There’s no doubt at this point that Crowfall will be funded, but there is some question about how much extra stuff will be in the game when the funding period finishes. The project needs less than $100,000 to hit its next major stretch goal, unlocking mounts and caravans. With the goal so close, the team has decided to post an FAQ on mount mechanics a little early, detailing how your noble steed will work in the game and how Kickstarter backers can get a little edge.
Mounts in the game are creatures in the world, and mount figurines can be used to summon the mounts repeatedly, but those figurines can be lost, damaged, or otherwise made useless. Kickstarter backers will be able to reclaim the appearance of the special backer mounts, but that’s purely a cosmetic effect. As with all else in the game, nothing lasts forever. The team also posted two new behind-the-scenes videos, so you can check those out just past the break.
The last part of Final Fantasy XIV
‘s pre-expansion storyline is going live on March 31st. That’s about two weeks away. And while you’ll be able to do such things as “no longer worry about the weekly lockout on World of Darkness” and presumably “buy those Ironworks weapons from the CT weekly,” you’ll also be facing the last dose of content from the game until the expansion drops on June 23rd — or June 19th if you have it pre-ordered, which will almost certainly be the case for the people who are reading this column with the intent of actually playing the game. But that’s still nearly three months without much new to do.
I’m going to assume that no one needs any suggestions about finishing the content that’s already available in the game; if you haven’t done the Hildibrand story yet, well, there’s enough content to keep you occupied for a week or so right off the bat. But let’s assume that you’ve kept up with the story and within a week of the second half of this patch, you’ll know what there is to be done. What can you use to fill in the gap other than grinding?
I’m going to be totally honest and say that I expected more revelations for PAX East
for Final Fantasy XIV
. Yes, I realize that at face value that may, in fact, be the dumbest possible thing I have ever said since we now know the release date will be June 23rd
, and that’s kind of a big deal. But the release date was so… expected
, you know? It was a reveal, but it was a known unknown and an obvious reveal to include.
Perhaps I’m just being a bit more contrary because it also means that for the first time in Final Fantasy XIV‘s history since the reboot, we actually have a dead period. Not a completely pointless period, obviously, and enough time to get your main fully kitted-out in upgraded Poetics gear and the like, but it’s still a gap. We’re expecting the last patch to drop at the end of March, and it’s going to be all over then but sifting through the pieces.
The last time I was asked where the social aspects of MMOs went, I was pretty directly snarky: They’re still there. And it’s true, but it’s a bit heavier on the “pithy” end of the spectrum over the “explanatory” side. Ask for sound bites, receive same.
Pithy comments aside, all the participants on PAX East’s Where Did Multiplayer In MMOs Go? panel Saturday agreed that there has been a large-scale shift in how MMOs handle other players and how we view our fellows. The initial discussion focused on the experience of being in a World of Warcraft garrison at max level, where you aren’t talking or directly interacting with anyone. The only sign that you’re in an MMO is the fact that general chat is still rolling.
With two MMO journalists, one founder of a gamer social network, one community manager, and one lead developer, you would expect that we would all be coming to different conclusions. But we were actually all of more or less the same mind, and a lot of the question of “where has the social gone” can be answered simply by looking at how players and developers look at other players.
I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I first laid hands on Moonrise at this year’s PAX East so I suppose that “fast-paced party-based Pokémon” should not have actually come as a surprise. It sort of did, though.
Moonrise is the new game coming out of the developer currently best-known for State of Decay, and it’s an interesting creature. Comparisons to titles like Pokémon are inevitable, as the game focuses very heavily on capturing and training up monsters. But the game is also a party-based affair with a lot of things going on at once, and the addition of the trainer as an active participant shuffles up gameplay significantly.
There’s more lore to it than that, of course, but at this point the lore is only broadly sketched out and isn’t particularly relevant. What does matter is that you field a team of two monsters and do battle with “corrupted” versions of monsters, slowly building up your own army and taking on other players and trainers.
The expansion releases on June 23rd, early access begins on June 19th, and pre-orders open up on March 16th.Since the original launch of Final Fantasy XIV, the city of Ishgard has waited, inaccessible, present, a long shadow over the entire game. When Heavensward releases, players will finally get to access the city and fly into the lands beyond.
As for what we’ll find there… well, that was the focus of the media presentation I got to take part in on Friday at this year’s PAX East. And as someone eagerly anticipating the expansion, I now feel suitably informed.
While the presentation included a lot of information that will be familiar to those avidly following the various fan festivals, there were still new pieces of information and new visuals on display. I also had a chance to speak with producer and director Naoki Yoshida regarding the expansion and what comes next for Eorzea, from the features available at launch to those planned for slightly down the road.
