Trion Worlds is ready to rock the MMO-niverse with today's announcement that Rift is officially going free to play with no restrictions, no pay gates, nothing that bars a player from experiencing the game in its totality. We caught up to Creative Director Bill Fisher to find out more. Rock your world and then head to the comments with your reactions.
MMORPG: Many of the gaming populace see the shift from subscription to F2P as a sort of swan song or last ditch effort for a game to stay alive. How do you combat this stigma?
Bill Fisher: I think that as time has passed people really are more accepting. Will there be a stigma for a subset of folks out there? Sure. It really isn't our job to combat the stigma though - it's our job to make RIFT the best possible game we can. We feel that the game can speak for itself and letting more people experience it really is the next logical step on the road of continual improvement.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Rift: Going Free to Play on June 12th.
Trion Worlds has announced that Rift will be going free to play beginning June 12, 2013. According to the press release, Trion has heard its community to bring about this momentous decision for Rift. Devs have indicated that no content or gear will be pay-gated and that players can level all the way to 60 with no restrictions.
All players will be able to explore the entire world of Telara for free and will have access to the expanded in-game RIFT Store where a variety of services--mounts, boosts, wardrobe items, and more--will be available for purchase. An optional subscription will still be available that grants a slew of “Patron” benefits and bonuses to maximize the RIFT experience. Trion will celebrate its current and previous subscribers with loyalty and currency rewards for their time spent playing RIFT thus far.
Check out the full details of the revenue shift on the Rift F2P site.
Guild Wars 2 players logging into the game will find that the next installment of the living story, Secret of Southsun, has gone live. Not only does the latest patch bring new content into the game, but also a new minigame and brand new features for WvW including traps.
Traps are fiendish items that can be purchased from the new Traps and Tricks Outfitters on each WvW map. We’re starting with anti-stealth fields and traps that remove supply from enemy players, but in the months ahead we’ll introduce even more ways to spread mayhem in the Mists!
See more about Secret of Southsun on the Guild Wars 2 site.
Ed. note: The press release is live but it is unclear at this point if Southsun is live on servers -yet-. The bottom line is that Southsun does launch today!
There is no question that leveling in an MMO is one of the main features of any game. In his latest column, Matt Miller talks about levels and leveling and much more. See what Matt has to say before launching into the comments to continue the discussion.
The “level cap” of an MMO is an important statistic to many people. These people will judge an MMO using just this bullet point. When Dungeons and Dragons Online launched with “10 levels”, a vast majority of players wrote it off as not having enough content. The fact that each “level” was subdivided with bonuses and perks for each partial level achieved was something that they wouldn’t even know unless they played the game (or had someone tell them, as I did trying to convince my friends to play).
Read more Matt Miller: Levels.
CCP Games has announced that new Mercenary, Veteran and Elite packs will be available to DUST514 players to mark today's official launch. Each pack contains a variety of in-game items and perks and can be purchased in $19.99, $49.99, and $99.99 versions.
Stock up on weapons, armor, mods, boosters, and more with the Mercenary, Veteran, and Elite Packs available when DUST 514 launches on 14 May.
We’ve revamped the Mercenary Pack to include new items, and the previous Merc Pack items will become available for individual purchase on the in-game market.
Mercs looking for an even bigger arsenal should invest in the Veteran Pack, containing both active and passive boosters, a sleek Light Attack Vehicle, and over 200 consumables.
Finally, consider the Elite Pack for the ultimate in premium destruction. You'll get two months each of passive and active skill supercharge, four weapons and the entire line of Dren dropsuits to keep, and 50 copies each of three different devastating heavy vehicles.
Grab all the details on the DUST514 site.
Gaijin Entertainment has announced that War Thunder is headed to PlayStation 4 in time for the winter holidays. Gaijin is currently working to optimize War Thunder for the PS4 to take advantage of its next gen features.
