themselves, and you slowly return to this core alignment. You can change your core alignment at any time, but you can only change to a new core alignment that matches your active alignment.
Read the full post on the Pathfinder Online site.