Today marked the opening of the Wargaming.net League World of Tanks Grand Finals, and boy was it grand. It began with pounding techno music, flashing lights, a super-macho trailer showing competitive tough guys ready to tank it out, and a huge digital display that counted down the seconds until show time.
Read more of Neilie Johnson's coverage of Wargaming.net's Grand Finals in Warsaw, Poland.
Welcome back to another edition of Player Versus Player, the bi-weekly debate column that pits two MMO writers in a battle over the issues you care about. Like you, we at the MMORPG offices have been paying a lot of attention to Skyforge lately. Even though there is an awful lot players are excited about, the amount of instancing has players divided.
Read more of Christopher Coke's and Ryan Getchell's Player vs Player - Is Instancing Bad for MMOs?
The Shroud of the Avatar update letter has arrived and it's packed with tons of interesting tidbits about the game. Of particular note is the arrival of the game's first player-controlled town. Called PaxLair, the town is serving as a 'sandbox' for developers to work out the specifics and mechanics of the system overall.
It has been almost a year since the first PoTs were purchased, and now, with Release 17, all backers will be able to experience SotA’s first player owned town, PaxLair. It is still a work-in-progress, while we collaborate with the owners of PaxLair to sort through the issues of template-based town development. But even given all these constraints, once we were able to walk through this first iteration of a player owned town, it was a moving experience.
Check out the entire, and fascinating, description of the player-owned town on the Shroud of the Avatar site.
Square Enix has published a new benchmark trailer that actually gives quite a bit of information about the forthcoming expansion including new skills, monsters and individual limit breaks. The benchmark will be available for players to try out on Monday, April 27th.
EverQuest II community members have created a new tool to assist the development team in tracking down annoying and persistent bugs in the game. Called the "Issue Tracker", players can use the tool to submit a bug report that will join a queue the team can assess to see which bugs are the most-reported and then work to fix them.
Even though we don’t reply to every post on our forums, Reddit, and other social channels like Facebook and Twitter, our team reads all of your posts. When we hear someone talk about a bug, our team goes in-game to confirm it’s an issue first before we research ways to fix it. Having YOU involved finding these bugs and having members of the community confirm that they’re legit will save our game devs HUNDREDS of hours each month, that we can use making the game better for you.
Read more on the EverQuest II forum.
The Secret World players will be happy to hear that Issue 11, the conclusion of the Tokyo story line, is headed to live service on May 6th. The announcement was made on Lead Designer Romain Amiel's Twitter.
Issue 11 will be coming soon on the internet near you! And by soon, I mean 6th of May 2015! Celebrate International No Diet Day with Orochi— Romain Amiel (@RomainAmiel) April 24, 2015
Sometimes, you just want a new game. You’ve made your way through your backlog or scrolled through and found nothing that strikes your fancy. So, you turn to Steam, hit that RPG button and hope to find the next undiscovered gem. Except, it almost never happens like that. You’re hit with a wall of DLC; a torrent of 16-bit nightmares; and then you notice that even the featured games are mostly hybrids or completely misplaced in the genre. With an ecosystem so big, why is Steam so bad?
Read more of Christopher Coke's The RPG Files: Steam Plagued with Problems for RPG Gamers.
We’ve all got our must-have gameplay systems that absolutely need to be present to secure our patronage to a new MMO or RPG on the block. For some, it’s an in-depth crafting system that allows players to create the most powerful items in the game and corner the market with their wares. For others, it’s a fully realized PvP system that requires the use of different strategies and builds, with leaderboards and rewards to boot.
Read more of Som Pourfarzaneh's Five Overlooked Features that Every MMO Needs.
Crowfall may have been successfully funded on Kickstarter, but that $1.8 million raised is a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed to make a game these days. So what does ArtCraft have up its sleeve to still make a successful and polished MMO?
Read more of Shawn Schuster's Crowfall: How Can It Succeed with Such a Small Budget?
Aside from prepping for Heavensward’s release, here are 7 optional goals you can undertake while waiting for June. These goals are by no means required, but they’ll keep you busy while waiting for the expansion.
Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s Eorzea Reborn: 7 Optional Goals to Reach Before Heavensward.
The Secret World Community Team recently started a new initiative called "#IAMTSW" that gives players a chance to participate in any one of several week's competitions. We had the opportunity to chat with Senior Community Manager Laurie Payne about #IAMTSW. See what she had to say and check out some of the amazing creations by the TSW community.
Read more of Bill Murphy's The Secret World: What is #IAMTSW?
Wargaming has announced that v9.7 has officially launched in North America with other regions set to update later this month. 9.7 brings new French tanks into the game, as well as a new Team Battles Feature, the "Overlord" map and changes to the Random Battle matchmaking to give the newest players a chance to battle with others of the same skill level.
Team Battles will allow groups to create permanent 12-player squads with up to seven at a time able to participate in ranked play. Team Battles are also tied into regional leaderboards for even more competitive play.
The French tank tree is expanding as well with two new light tanks and five new medium tanks.