“We're convinced that our cooperation with Sony will not only make the War Thunder franchise better, but it will give our fans a new level of gaming experience that will figuratively blown their mind,” said Gaijin Entertainment’s Creative Director Kirill Yudintsev. “Partnering with Sony Computer Entertainment is the most natural progression for the War Thunder brand, from our hugely successful beginnings on PC with more than 1.5 million players, to our recent announcement that War Thunder is under development for mobile devices. We are excited to bring War Thunder to the leading next-generation platform, the PS4.”
Find out more about War Thunder.
If you've been watching the Syfy show "Defiance", you are aware that Rynn has escaped. For now, she will not be seen on the show. However, players of Trion Worlds' Defiance will be able to defeat the Hellbug swarm in an effort to return Rynn to the show. Developers are calling this a true transmedia event.
4 new emergencies will be added to the world, but only during this event. In each of the emergencies, the player will be fighting against the new elemental versions of the hellbugs while trying to accomplish a task for Rynn:
- "Exotic Goods" : Brave a thriving hellbug nest to harvest chrysalis samples for Varus
- "A New Pair of Genes" : Take on a Monarch in order to collect samples of his DNA for Rosa and Eren.
- "Smells Like Victory" : Harvest samples straight from pheromone secretors for Von Bach
- "Thinning the Herd" : Help a group of Echelon Mercs clear out a Hellbug Nest to assist Cass in purging the land of this menace.
The month of May will see players working through a variety of new content to bring Rynn back to the show. You can read more on the Defiance site.
MMORPG.com and ArenaNet present the inaugural MMORPG.com Guild Wars 2 Invitational Tournament! Eight of the most elite 5-man teams in the GW2 community face off for ArenaNet swag and GW2 Gems, as eSports makes its way into Tyria.
We'll be hosting the event on our official MMORPG.com Twitch.tv channel at 12PM PDT (7PM GMT) on Sunday, May 26 2013. The tournament will feature a single-elimination format in matches decided by a best of three and the grand finals in a best of five. Teams will be limited to five players with locked gear and builds.
The following maps will be in rotation:
Each map will be set for a 500 point victory condition with individual respawns set on a 15-second timer.
The event will be shoutcasted by John "BLU" Mullen with a co-caster to be decided.
Winning Prize: 10,000 Gems and ArenaNet Swag for the Winning Team to Split
Editor's Note: We're still looking for a couple more North American based teams! Email editor at mmorpg dot com if you'd like to sign up!
Fans of the animated web cartoon based on World of Warcraft characters will be happy to hear that the MMO-inspired iOS trading card game,I Am MT: Card Battle, has officially gone free to play.
With more than six million active users in Asia, the company has decided that there is more than enough worldwide demand to move away from the paid app model.
“We really had no idea what kind of demand there would be for I am MT: Card Battle in the United States. We went with a paid app at launch to be sure we could cover our costs,” Adam Tesluk, Marketing Manager, Locojoy said. “After we saw the huge number of gamers willing to purchase the game we knew there were enough U.S. gamers to make free-to-play work.”
Find out more about I Am MT: Card Battle.
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 "The Mark of the BtG". Check it out and then tell us about your favorite Foundry quests in the comments.
Bobcatt1313 does a excellent job of using lore from the Neverwinter Saga to create a back-story for his own original tale. This mission can be lengthy if you take the time to read all of the information presented to you during the quest chain. For those of you that prefer to click your way through adventures if you select the orange dialog text you will skip to very end of each NPCs text chain. I would not suggest you do this.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Neverwinter: Foundry Focus - The Mark of the BtG.
MMORPG.com has teamed up with ROCCAT to bring our community another great gaming hardware sweepstakes event! From now until June 13 you can enter for a chance to win one of three prize bundles featuring the all new Kone XTD mouse and Isku keyboard!
NCSoft is anxious for players to learn more about the upcoming Lineage II Lindvior content expansion. We have teamed up with the developers to give our readers an exclusive in-house interview with Development Director Gon Namkung. Check it out before heading to the comments with your thoughts and questions.
As Shilen’s army focused on growing its ranks and bringing back Lindvior, the balance of power among monsters already inhabiting Aden shifted. In the face of the turning tide, even more powerful demons have broken free in the new lands, creating a greater need for mighty warriors who are capable of fighting off the chaos and destruction.
