While everyone would like to be the great shaft at the heart of progress in Erectus the Game, the stiff backbone around which all other play revolves, only one person can truly be the Erectus King. This is the endgame, and it’s just been thrust into the spotlight with the game’s most recent update, when the Erectus King NPC begins his ritual and surrounds the land with erupting volcanoes. This phase of the endgame takes two weeks, and players must wrestle the king down before his explosive ritual can reach its climax.
Assuming the king is defeated, players will then have to hold and control the king for a time while other players try to get their own hands on the surging lord. Success, of course, means that a new king has risen, so players will have to work hard to achieve a satisfying conclusion. Remember, it doesn’t matter how strong your empire is if you can’t successfully maintain a bid for the Erectus King.
By the time you read this, I’ll be up in the air flying across the country. Assuming you read it on the day it publishes, anyhow, and odds are that you will do so since you certainly won’t be playing Final Fantasy XIV
today. Which makes for a good day to take a closer look at the odds and ends of Heavensward
, doesn’t it? I sure hope so, because that’s what I’ve got lined up, it’s going to cause problems if this is a bad time.
We’ve covered the majority of the game’s battle content, but there’s still a bit more stuff to cover, and I could probably go into more depth on a few areas if I wanted this to be even longer. But let’s start by covering the content that, arguably, flopped pretty badly on launch, to the point where the whole system got yanked, revised, and returned in a much more tolerable form. Which has its own problems, but hopefully provides a good template moving forward.
There are parts of every MMO that look lovely, like the sort of place you’d love to live. But that’s definitely minority. I mean, let’s look at Final Fantasy XIV’s Mor Dhona, a blasted hellscape literally filled with void energy and ice over everything. Or World of Warcraft’s Outland, which is both a warped nightmare land and a collection of continents which people still mistakenly call “Outlands” or “the Outlands” despite the fact that the game’s package made it clear that was wrong years ago. Heck, there’s Taris in Star Wars: The Old Republic, where the Republic is actually trying to form a colony despite the fact that it’s a puddle of diseased sewage.
And this is just off of the top of my head; there are lava zones, places covered in lightning, probably a least a few midway through a robot revolution. Trove takes place in an exploding neon nightmare, it’s probably not fun to live there however you slice it. So which MMO zone would be the worst place to live in? And are some of those places still locales where some of your characters might make a home despite the awful conditions?
Go, go, go, go, gotta go fast. No, fast. I said fast. You call that going fast? You’re going slow. Stop slowing down. You have to go fast. Fast. Do you even… what is wrong with you? Don’t stop there. Don’t sniff something. Are you falling asleep? Go fast.
Oh, no, no, no. This can’t be happening. You’ve gotta go fast. Why are you not going fast? I will chase you with a taser if you don’t start going – wait! Yes, yes, you’re going fast now! Keep going fast! You’re going fast right… to… that convenience store. And you’re hiding and talking to the cashier, and… yep, he’s pointing at me, he’s calling someone. It’s probably the cops.
This isn’t good. You don’t understand, officer. Going slow isn’t an option. You’ve got to go fast. Faster. Please, don’t hit me in the face with a nightstick. Look, if you just look at the comments of What Are You Playing, it will all make sense. Please. You’ve got to go fast.
Everyone who predicted Secret World Legends would miss its original spring target date gets a cookie. Turns out the game is launching soon, but not quite in the spring with a release date of June 26th. Whether or not you’re still looking forward to the title after all of the words spilled on it is another matter; we had our own interview on the development recently.
Otherwise, lots of stuff was happening in the test world. We lost track of all of it, but we’ve done our best to sum things up for you here:
- You can try out Shroud of the Avatar for free for most of May, so if you have the time and the curiosity, hey, give it a shot. Of course, it’s really a test of a great deal of what will make the game run under stress, but you don’t need to worry about that; the price is right.
- Planet Nomads is hitting early access on May 25th after a delay. The good news? That delay has meant more features and fun stuff for players, so that’s a good thing.
- It’s been a week of Crowfall previews, or more accurately teasers about previews. Yeah, it’s been a long week.
- Worlds Adrift has hit a slight delay, but you can check out some player-made islands which will debut with its beta. Again, it’s hopefully worth the wait.
- The dwarves of Dark and Light have been previewed with a promise that the game will be in early access later this year. When? Later. It’s a secret to everybody.
- If you can’t wait for The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind to launch properly, you can start into the new landscape as early as May 22nd. That’s less of an early access week and more of just an early launch, but hey.
- The beta test for Diablo III’s Necromancer class has awoken from its brief sleep. It was just pining for the fjords, really.
- Last but not least, The Imperial Realm: Miranda is now in early access. It’s a labor of love by one guy which is pretty awesome on its own.
Wow. Lots of stuff in there, and we haven’t even skipped down below to the list. Yes, there’s a list down below. There’s always a list. Let us know if something skipped test phases without us knowing in the comments, hmm?
The group pose screenshot tool in Final Fantasy XIV
is pretty darn powerful, since it lets you change color filters, add lighting sources, add frames and borders, loop emote animations, and spin the camera all over. About the only thing it can’t do is allow a perfect loop of your character using a battle action to get that perfect cool shot of your character raining doom upon a target… at least, it can’t do that yet
. When Stormblood
launches, actions are being added to the command
, and you can pause the animations as well to capture that perfect shot.
