Orcs Must Die: Unchained has been in beta for a while, and the developers at Robot recently unveiled a new build that will kick off phase two of the beta beginning on March 24th. The new build features hero overhauls, new systems, UI improvements, and more, and was playable at PAX East.
When we last checked in on Edge of Space, the game had received much new content. Fast forward to several months later at PAX East, and things are still improving. The team’s focus in recent updates is to polish the game, continue to improve it visually, and create a better tutorial and beginning game experience for players. As someone who began in the alpha, zooming in on the characters or terrain, for instance, is much better.
In sandboxes, there’s a lot of emphasis on playing your way. It’s something we’re seeing a lot lately with the number of procedurally generated games on the market. At PAX East, I had the opportunity to check out procedurally generated Windward, a sandbox game with multiple ways to live out your type of high seas fantasy, sail, battle, explore, or even play with (or against) friends.
Blizzard is heading back into real money trading with the introduction of the WoW Token for World of Warcraft. The recent announcement that players would be able to trade gold or real money for a token worth 30 days of game time in the shop or auction house. Predictably, the sky began falling to some players, while others saw the new option as logical.
Final Fantasy XV and its more modern fantasy setting and main cast of friends within a darker action-driven RPG story might not seem quite like the Final Fantasy we’re all familiar with. After playing through a roughly hour-long demo of the game, as the old saying goes - the more things change, the more they stay the same.
We’ve arrived at the release of the packed update 6 to The Elder Scrolls Online before it becomes subscription-optional. This means the road of consistent updates and major content releases that isn’t DLC has reached its end. Aside from tweaks to existing systems and completion of the implementation of others that began with this update, we simply await the conversion and possibly the console versions before we know what else we might see first down the line.
With over $72 million in funding raised from crowdfunding, Star Citizen is no doubt an ambitious project that has grown over time. That hasn’t happened without its share of criticism. People wonder where the game is by now. Others criticize the developers for consistently releasing new ships to buy for a game that, as yet, isn’t out. These ships aren’t cheap, either.
With a month to go before The Elder Scrolls Online morphs into a buy to play game under the mouthful of a new title The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, there is now more info on how things will work after the switch. When the switch was announced, and the buy to play option with future DLC (included for subscribers or available for purchase) made known, there were still some pressing questions left with regards to just what this might entail.
Free to play MMOs are in a significant position in the market today, as things have shifted toward a fewer strings attached model over time. First mostly limited to imported, cheaper games funded entirely through cash shops, today' s free to play game may be from a AAA developer or a small, independent one. A new report released last week looks at player retention---how many players continue to play a given game—in free to play MMOs and features some important numbers.
Changes are in full swing in The Elder Scrolls Online, first on the PTS, where update 1.6 has been released and players have also been given the opportunity to test out the game's upcoming cash shop, the Crown Store. The Crown Store opened up for testing with players on the PTS given Crowns to use as they please and test an array of items that will likely make their debut when the game transitions over to subscription-optional Tamriel Unlimited.
When a game’s payment model shifts, as happened last week with The Elder Scrolls Online becoming the latest game to undergo such a change, there’s always a pattern. The conversation almost always turns to the concept of value in comments flung around the internet like “That game wasn’t worth $15 a month” and “The game wasn’t worth a subscription”.
So here we are, as reported earlier, The Elder Scrolls Online will be rebranded as he Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited as of March 17th on PC, with the console versions released in June under the same format. Buying the game will allow access to the full content released before the rebranding, and “downloadable content” will be included with the now optional subscription.
I’ve spent a good number of hours in Dragon Age: Inquisition since that game’s release. By now, many players have gotten enough of a taste to criticize some of the game’s flaws. By far, some of the more prevalent criticism is in how the game’s vast, open areas, and sidequest types make it feel like an MMO. Contrast that to how many MMO players feel like MMOs have now veered over and feel too much like single player games.
Recently, some players of The Elder Scrolls Online noticed that Zenimax had quietly removed the option to subscribe for six months at a time. Given the game’s somewhat rocky start and time spent since release revamping the game, as well as the upcoming console versions, naturally, the whispers began to swirl. Was the removal of the six-month option an indicator that the game would go free to play or even become a buy to play game?
When people talk about their experiences gaming online, especially in MMORPGs, it can often feel overwhelmingly negative. It’s not uncommon to hear that MMOs are irrelevant, too expensive, cash grabs, superficial, and at worst, have ‘communities’ in name only, full of either apathy or trolling. Take your pick. Yet, while the genre has seen shifts over time, there is still something about MMORPGs that remains unique, and brings out the best in online community.