Read more Lineage II: Getting to Know Lindvior.
Players will now be able to take advantage of integrated F2P titles from Kabam all while watching their favorite Twitch.tv streams. The pair of companies announced the partnership via the Twitch.tv blog.
Read more at the link above.
In the second in a series of articles spotlighting the importance of community in MMOs, we take a look at why we believe it's in developers' best interest to encourage roleplay. See why we think so before letting us know if you agree or not in the comments.
In part one, I explored some of the reasons roleplayers have either become nearly invisible, dwindled in number, or have even quit altogether in the modern MMO. This time, I want to propose some things that work, as well as why investing in social infrastructure in MMORPGs is a good thing. The shifts that have happened to RP aren’t limited to sandbox or themepark, and they’re certainly not the result of one thing over another. The result is that the life of an MMORPG has become quite short for many people, instead of thinking longer-term. MMO “tourism” is a real thing, and with so many games competing for players’ attention, retention is probably more important—and more elusive—than ever. Studios claim “social” is important, but implementation is another story. Developers must invest in the sometimes intangible and sometimes virtually invisible social features that go beyond a friends’ list and achievements.
Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: Promoting RP is Good for Community.
Lord of the Rings Online developers have announced that the latest game update, Treachery of the White Hand, is now live on all servers. In addition, the full patch notes have been posted on the LOTRO site for players to review.
New Region: Wildermore
- Wildermore, north of East Rohan, offers new quests, new warbands, and a whole new series of Endgame activities and rewards. A vector from East Rohan will lead players into the snow covered fields and hills. Learn more about Wilermore by watching our Video Dev Diary.
The Epic Story Continues
- Book 10: Snows of Wildermore continues the Epic story into Wildermore, discovering the source of the sudden change in weather and the new dangers in Wildermore. Along the way players catch up on what the Rangers have been doing since they were last encountered. Read the Developer Notes for more information.
Read up on the patch before logging into Lord of the Rings Online.
ArenaNet began its patented tease for the next Guild Wars 2 game update with last week's revelation of the Secret of Southsun. In our latest Guild Wars 2 column, we speculate about what players might expect to find out. See if you agree before heading to the comments to post your ideas.
Back in The Lost Shores event players visited a new island, Southsun Cove, where they teamed up to push back the Karka threat. While victorious in preventing the Karka from invading Lion’s Arch, the Island is still inhabited with these strange creatures, there hasn’t been a really good reason for players to return.
Read more of David North's Guild Wars 2: An Island of Mystery.
Marco Dieckmann has posted a brand new video developer interview on the official KickStarter page for Face of Mankind: Fall of the Dominion. In the video, Dieckmann discusses game mechanics that are unique to FoM: FotD. Check it out!
Welcome to episode 07 of Game On: Epic Slant Press Edition! This week we tackle the big topic of sexism in gaming, why white knighting isn't all it's cracked up to be, and how Penny Arcade's podcaster Kickstarter might just break the site. Reminder: Leave a written 5-star iTunes review for your chance to win a copy of Defiance and tune in next week to see if you've won!
Check it out on our Game On Episode 7 page.
The latest series of updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic have been interesting ones from players. In addition, good news about the F2P transition was revealed during an investors' meeting recently. We caught up with Cory Butler to find out more. Read on and then leave your thoughts in the comments.
MMORPG.com: You're coming up on six months since SWTOR went Free-to-Play. How would you say players have reacted to the switch overall? Where does the game stand today?
Cory Butler: The reaction has been incredible. Every part of the game has benefited from the transition. Player populations are higher, origin worlds are teeming, PvP is thriving and the overall sentiment of our community reflects all of those things.
Read more of Mike Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic - Cathar, Update 2.1 & Free To Play .
The MMORPG.com Live Stream schedule for this week has been posted and it's packed with awesome action from some of the day's hottest games. Be sure to find the stream you're most interested in and then log in at the appointed day and time!
Monday - 5/13
Tuesday - 5/14
Wednesday - 5/15
Thursday - 5/16
Friday - 5/17
Saturday - 5/18
Sunday - 5/19