I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing Blade & Soul just moving around.
Most of the time in a given game, I’m moving around because I’m trying to explore the game world I’m inhabiting. But during my hands-on with the western port of the game at this week’s NCsoft press event in California, I found that what drove me to move wasn’t really exploration in the strictest sense; there were no obvious points of interest drawing me in for a closer looks, and even after I had a pretty solid grasp about what the zone layout looked like, I was still getting to the highest vantage point and springing off. I was just jumping around and gliding through the air because just moving was fun.
I didn’t expect to care much about moving, but I didn’t expect to care all that much about Blade & Soul in the first place. Leaving aside the fact that I had long since given up any hope of the game ever coming out in America, I thought it seemed kind of surplus: just another vaguely wuxia title in a market full of them. After playing a bit of it, though… well, I’m hardly an expert in that subgenre, but now I’m actually interested in playing more.
There are certain phrases you never really expect to come up over the course of a work day, and boy, “Nexon steals artwork from Blizzard” is high on that list. But it did indeed happen, by all appearances. A promo image from the most recent update to Mabinogi Heroes – known in these parts as Vindictus – featured an unmistakable resemblance to promotional art surrounding Diablo III, in that it was a new piece of art over the exact same backdrop with the saturation turned down slightly.
Actually, that’s being a bit too charitable, since you can even still see the original image in the background; there’s a video comparison of the two down below. It’s not subtle.
To no one’s great surprise, Nexon pulled the image and apologized promptly, although it’s unclear whether Blizzard threatened action or even noticed what was going on. There’s your bizarre story for the day, if you wanted one.
Do you like people who cheat in online games? Daybreak president John Smedley does not. After 24,837 H1Z1 accounts were banned for cheating (7,000 of them esp hackers banned just in the in the last few days), Smedley took to Twitter to discuss exactly what he thinks about cheaters. In his own words: “You think we don’t know these cockroaches? We do. We are going to be relentless and public. Screw not provoking them.”
Smedley went on an extended rant about cheaters and the sites that cater to cheating programs last night and this morning, declaring that cheaters who truly want to apologize should make a public apology video and send it to him. “If we ban 30k and unban 20 for making videos that are seen by a lot of people, and they apologize, I’ll take it,” he wrote. But you’d better really mean it! “Please address your apology to fellow players, not us,” he stated. “Although you hurt our business this is about them not us.” He also announced a wipe coming on Thursday in order to “get rid of the banned people’s stuff” and “purge their existence.”
Smed’s retweeting the apology videos; we’ve embedded the first few below.
Remember when comic books had little call-outs on the front cover proudly proclaiming that something happened because the readers requested it? I always thought those were kind of hilarious. “Because you demanded it, here’s the latest issue of a comic that absolutely must have been scripted and planned out months in advance, thereby completely putting the lie to the idea that your demands had any bearing on it!” Kind of silly.
In this case, though, I could actually use one of those starbursts. Yes, it is indeed because you collectively demanded it. The rumors were true: Blade & Soul is coming to the West, and it’s coming despite the fact that basically everyone (including me) had given up any and all hope that the title would ever be localized. And it’s a thing to be happy about, even if you previously hadn’t figured that Blade & Soul was a game you needed to be concerned with.
I am traveling again for Massively OP, and that means not much in the way of MMOs for me for a little while. When I get back, sure. Right now, no. It’s a bit of a shame; my laptop can’t really handle most of what I play, and even if it could I don’t exactly trust it.
Of course, these days there are mobile MMOs and more powerful laptops designed to game on the go. So perhaps in this, as with many things, I am so far behind the times that it’s laughable.
Tell me, dear readers, what about you? Do you MMO on the road? Or do you get your online gaming in at home and nowhere else?
The above screenshot is from Fantasy Earth Zero, a title that was developed by Square-Enix, launched to a resounding thud, got resurrected by another company, launched in the US and then closed a hot minute later. It had a tumultuous history is what I’m getting at here. I kind of liked it, although not enough to put it first or second or third or so forth on my list of games that I wanted to play, which kind of explains why the game closed down when it did.
The end! No moral. Just What Are You Playing, wherein we tell you what we’re going to be playing tomorrow and then you tell us what you’re going to be playing down in the comments. What does that have to do with the first paragraph? What does anything have to do with anything, dude. Just roll with it.
