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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Community Spotlight: The Best Archer?

Posted by MikeB Sunday November 25 2012 at 8:08PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight we focus on the thread, "The best Bow and Arrow class of any MMORPG?" by jeeshadow. Jeeshadow kicks things off with a couple of his own examples:

Of course I realize i'm just getting opinions.  But fire away!

I've always enjoyed two classes in MMO's more than any others.  The heavy armored tank.  And the range class using rifle, longbow, shortbow, etc.

My first experience with this class was with DAoC before Darkness Falls was added.  I loved the scout!  The range was intense, and when he crit'd, it was insane damage!  But that's not what I really enjoyed about him now that I think about it.  I enjoyed the complexity of the stats of the weapon and the arrows.  You would have to choose and equip the arrows you think could do the best armor penetration depending on who you had your sights set on.  And you could make these arrows and more advance bows.  In short, you felt like a true archer, not a machine gun shooter with narrow wooden bullets.

The vanilla version of the WoW hunter was also a lot of fun, and for me it had to do with the complexity of it.  There was now pet management (and it wasn't that easy to train a pet) and the crafting and choosing of the ammunition.  The introduction of the rifle was a favorite part of that.  Having a dwarf with a rifle just felt right, having a dwarf with a bow....seemed wrong!

There's ton more examples, so for all you fellow archers out there, which one is the best for you?

What were the community's picks? Read on to find out!

Wizardry picks FFXI:


Wide array of choices from xbows to long bow to guns.Big selection of ammo as well,albeit is pretty much level based.Crafting is also a very large part in the ranger class,but crafting goes a long way in all classes.No pet,i don't believe copying other games using the pet is a good choice.A ranger should be all about Ranged combat,not pet combat.That is why FFXI does classes really good,the pet class is the Beastmaster.

The Ranger can use status bolts,elem,ental arrows,debuff bolts,sleep bolts/arrows,health regain bolts,add to that abilities to bind and create very large damage and utilize several choices for a sub class,makes it versatile and fun.

Loktofeit favors Asheron's Call's arrow-slinging class:

Asheron's Call. In a game where speed and jump are actual skills and where damage types truly mean something, the bow character is really amazing to play. You have a slider with speed on one side and accuracy on the other, so you can control whether you want to rapid fire easy targets or ensure landing the shot on harder targets. There are just so many cool aspects to it that it is by far my favorite of all the ones I've played.

Gravarg is a fan of DAOC's Scout:

The original DAoC Scout was fun, and probably my favorite.  Most bow classes have to do some melee or kite or something.  The Scout was almost purely a bow class.  Other than the popular use of a shield to stun your enemy to escape, everything pretty much relies on your bow.  I say the Original, because the scout used to do insane amounts of damage with thier first shot.  They had access to fairly slow, but extremely high damage longbow.  Friends and myself used to sit on keep walls cooridinating attacks on attackers, pretty much killing them in 1 hit.  Another thing that was fun about the Scout was you could change your damage type by changing the arrows you used.  So you could theroetically have an advantage against any armor type, just switch out your arrows, like broadhead arrows did slashing damage.  I never had as much fun as I did with my Scout.

I tend to focus on Ranger or Archer classes the most in MMOs so this one is a bit tough for me. I enjoyed Warhammer Online's Shadow Warrior due to its versatility as either a on-the-move skirmisher or long-range sniper. I enjoyed the LOTRO Hunter as well, especially as a pet class. However, I think City of Heroes/Villains Archery/Trick Arrow combination just might take the cake. It's not as traditional as most other bow-and-arrow wielding classes, but the sheer variety in moves and arrow types really made things exciting. There was just something awesome about using an Oil Slick Arrow to create a pool of oil under your enemies (causing them to slip and fall) and then setting that same slick ablaze with Blazing Arrow.

What's your favorite MMO archer? Let us know in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Best MMO Combat Animations

Posted by MikeB Sunday November 18 2012 at 9:23PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Which MMO has the best combat animations?" by Jonoku. Jonoku kicks things off with his favorite MMO animations:

All I know is that I love the SWTOR combat animations and it's the best I have seen. I want to know about other MMOs that also have great animations.

What are your thoughts?

What's the rest of the community saying? Read on to find out!

