Last time around, I discussed free to play and so-called entitlement in the MMO community. While I do think that some are called out or made to feel guilty for simply enjoying what developers and publishers are putting out, that could’ve perhaps been a narrower discussion. Again, this time around, payment models get another look, and it’s in part due to some recent topics that have come up in both the greater gaming community and among MMO players.
Two weeks ago, the Elder Scrolls Online team presented its series of plans for the future of the game. Among these were guild features, PvP changes, new features, and a series of tweaks to make playing together and teaming up easier. With the release this week of update 1.3.3, some of these changes have begun to go into effect, along with a series of other changes.
Wasteland 2 is all about the gray areas. And that’s how players like it. I recently had the chance to get a preview of the game from inXile’s Brian Fargo, and chatted about consequences, community, and immersion in the upcoming party-based RPG.
The whole notion of MMO gamers being “entitled” is way overblown. There, I said it. We’re at the point where we’ve seen a couple of major releases this year so far, and we’re seeing talk all over the place --from gaming publications, to social media to forums--about whether the releases that came with subscriptions attached should or will go free to play, and how long that will take.
The Elder Scrolls Online is, like all MMORPGs, a work in progress, and a deeper look at the roadmap of that progress was given last week at QuakeCon. In a panel session titled The Future of The Elder Scrolls Online, details emerged about features announced in the weeks prior, as well as some surprises from the team.
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade and the developers’ decision to limit free players to the deliberately weaker Ork Boyz is a troubling precedent in the freemium game space. It’s not unheard of for some games to limit your race choice based upon how much you are or aren’t paying. This is the situation in the upcoming PvP-oriented game, and it’s concerning.
ZeniMax published a post late last week saying it planned to make a series of changes to Veteran Rank content. Those changes, which began rolling out this week, were indicative of what the studio called a desire to listen to the feedback people had been giving and gauge just where the community had been on the matter of Veteran Rank content. After listening, there were several key points.
Recently, I read a piece proclaiming the MMO "era" to be over. While the genre has undergone some shifts through the years as both technology and gamers change, the genre isn’t on life support. While certain trends have held and others faded, MMOS are still being made, played, and planned. The genre is evolving, just as it evolved after 2004, and continues today. We seem to be on the verge of a new chapter right now, in fact.
With the World Cup going on, I’ve been thinking about events, big and small. Events can bring people together around any game, and it’s no different when it comes to MMORPGs. Though in some of the more modern MMORPGs, sometimes it feels like things are a bit on autopilot. Everything is programmed in and left hands-off, and it makes me nostalgic for the days of active GM participants and the sometimes chaotic world of active live events in games.
The Elder Scrolls Online received its latest major content update this week after several smaller fixes and updates. Additionally, June brought another “road ahead” from the team, which, combined with the latest update, look to address some of the game’s ongoing issues, yet also raise some questions (and an eyebrow or two).
Strife is aiming to bring something new and refreshing to the MOBA genre. We interviewed Game Designer Ryan Shackleford to talk about how that is happening already. See what he had to say before heading to the comments to chat.
Upcoming free to play new mobile MMORPG Legion of Heroes aims to sate MMORPG hunger on the go with its upcoming release on mobile devices. The game is set for release on both iOS and Android devices. I spent some time with the game's closed beta recently on a tablet running Android 4.4.3. So how does it play? It might take some getting used to, but it could surprise some players in a good way.
Last week, Goblinworks’ Ryan Dancey released plans for the upcoming Pathfinder Online alpha test. Given the game’s debt to its Kickstarter backers, involving the community isn’t a surprise, but the degree of transparent design and the alpha’s lack of an NDA shows both an openness to feedback and suggestion and confidence in the project. It’s also a really great example of the greater influence of community input on MMO design and marketing.
As you might be aware, the game underwent some transition and the team became a smaller one. Yet the dedication to the promised content prevailed, and it is finally ready. We got a peek into the new content with Game Director Joel Bylos this week, who took us through what players can expect when they finally enter Tokyo.
With the two-month mark since release hitting soon, an old feeling is beginning to creep in when it comes to The Elder Scrolls Online. I'm still enjoying the game though I've had less time to play recently. While there are always players on when I log in, I can't help but notice that some players are gone. Guilds are quieter or inactive, and my friends have stopped playing the game. ut the pace here seems to have been a bit quick.