For Random Battles:
New balancing rules will help newer and medium-skilled players get the most enjoyment out of matches by grouping users based on ability. Fledgling Tier 1, 2, and 3 players will find competition with others close to their proficiency, while more experienced Tier 1, 2, and 3 players will be matched similarly.
The Overlord map takes players to Normandy in a map filled with the chaos of the D-Day invasion.
Check out all of the 9.7 details on the World of Tanks page.
With significant changes coming to player achievements/progression and to crafting, Landmark servers will be wiped in the near future to accommodate new systems and overhauled features. The latest news from Daybreak concerns claim limits and how they will be changing once the wipe / update goes live.
New players coming to Landmark after the wipe will be granted one root claim and three attachment claims. Current players will be given the same but will be granted an additional root claim expansion slot and five attachment claim expansion slots. In essence, nothing here changes for existing players.
Of note, however, is the way that players will be able to exponentially expand root and attachment claims via the Marketplace.
When you purchase a Root Claim Expansion Slot or an Attachment Claim Expansion Slot, you’ll get an item that you can consume to increase your maximum number of that particular type of claim (and also receive a corresponding claim flag to go with it). These items will also be tradable in case you want to surprise a friend with a gift.
The total number of claims you can have including all possible expansions are:
- Maximum number of root claims: 8
- Maximum number of attachment claims: 24
Pricing has yet to be determined.
Read more, and the community reaction, on the Landmark forum.
Welcome back to another edition of Not So MMO, you’re one-stop shop for opinions, news and insight into the world of games that are almost MMO. Multiplayers, online games, MOBAs and other genres… you know, the ones that feature many of the things we like about MMOs, minus the thousands of players who are on at the same time.
Read more of Beau Hindman's Not So MMO: Bloodshards, Ban Hammers & Beta Tests.
Square Enix has announced that its remake of Final Fantasy IV: THe After Years will be available on Steam beginning on May 12th. The After Years is already available on iOS and Android devices.
Find out more on the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years site.
The next free Elite: Dangerous update has been named and described. Called "Powerplay", v1.3 will bring a new gameplay feature into the game. Players will be able to align with one of three intergalactic powers in an effort to dominate and control space. Once aligned, players will be able to help accomplish group goals, earn reputation and to advance the shared cause.
Power organizations may be more warlike or more pacifistic. Players can opt for the one that best suits their style and participation is fully optional via a special tab on the galaxy map. The map will further give information about the balance of control overall and which Power is currently exerting the most influence on human controlled space.
Check out the full, very lengthy, post on the Elite: Dangerous site.
Newly appointed Neverwinter Lead Designer Scott Shicoff has penned a new article on the official site. In it, Shicoff acknowledges missteps with the release of Module 6: Elemental Evil. After taking community feedback into account, the next game update will bring the first in a series of improvements to Elemental Evil and the game itself.
Shicoff mentions several key areas the team will be looking into over the next several weeks:
- Overall difficulty
- XP rewards in the new zones and campaign zones
- Hourly quests
- Zone re-use
- Removed dungeons
- Campaign zone levels
- Items missing slots/stats
- And more...
Cryptic is committed to bringing the updates and changes in the above to players for testing as soon as possible once the evaluation of the action items is complete. Lastly, Shicoff has created a special forum thread for players to provide even more feedback to the team with regard to the issues above.
Read the full letter on the Neverwinter site.
I have an interesting relationship with Neverwinter. I used to host a live stream series on our Twitch Channel called the Foundry Focus. Some of you may remember it. Most of you probably not. One of my fellow writers on this site, Som Pourfarzaneh, used to join me when he was still a community manager for Neverwinter. Neverwinter is a game that I really want to love, much like DDO, because of my fondness for the IP and the wealth of source material. In a number of ways I like what Nevewinter has accomplished but in others… not so much.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Neverwinter: Something Evil This Way Comes.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Right after publication, Cryptic's Shicoff took to the Arc site to offer an apology for the overall quality of Module 6.
The second expansion to Game of Thrones Ascent has launched that brings a lot of new content into the game. Called "Fire and Blood", the expansion is available for both iOS and via the web. Players will be able to grow their dragons, take part in the new Tales system and much more.
Tales of Ice and Fire! – In this all-new system, players can engage with Westeros in a whole new way - reaping epic rewards in quick-to-play Tales, assigning Sworn Swords to challenges, and completing tasks at each location. Players that succeed can earn and collect rewards immediately or rely on their Sworn Sword’s experience, gear and some luck to push onto the next challenge – or fail in the attempt! Players can compare their results with their friends on a Tales-specific leaderboard system.
Find out more on the Game of Thones Ascent site.
Carbine Studios has a new 'deep dive' article on the WildStar site that reveals the first information about Star-Comm Basin, a new adventure zone coming with the INVASION: Nexus update. Star-Comm Basin will feature brand new enemies, rotating dailies, daily events and fantastic new gear.
End game players can take on Starcomm Basin solo or in a group to participate in quests and public events that will, according to the blog, rotate on a daily basis.
Players will earn reputation and can score some great gear from special vendors in the Basin itself.
Find out more about Starcomm Basin on the WildStar site.