Metanol picks DDO:

I would really say DDO. Especially for the melee animations and what not. Don't get me wrong, Age of Conan deserves the second place with good presentation, but the way the "fatalities" work just ruins it all. Derp, the transition to those is So Flawed.

WoW? Shouldn't even be included in the list of "good animations". Well, it comes down to personal preference, but I did not dislike over epic warrior animations of smashing the ground with a sword and sending... ******* lightning all around. Same thing concerning the insanely fast animation speeds on most attacks. Sure, DDO suffers from the "fast" animations too, but only under certain situations.

Tera? Looks absolutely horrible, unless you like anime and all that. And GW2? Well, they had a good try, but they overdid it. All the animations are over-epic.

Pivotelite is a fan of TERA's animations:

TERAs movements are very impressive, most notably the animations on the actual monsters, like BAMs for example have very smooth animations with impressive effects.  <-- Like I mean look at how well the tail and tongue are animated on this. - Or these digusting tremour abominations. - Wooo....

mikuniman offers a number of picks, including TERA and Vindictus:

Great post, love combat animations when done well it just adds to the immersion for me. For all the games I've played, Tera and Vindictus are my top choice. In Tera you can tell they went into great detail with casting and melee animations, right down to leg placement, facial changes, real shouts and even finger movement it never gets old. Vindictus is just amazing, slapping mobs around flipping them over your back, grabbing everything around you for weapons the list goes on. The Evie class is one of the coolest classes I've ever played to date.

I see many say Aoc, it's one of my favorite with graphics and armor detail and a game that I'm still subbed. But sad to say combat looks down right geriatric, especially the legs and feet and how they swivel side to side, looks like they're on ice. And it transfered over to TSW, boo. Fataltys in Aoc are just cool as hell. Is that considered combat or a cut scene?

In Eq2 the monk wielding dual weapons was very cool. Rift is another I like alot, some spell animations look great and melee makes sense. Gw2 did a decent job with some melee weapons (dual axe) but that damn casting leaning forward position just looks horrible. Knockdown although funny looks bad also, It's all seems a bit fast too. I love GW2 but all my girls do is brag while fighting, with the small numbers you do in this game for dps it's nothing to brag about. =) SWOTR was decent but looked like you were having a conversation between strikes, very slow and choppy. Wow for it's time was smooth and looked great but by todays standard its to dated. I liked in wow how you were breathing and had breath. I guess everybody else in games these days must be undead. All in all, In my opinion I've found asian games to excel when it comes to combat animations. Sure sometimes weapons are to damn big and spells are a bit flashy, boobs defy gravity, but it's their flavor and an asian thang.

I've got to give it to the crop of existing superhero MMOs. The best MMO animations I've witnessed were found in City of Hereos, Champions Online, and DC Universe Online. The breadth of combat options in these games is simply staggering and all three of these MMOs offer some great animation quality and even better particle effects to go along with it.

What are your favorite MMO combat animations? Share 'em with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Old Games, Updated Graphics?

Posted by MikeB Sunday November 11 2012 at 9:47PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Would you play older games if they just updated the graphics?" by Foreverdream.

Simply put, Would you play older games if they JUST updated the graphics? nothing else would be changed.  EQ, FF11, DAoC etc

What did you have to say? Read on to find out!

Cephus404 would not, since he'd likely have left the game for non-graphics related reasons:

No, probably not.  If I've left a game, it had nothing to do with the graphics, I left for a reason and I'm not going back if that reason still exists.  Most games have systemic problems that will not be solved by making the game pretty.

chelan seems almost ashamed to admit he would:

i wish i weren't so shallow, but yes, if DAoC or AO or EQ ever got a graphics overhaul i would certainly be interested.

Phlacc would. In fact, he's still waiting around for that Anarchy Online graphics update!

If the game was still relevant to me, I would. I'm sure there are some older MMO's out there that could use an overhaul. I'm still waiting for AO to get that game engine update implemented, once that happens I'll proabably start playing again.

I can't say there are too many MMOs that I enjoyed that look dated enough now to have me consider playing them due to a graphics update alone. For example, were Star Wars Galaxies still around, I'd have no problem playing it with its existing graphics. Sure, the animations were still all wonky, but the environments and textures hold up pretty well, even today.