The tool is also adding new color filters, frames, and overlays to allow your shots to look like everything from a quick instant camera shot to a carefully rendered cinematic still. In short, players will be able to be the perfect in-game shutterbugs they always knew they could be. Who doesn’t like dramatic poses for battle as a screenshot option?
Remember how Blizzard started to focus MLG in on Overwatch as an e-sports venue at the same time well-known teams started fleeing the scene? What was all that about? It seems it might be as simple as money; according to teams looking to take part in Blizzard’s heavily hyped Overwatch League, teams need to buy in to the tune of $20 million. That’s without any promises of profit sharing until 2021 and with no real certainty about the long-term. In other words, it’s just not a good investment for the teams.
Blizzard’s official response is that certain parties may be spreading misinformation about the fees and contract terms to aid in negotiatons, and the studio remains committed to supporting the game as an e-sports platform. Of course, it’s going to prove rather impossible to make any headway in that field if no one actually wants to get in on the competitive scene in the first place, so we’ll see if those professional teams were a blip on the radar or bespoke a larger trend.
Remember Runescape: Idle Adventures? Probably not, which is probably a good part of the reason why the game is rather quietly shuttering its doors on May 15th. The farewell letter to the community explains that while the community for the game was solid, people weren’t sticking around to justify the cost of developing new content, which meant the title fell into that perilous trap where there’s no new content, so people leave, so there’s no reason to develop more, etc.
The spinoff launched into early access back in September of last year with microtransactions and a free-to-play business model. Multiplatform development was planned but never materialized. Our apologies to the players who are losing a game they enjoyed and the developers forced to pull the curtains on the project.
If you’re worried about the overall health of Square-Enix, a glance at the company’s most recent financials should assuage any concerns, since the past financial year was quite good for the company. That’s with an extraordinary loss in the company’s yearly evaluation, even. But if you’re worried about the company’s health when it comes just to online games, that’s… also just fine, according to the same report. It’s not as good as it could be, but it’s fine.
The report states that ongoing revenue from the company’s online titles (Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, and Dragon Quest X in Japan) was steady and reliable, although actual sales and operating income were lower due to the lack of an expansion disk during the year. Considering that the point of comparison was the previous financial year and the release of Heavensward, this would fall under the “unsurprising” header. With Stormblood on the way later this year, it’s good for fans to see that the company continues to post solid results for its various online offerings.
The Necromancer beta for Diablo III was around for a short time, then swiftly died off and went quiet as Blizzard tinkered with various aspects of the class behind the scenes. The good news is that it’s back again with the results of that tinkering on full display, although the bad news is that you can take part in the beta only if you’re invited. Reanimating the fallen is a special art and not everyone is prepared for it, you see.
Those of you who were already bored by testing the class will be happy to know that the latest beta build has redesigned and altered several Necromancer skills along with introducing Legendary items for the class. There are also set bonuses to play around with, various bug fixes, and of course the simple joy of summoning skeletons to do your dirty work. Let’s see if the beta lasts a wee bit longer this time around.
Ramsgate is not the sort of city you would choose as a vacation destination. It’s cramped. It’s built in a terrible spot. It’s right on the boundary of territory filled with enormous monsters who want to stomp you into paste. But for the player characters of Dauntless, that’s exactly what makes it home. It’s a place to rest up, restock, and get ready before heading out to kill some more titanic monsters because it’s located right on the boundary of their domain and it stands as a metaphorical slap in the face to the creatures.
Also, it has dye vendors.
Obviously, players will need to be familiar with the city’s armorsmith, weaponmaster, and aethersmith. They’ll also want to visit the Stormchasers, the Crimson Blades, and the Orrery, the three factions that have set up bases within the city while jockeying for allegiance from the various monster slayers. It might not be a luxury resort, but it’s exactly the sort of city you need if you want to hunt big monsters in Dauntless… and seeing as how that’s what the actual game is all about, your options are fairly limited.
Oh boy, Neverwinter
! I am legitimately excited about this cycle’s Choose My Adventure
pick, in no small part because the only reason I have not yet played Neverwinter
in any serious capacity is because I am an idiot. Or cursed with more enthusiasm than with actual free time. It’s kind of a fifty-fifty split, here.
See, I still remember first seeing Neverwinter in person at PAX East one of these years. (All of the PAX Easts kind of blur together in a mess of overcrowded convention halls, Boston weather, and occasional hotel stays.) I have more or less no attachment to the original games in the franchise, and frankly it looked like it was going to be pretty great. I was really looking forward to playing it myself.
Instead, I think I just played a lot of other games and never actually even installed it. I’m sure I had my reasons. I’m not sure they were good reasons, though.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a very explainable pull back to Final Fantasy XI. It’s easy to explain because, well, it’s the game’s 15th anniversary and I’ve been reading a lot of vintage FFXI humor. What’s not so easy to explain is why there’s a certain time of year, every fall, when I get perfectly nostalgic for killing things in Gustaberg. That specific region. I don’t even like Gustaberg, but every year, like clockwork, September rolls in and I think I should go back to visit.
Why? I couldn’t tell you; I also know there’s a certain point of summer that always makes me want to play World of Warcraft, and playing Mass Effect 2 always makes me think of Star Trek Online fondly. These things don’t line up to the same timeline, I don’t have strong associations between the two, but these seemingly irrelevant experiences line up in my memory. What about you? What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs? Is it a time of year? Certain movies or songs? Or even just hearing the right turn of phrase?