Gareth Harmer / Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer has been blasting and fireballing his way through MMOs for over ten years. When he's not exploring an online world, he can usually be found enthusiastically dissecting and debating them. Follow him on Twitter at @Gazimoff.
RuneFest is for the fans. It’s a chance for dedicated players and enthusiastic content creators to unite under one roof. It’s an opportunity to meet the developers that make the game, learn what’s in the pipe, and influence future development. And it’s a huge celebration of this giant community that has stood for decades.
Developing Old School Runescape sounds like a challenge of gargantuan proportions. It feels like there’s a conscious effort to preserve the legacy of an MMO straight out of 2007, but also to delight players with new content and ways to play.
For a while, we’ve known that cloud gaming has huge potential. Xbox, PlayStation and NVidia have either launched or are planning some kind of game streaming service. Google Stadia is set to emerge for early adopters later this year. And Shadow let us put their technology to the test, reviewing both the service and set-top box.
How do you build an expansion like Shadowbringers? If it’s for a story-heavy MMO like Final Fantasy XIV, there’s a blend of meticulous planning, intense collaboration and deep research into the rich franchise history. But don’t take our word for it - we sat down with producer-director Naoki Yoshida and lore maestro Banri Oda to get all the details.
Do you need a dedicated sound card in 2019? Creative thinks so and is out to prove it with the brand new Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res DAC/Amp PCI-e sound card. It features premium components, custom audio enhancements, a set of specs to make any audiophile proud, and a desktop audio control module to keep the control at your fingertips. We went hands-on to find out the answer for ourselves.
Hungry for adventure? So was I, which is why I jumped at the chance to try out the new Final Fantasy XIV menu at Shoryu. The small chain of ramen restaurants is helping to celebrate the launch of Shadowbringers with a range of themed dishes and exclusive in-game loot, available now until July 21. And so, together with my brother-in-arms Ed Orr, we ventured to the New Oxford Street eatery in London to find out more.
One topic dominated headlines at E3 this year: cloud gaming. Whether it’s Google’s launch into the gaming space with Stadia, or Microsoft’s move with xCloud, it seems like big players now see the technology’s potential. But what of the pioneers that have been living the dream for years?
When it comes to iPhone earbuds, most of us tend to stick with the iconic white pair that Apple bundles in the box. With the Lightning connector limiting our choice, it feels like Bluetooth or bust when looking for an audio upgrade. But that’s before a new contender arrived, promising great in-ear audio with that elusive plug at an affordable price. This is our review of the RHA MA650i with Lightning.
We had the opportunity to put our Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers questions directly to Yoshida-san as part of a round-table interview. Topics included making sure those job changes are just right, and sharing a few details on updates to The Hunt. We also got the chance to dig into the design process behind Dancer and Gunbreaker.
This tiny glowing device could be your next gaming PC. At least, that’s what the folks behind Shadow, the cloud gaming service by Blade are hoping. The Shadow Ghost is a completely revamped hardware box, capable of working with a regular set of peripherals and monitor to pump out a high-quality gaming experience. And surprisingly, for the most part, it’s like a little slice of witchcraft.
FanFest is a big deal. Roughly 4,500 Final Fantasy XIV players headed to Paris in early February, filling the lofty Grande Halle de la Villette to capacity with friendly cheer. Almost all were desperately seeking more news on Shadowbringers, the upcoming expansion due out on July 2. But behind these headline announcements, it was also the epicentre of a community celebration unlike any other.
Cosplay competitions have become a staple of MMO fan festivals, showcasing some extraordinary skill and creativity. Even so, the contest at the European leg of this year’s Final Fantasy XIV FanFest was especially challenging, as time became a crucial factor. Some creators drew inspiration from the recently released Shadowbringers trailer, giving themselves a few short months to build an outfit.
FanFest is for the fans. It’s an opportunity for players worldwide to come together and celebrate Final Fantasy XIV, meet the developers behind the game, and hear exclusive news first-hand. Members of the press are invited (yours truly included), but interview sessions are usually saved for Gamescom and E3.
It’s that waking moment that reminds me where I am. Alien sounds seep into my consciousness as sunlight streaks into my eyes. My forearm itches like fury due to some implanted foreign tech, but it’s the only possession I have. The island jungle may have been traded for an urban one, but this is still Ark: Survival Evolved. Only this time, we’re heading to Extinction.
When I met up with Emmanuel Freund, a Mists of Pandaria mousemat hugged the corner of his demo desk. It turns out that the co-founder and CEO of cloud gaming service Shadow had been logging into World of Warcraft since the early days of beta, although nowadays he calls it ‘testing’ rather than ‘playing’. Freund had stopped off in London on his way to Shadow World, a fan celebration and chance to share upcoming new features.