Warhammer Online, however, looked dated even when it came out. I enjoyed WAR quite a bit and I was excited when Mythic announced those class armor texture upgrades they were going to do that apparently never came to fruition. I'd probably take the game for a spin again if they ever did come through with that stuff.

How about you? Would you go back to an older MMO if the graphics were overhauled? Let us know in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Favorite Class?

Posted by MikeB Sunday November 4 2012 at 9:17PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "What's your favorite class in all MMORPG games?" by AndyLee. Andy kicks things off witih a couple of his own picks:

What's your favorite class in all MMORPG games? Please tell me...please. 

I know the following classes in all MMORPG games. 

Vamprie: lust for blood,blood-sucking skill

Warrior: equiped with big sword or blade. nice damage

Paladin: good class with nice-looking appreance

Mage: powerful magic damage

Necromancer: still don't know much about this. Its' said that he is good. = =

Do you know the others? If you do, please let me know it. Thank you everybody!

Kazuhiro enjoyed wrangling pets in Champions Online:

It's not so much a "class" as you can make any class you want in this case, But it was as a pure summoning/pet class in Champions online. I could have 12 "permanent" pets out and feel like a 1 man raiding party. It was the most fun I've had as any class in any game to date. Sadly, the gameplay and art style of the game was just abysmal, which offset the fact it had the greatest class ever.

If I could have the exact same class but in a "real" game, I'd be happy as can be.

BadSpock offers a couple of his own picks:

Sneak/Stealth/Fencer in UO was super awesome fun.

Elemental Shaman in WoW is still fun.

Blackguard in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was a lot of awesome.

I've always been the biggest fan of the Sword and Shield archetype - Knights, Warriors, Paladins, etc. and I'd really, really love one day if an MMO made a Guardian/Defender type class like this that had options to be an offensive powerhouse instead of just always a "tank" type defensive character.

Some MMO just needs to make a Spartan class and I'll never play anything else again.

There was a very brief period in WoW where a Protection Warrior could dish out good damage in PvP and it was THE most fun I've had PvP'ing in a long, long time. Taking people out with massive Shield Slam crits after a plethora of stuns (Conc blow, Shockwave, etc.) was... fantastic.

NLights sings praises for World of Warcraft's Warlock and Asheron Call's 2 Hivekeeper:

WoW Warlock was a great class to me, and perhaps the most versitile damage dealer I've ever played.  You had the option of dishing out massive single target damage, or spread DoTs around, you could fous on crowd control or dps, you could invest in a powerful pet, or make the pet a parenthisis.  It was rarely the best at anything, but you could always customize it to suit whatever playstyle you felt like at the time without severely compromizing usefulness.

My all time favorite class in any game however was probably the AC2 Hivekeeper.  Terrible game, but great classes over all.  Very inventive.  The hive keeper was a bout as much of a glass cannon as any class I've ever played, and to make matters worse it did damage through DoTs, but conceptually it was fantastic (you swung a bee-hive around your head unleaching swarms of bees at your foes) and so much fun to play.  Once and if you managed to land all your DoTs on someone or something it was game over.  Took a lot of skill and a bit of luck to do so though, and constantly kept you on your toes.

Two MMO classes stand out the most to me: City of Villains' Dominator and Warhammer Online's Swordmaster. 

The Dominator was a perfect combination of damage and control with a Jekyll-and-Hyde mechanic of Domination. In clutch moments, the Dominator could tap into his reserves and become an insane force of control and damage, powering a couple of minutes of complete unbridled destruction.

Say what you want about Warhammer Online, but tanks had a significant role to play in PvP combat and there are few better examples of this than the Swordmaster. Not only did the Swordmaster present itself with serious cool factor as far as its Japanese samurai style aesthetic, but combat as a Swordmaster followed a rhythmic pattern that was just fun to execute in combat. In PvP, the Swordmaster was able to control the battlefield and really protect the squishier targets in the back line. Some will remember charges of Orcs and Chaos coming towards the backline of a skirmish only to be cast aside and knocked away by a deft strike from a vigilant Swordmaster. Of course, the Swordmaster was equally deadly from an offensive standpoint, with the ability to disrupt the main force and hold his own in a one-on-one fight.

I could probably go on forever about both of these classes, but I'd rather hear about your favorites! Share 'em with us in the comments below!