Richard Garriott casts a long shadow in the MMO industry, with Ultima Online serving as the first fully graphical MMO and ushering in the genre as we know it. His more recent claim to fame, though, is the success of Shroud of the Avatar, a crowdfunded spiritual sequel to his Ultima series, online and off. It’s one of the big crowdfunding successes and something that raises plenty of interesting questions about the viability of crowdfunding and how the game’s financial model influences its development.
I was lucky enough to have a chat with Garriott during my time in Boston at this year’s PAX East, and I started by asking him about another long shadow: Godus. Comparisons are fairly obvious, with Godus being another game project put forth by a well-known developer (Peter Molyneux) for crowdfunding. So what sort of influence do high-profile troubles such as those have on Shroud of the Avatar‘s community, and how can the team avoid the risks?
Remember when World of Warcraft launched? I sure do. I remember when the game’s developers strapped into a helicopter and broke into the building of every game’s development team and forced them to change their code to more closely align with what World of Warcraft was doing, instantly transforming Warhammer Online into a close clone of their own game. And then there was that time that stores stopped handing out copies of Star Wars Galaxies to potential players, with a cleverly disguised installer that made people think they were going to be playing a Star Wars game right up until the character creator. “Hey, that’s not a twi’lek! Oh, well, as long as I’m here…”
Wait, that didn’t happen? Of course it didn’t. That would be absolutely ridiculous. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to the narrative told by some portions of the MMO fanbase.
In a news sure to relieve the gamers unsure whether a MOBA would come along specifically designed to work with Windows 10, Motiga has announced that its upcoming title Gigantic is going to be published on both Windows 10 and the Xbox One. While you don’t need to make use of Windows 10 at present to play the game’s test client, it will be required in the future. Since there’s the whole “free upgrade” thing for Windows 10, this is not quite the hurdle it could be.
But what if you don’t want console players on your MOBA? Well, you might be taking your choice of game-making box a bit too seriously, but the game will also include the option to just match you with people on the same platform. The full details of the arrangement can be read in the official announcement, and there’s also a trailer past the break for those who want a bit of the game’s distinctive art to go along with the big news.
It’s been four years since RIFT came out and the Trion Worlds team hosted a party in Boston to celebrate the game, so it’s high time for another fan gathering. That’s the logic behind Trion’s upcoming PAX East party in Boston, which celebrates the game’s anniversary and the first day of the convention with a fan gathering, complete with a free Arclight Rider and some real-world loot while supplies last.
RIFT fans with no need for the various bits of swag might still want to attend, as the party will include face time with the developers and some announcements about the future. The party is a bit offsite, and space is limited, so head over promptly at 6 p.m. EST on Friday if you want to get in. There’s even a trailer for the party just past the break, for those who need a little more urging.
The death of Leonard Nimoy affects everyone who has ever been engaged in the Star Trek franchise, whether you were a lifelong fan of the original series or knew him only from his work in the reboot film and Star Trek Online
. But he’s not the first luminary of the show to be lost, and Star Trek Online
‘s new memorials
are meant to commemorate not just Nimoy’s contribution to the universe but that of several key cast and crew members over the years.
Cryptic Studios is erecting a monument on both New Romulus and on Vulcan, with the latter placed in the same spot on the planet where players gathered to pay their respects after Nimoy’s death. These locations will also host a memorial plaque for all those lost from the franchise, including Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett. Last but not least, black flags will be flown in all of the faction hubs for the next week, signifying that the Star Trek Online team mourns the loss of a great inspiration and a well-respected man.
We’ve included the Twitch video of the ceremony below.
Shadowrun Online isn’t Shadowrun Online any longer. Hot on the heels of its announcement that it’s secured a physical distributor, the game has rebranded itself as Shadowrun Chronicles. A recent development post explains that the name Shadowrun Online created expectations that ran counter to the team’s goals, so hopefully the name change will more accurately reflect their design intent. Draw your own conclusions there.
If you’re holding off on drawing those conclusions until the game actually launches, though, you won’t have to wait much longer. The same post also announces that the game will be launching on April 28th, just a little under two months away. You can check out the most recent trailer for the game just past the break.
I am going to make a confession: I am terrible about remembering to unsubscribe from games I am no longer playing. Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World are nice for not asking me to subscribe in the first place, but odds are good that it’ll be at least a month or two between the date when I know I’m not going back to the game and when I actually remember to cancel my subscription. I vote with my wallet, but not always in a timely fashion.