I’m not going to lie to you, dear readers: I don’t care much about Star Citizen. I am aware, though, that the actual big news about the game over the past week was a big information drop regarding the game’s FPS module. But for my money, the big thing was the silly little Flash-based shooter. That’s the sort of stuff I like.
Yeah, I might have played that a lot.
Did anything else happen over the past week? No. And by no, I of course mean yes.
Do we have a huge list of games that are currently in testing down below? Oh, you know us too well. Probably because we do this every week. Check it out, and let us know if something sneakily changed testing status while we weren’t looking all secret-like.
The Saga of Lucimia promises to be a sandbox MMO with absolutely no solo content. None whatsoever. And it’s aiming to accomplish this with an IndieGoGo campaign priced at $5000, which seems a little bit light. But you don’t have to take our word for it; you can read up a full description of the project on the campaign page. There are 12 days left on the campaign as of this writing, for the record.
If you’re intrigued and want to see more, the development team has posted a 15-minute long video showing off character creation as it stands in the game. This is the first real footage we’ve seen of the game as it stands in development. Jump on down below if that sounds like the sort of thing you want to see, maybe even as your deciding factor.
What does skill-based combat mean to you? We can’t tell you that, but we can tell you what it means to the makers of Das Tal, who posted a video detailing exactly how the game’s combat is meant to work. It’s all about movement, targeting, world awareness, and smart play. Yes, it’s dodging a bunch of AoE displays, but it’s a bit more than just that.
The developers have also posted a lengthy update to the game’s nascent Kickstarter campaign, explaining elements like the game’s similarity to Crowfall and the nature of launching another PvP sandbox title. You can check out the video just below to see how all of this fighting will play out.
It’s been a little while, hasn’t it, friends? In the time since I last penned WoW Factor (which missed an installment purely due to transit strangeness – the only time I’ve ever missed a column, I do apologize), some stuff has happened. Like what? Oh, nothing major, just World of Warcraft completely losing its sub jump from the beginning of the expansion. Three million players, gone. And while you can feel free to giggle under your breath at those who take this as a sign that the game is dying (7 million subscribers is not exactly a low number), it also does put the game at subscriber numbers below what it had back before The Burning Crusade.
The game isn’t dying. But a 30% loss of subscribers tells a story where it is more than a little sick. Amidst speculation that 6.2 is the game’s last major content patch, there’s reason to believe that something should be done, that things need to change, that the center cannot hold.
Community manager Bashiok pointed out on the forums, quite rightly, that there’s rarely a single silver bullet issue that causes these things. In this case, I think there’s a whole magazine of bullets.
Remember Project HON? It was a giant robot combat game in the Unreal 4 engine, and every trailer released for it looked stompy and beautiful. And now it’s dead, so you should probably use that to temper any sudden spurts of enthusiasm you feel just for that description alone.
The project was reportedly cancelled because of NCsoft‘s determination that there is insufficient interest in the title in the local games market and that the title just isn’t a good fit. The fact that the team was involved with an embezzlement scandal earlier this year probably didn’t help its case, either. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go sing a few verses of a hastily rewritten “Candle in the Wind” thanks to this news.
Star Trek Online
is doing something new with its summer event this year by shifting currencies in a big way. This has caused a fair amount of consternation among the playerbase simply because it’s a radical departure, but a posting on the official forums explains the logic
. Simply put, it all springs from the fact that the designers knew players wanted to get the rewards on alts, so it was made cheap and easy to redeem the currency for a second ship after you had unlocked it on one character.
While the system worked in theory, in practice it meant that people were stockpiling event currency on alts, secure in the knowledge that next year they could just unlock the ship once without much effort and then get it on the cheap elsewhere. As a result, the currencies are being changed, but these event prestige ships are being shifted to account-wide unlocks to keep alts in the loop. It’s not an ideal solution for those with lots of currency saved up, but it keeps the ships you’ve earned and also makes sure that people are still taking part in the content.
Good news for those of you looking to play The Elder Scrolls Online on consoles – if you want to sell your copy or trade it to a friend, you won’t have to fret over it. Initial reports had indicated that the game would have a one-time code for activating your account, but subsequent information from ZeniMax Online has clarified that all you’ll need to verify your game account is the actual game disc.
This is a bit of a departure from other MMOs, where the serial number in your copy rather than the disc is what allows you to play. However, since The Elder Scrolls Online is buy-to-play, the shift makes sense. And, hey, at least we’re not knee-deep in that Xbox One game sharing fiasco again.