The problem with getting feedback from a game’s community is that sometimes the community’s passion overrides the desire for useful feedback. That’s part of the takeaway from a frank discussion from the devs about the state of Emma Frost
in Marvel Heroes
, a sad story in which a character moved through the test center receiving plenty of feedback… but most of it feedback oriented in the wrong direction. The goal for testers, Gazillion suggests, wasn’t to provide feedback for a balanced character; it was to provide feedback to create a game-breakingly good one.
In short, players who like the character wanted to see her pushed exceedingly far up in terms of performance, while cooler heads were shouted down, leaving developers feeling as if they had little choice but to push a live version of Emma that was specifically undertuned and buggy.
“TC just doesn’t get enough people to act on data alone, so we had no choice but to return her to a balanced state (not overpowered) and release her to the public,” explained Gazillion.
The engine woes of The Repopulation have led to its spinoff, Fragmented, and that spinoff has a Steam page now. You can’t jump into the fray just yet, however; you’re going to have to wait a solid week and change to do so, as the title is going into early access on April 26th. Then you can have plenty of fun with it to tide you over until the game fully refurbishes its engine.
Testers who are already in the early stages are reminded that the game is currently still under NDA, so a bit more waiting is advisable before sharing your opinions publicly. You can point people toward the early access page, though. Just as a bit of a nudge.
We all have a friend or two in MMOs that’s a really good player but really lousy at actually leveling. Some people just don’t like to level, for whatever reason. So why not make it possible for the people who like leveling to make it just a bit easier? That’s the heart of EverQuest II‘s upcoming Experience Vial system, allowing you to slow down your own leveling speed in exchange for creating vials of liquid progression that others can use.
Empty vials are purchased via Daybreak Cash and can then be applied to your experience bar, siphoning off a portion of your regular gains to be stored up. This experience must be in the form of adventure experience, so no tithe or AA experience while you have one one. Once the vial is full, you can claim it and use it exactly like the experience that would be earned from completing a quest; you can also trade it to others if you’d prefer. So you can bank up experience for later tithe/AA use, functionally level a friend’s character, or even save it for your alts. We’re sure you can come up with some use for concentrated liquid experience.
Are you a bad enough dude to be considered the best Dark Knight in Final Fantasy XIV
? If so, you probably are any given Dark Knight player. You also might want to prove your mastery in the Feast, and you’ve got the freedom to do just that now; the first season of the game’s ranked PvP format is available today with the launch of patch 3.26
. A few more PvP adjustments come along with the season launch, and players can enjoy the ability to climb the leaderboards and improve their rankings over the course of the season.
This patch also makes some minor adjustments to Dark Knights, Arcanists (and derived jobs), and Astrologians outside of PvP. Accuracy caps in the current Expert dungeons have also been lowered, while Alexander Midas has been made just a little bit easier for players to clear. It’s a minor patch, but for anyone waiting to step into the arena, it’s a pretty significant one.
The next expansion for World of Warcraft is trying something different for endgame. It’s not the sprawling dailies of Mists of Pandaria, and it’s not the open-world reputation grinding and general dearth of Warlords of Draenor. Legion is introducing World Quests, and a new post on the game’s official forums explains to players what World Quests are and how they incorporate aspects of all of these endgame activities into one place.
When you open up your in-game map at Level 110, you’ll see a plethora of world quests laid out before you. They’ll include killing rare elites, taking part in battlefields, controlling PvP locations, special dungeon content, quests, profession quests… all sorts of things. They’re not daily, with all of them set to rotate on a different basis, ranging from quests that pop up and vanish quickly to those that stick around for some time, but the point is that there will always be something new to do out there. Meanwhile, a new Emissary from one of the Broken Isles factions will show up at your Order Hall, asking players for help and allowing players to receive credit through a variety of world quests. It’s going to be interesting to see the system in action, but it certainly sounds engaging from the post.
Here’s the stunning secret about Final Fantasy XI‘s interface: It gets passed off as being horrible because it was designed for a console, but it’s still a terrible interface even without that. Full credit to the developers for doing the best they can to add in PC-based quality of life improvements over the years, but it’s still hideous and unwieldy and requires tabbing through eight pages of menus for things that most games let you do in one, if not zero.
Meanwhile, I hate to be the guy who says that WildStar‘s interface was kind of curtailed by its lack of the option to lock the camera to mouse movement, but… there it is. (I know it got added in later.) And sometimes it’s even little things, like having status bars fill or empty the wrong way, or windows you can’t resize, or how Star Wars: The Old Republic handles its split between the first and second row of the action bar. There are lots of ways that an interface can technically work but make life harder on the player.
So today, we’re turning the question over to you, dear readers. What MMO has the most user-unfriendly interface?
Yesterday’s Season 11.5 update for Star Trek Online
is a bit of a hodgepodge, an assortment of several separate pieces all sitting in the same space without a great deal of thematic connection. In a way, though, that’s entirely appropriate. This patch was meant as part of the bridging action after the game’s first six-year story arc came to a close, and the seeds of it were sown back at the end of that story arc… even if they weren’t as explicit as might seem necessary.
I had a chance to sit down and speak with Steve Ricossa, the game’s executive producer, about the 11.5 update, the mechanics involved, and some of the future plans involved for the game. The Na’kuhl’s presence in this first story arc is, in fact, entirely to be expected, as the developers were planning on this at the same time that players were finishing up against the Iconians.
You don’t know if you like Crowfall yet. Sure, you may have taken part in the Hunger Dome testing, but we’re going to let you in on a secret: That wasn’t anything. That was just mechanics. No, it’s the Siege Perilous testing that’s live now which is all about providing players with new ways to do things and show just a snippet of what Crowfall brings to the MMO space that’s diverse. Did we mention that it’s live? Because it is.
The participants in this particular test are still sharply limited, but players will be getting invited in greater numbers over the next few weeks. There may or may not be siege weapons heavily involved in this version of the testing, as the Throne War testing is next on the agenda, along with another new archetype for players (the Druid). If you’re a backer and can’t wait to get into the business of tearing down castle walls, take heart; your time is coming soon.
Those of us with a fondness for MMOs have had to learn exactly how expensive these games are over the past few years. The future of small indie games like Das Tal can swing on the good faith of investors and players alike. So we’re glad to bring you some good news by sharing that Das Tal‘s primary investors have doubled up on their investments, providing the game with the money needed to push toward a full launch.
Numbers were not disclosed, but the announcement does make it clear that this will allow the team to hire more people and finish up crucial areas of the game. So take heart, fans of the game, the developers have money and can afford to… well, if not feast, at least eat well enough to finish making the game.
If you’ve paid any attention to World of Warcraft during its present expansion cycle, you are probably aware that Garrisons have not exactly been warmly beloved as an addition to the game. Now that the next expansion is in testing and class order halls are in place in their earliest incarnation, some players are already calling it the return of the Garrison mission table, a claim which was addressed by the developers with a resounding, “no.”
The core difference, as explained by the post, is that the actual world didn’t contain enough content, thus leading to players having no reason not to just sit in the garrison and wait. Legion is offering players a variety of other things to do and reasons to do open-world content aside from resources for class order halls, which should lead to a different dynamic. Feedback on the setup of the hall is, of course, welcomed by the development team; it’s just a bit too early to be calling doom at this juncture.
Yesterday was patch day for The Division, meaning fans got to hurry to the game flush with excitement, eager to download the patch and start playing. It must have been a real kick in the teeth if you did that and then found that the patch made your character go missing. Yes, some players are apparently missing their characters altogether, with Ubisoft promising to investigate matters. The company did state that it would not be resolved with the patch hotfix, however.
“What hotfix?” you ask? Well, that one’s a funny story too; it seems that patch 1.1 also inadvertently gave named bosses in challenge modes at least two high-end drops with every kill. That was too good to be true, and it turns out it was a bug as well, with a hotfix patch restoring the drop rates to normal. This is probably not terribly reassuring to players whose characters are in absentia and can get no drops.
Spring is here, and Blade & Soul is celebrating with a new set of expensive treasures for players. From April 13th, players will be able to open up a free Treasure Trove once per day, providing a selection of items, one of which can be purchased. So you might log in on the first day and have a choice between a costume or a Moonstone, both available for purchase using gold. Pick one, and that’s it.
Players can also unlock additional chests per day and more random slots within those chests with Ncoins or Hongmoon Coins. You can only purchase one item from the random set offered to you, but you can purchase up to 10 additional troves per day with Hongmoon Coins, if you really want to roll the dice to see what you can buy. The event will run from April 13th through April 27th.
Remember back when Rust added new skin tones and other secondary attributes that players didn’t get to choose? Because the game just implemented another big variation between players: gender. Female models are in the game, and as with other character attributes, you don’t actually get to choose whether or not you want to play a female character. Your gender is determined based upon your Steam ID.
The update says outright that if you feel like you’re stuck in a gender you don’t want, there are lots of people who already experience that; it’s just that this is now determined by Steam ID rather than birth.
Other changes with this patch include armor and medical fixes, improvements to lighting and grass, and resource gathering. You can check out the full list of patch changes as well as some of the reasoning behind changes on the official site.