If you were taking part in the closed beta for Defiance 2050, you were probably killing Hellbugs. Just from a statistical standpoint. There are over 3 million dead hellbugs thanks to beta testing; that is a lot of hellbugs. Or was a lot of hellbugs, we should say. Now they’re piles of mush and chitin. An important distinction, to be sure, but one that we feel obliged to make in light of the statistics from the game’s closed beta.
Of course, players apparently liked shooting Mutants even more, racking up nearly 5 million kills there; along the way, testers gained more than 200,000 levels and 420 people hit the level cap. All of this provides useful feedback for the developers as the game moves close to its proper launch over the summer, which is good news for fans who had a fun time during the testing. And awful news for hellbugs.
Alas, poor Cliff Bleszinski, forced to give up on so many game ideas after the closure of Boss Key Productions. If you’re interested in Bleszinski’s various early concepts, he’s posted a few on Twitter: DragonFlies (a dragon-riding air combat game), DogWalkers (a VR mech shooter with multiple people playing different parts of a mech), and Donuts (described as “Mario Kart with animals on water in VR”). You can choose for yourself whether or not these games would have likely been successful, although the term “VR” is showing up there an awful lot; these are still the very early stages of concept design, so it’s impossible to know.
If only we hadn’t all collectively decided to play other games instead of LawBreakers and Radical Heights!
Meanwhile, CliffyB’s staff took to Twitter to discuss the way the studio’s closure was handled. Here’s lead producer Ron LaJoie.
The next set of quests for OrbusVR takes players up to the frozen wasteland known as the Necropolar. As you can probably imagine, it’s called that because it’s cold (hence polar) and people die there (hence necro). And players will find themselves getting a slow frost-damage debuff the longer they stay out in the open, although the debuff can be chased away by standing near the various campfires dotting the landscape.
Note that we said “near,” not “in.” Standing in the campfire will cure the cold debuff at the price of a very different debuff, specifically being on fire.
Of course, the new region isn’t the only change made to the game with the latest patch. The full notes also include adjustments to PvP combat and player slowing effects, along with new storage tabs for player chests, new improvements to potions, and more mechanical adjustments for pets. You’ll have to focus on staying warm in the new region, yes, but there’s plenty to enjoy even when you’re sure that you aren’t about to freeze.
If you’ve ever felt like SMITE
has mined out a few pantheons for all the material that’s available, you’ll be happy to know that patch 5.8
doesn’t just mark the launch of the Slavic deity Chernobog. No, this is part of the new Divine Uprising event
, bringing out a wholly new balance to the game as well as three new pantheons getting added into the mix. And that’s just the start; after all, there is
the aforementioned Chernobog.
The patch also adjust balance for several existing gods and offers new skins, along with some tweaked item balance across the board. Of course, the patch isn’t perfect, and a thread of known issues has already been started; we can only hope that those are addressed sooner rather than later. Still, though, the promise of entirely new groups of myths to fight against? That has to be worth something.
Gosh, isn’t it just the worst when you’ve got those friends for whom everything
just ties back to their deals? We get it, Karen, you have kids. Yes, Joel, you do crossfit, that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Fine, Pyke, you’re the newest character in League of Legends
and you’re a drowned revenant seeking revenge against the crew who abandoned you
. Can’t we all just sit and have a nice lunch and talk about other things
Ugh, here he goes. Look, there’s nothing to be done about it, we’ll just have to listen to Pyke ramble on about how he’s going to stealth his way up to his targets before surfacing and killing them with his other abilities, including a paralyzing shot and a special capturing harpoon. And now he’s putting the trailer for his thing just below instead of just, like, talking to us about it. Seriously, Pyke? This is almost as boring as hearing about Karen’s kids.
You heard me, Karen.
The only way to prove to future generations that you were present for TERA’s
sixth anniversary is by acquiring an anniversary scarf. Never mind why you need to prove that for future generations; the important thing is that you need the scarf, and you’ll have a fresh set of chances to get that scarf as the third week of the anniversary celebration starts up
. Employees will be on different servers at different times all week, and hunting them down is the key to proper adornment!
For the already bescarfed, there’s another near-full week of doubled experience and funds from Guild Missions along with special dungeon and battleground rewards this weekend. Heck, you can enjoy all of that even if you haven’t yet gotten your scarf. It’s nice to see the anniversary celebration rolling on for another week, unless you’re afraid of scarves and have no way of getting one. Then perhaps it feels like salt in the wound.
Whether or not you think that Wild West Online rushed into launch, you can probably agree that the game has some mechanical issues it still needs to work out. So it’s good to see that there are several fixes and improvements in the latest patch, like placing the traveling gun salesman out in the world twice a week with a clear icon while also reducing the cost of several items. There are also several bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements, exactly what any soul meandering through the wastelands of the West would like to see.
You can also take heart in knowing that the team already has a list of other priority items to address in the next patch, like refunding any real money spent on Plantation decorations and adding them for all players to purchase, offering better PvP rewards, and offering more wood spawns. Nothing on there about other big-ticket items (you can probably think of some), but it’s a start.
For what amounts to a PlayStation 2 game from 16 years ago, Final Fantasy XI looks really good, even now. But… well, that’s the caveat right there, isn’t it? The game was designed for a PlayStation 2 in 2002. It has aged very well, but it’s still an older title with older models and animations and textures. What a good thing, then, that one fan has decided to overhaul all of the textures in the game with an HD texture pack to draw out all of the game’s potential.
You can check out a trailer for the pack just below; the modder, Amelila, had worked on an adaptation of Ronfaure into Skyrim before he realized that the same skills could be used to make FFXI more attractive. Modding the game has always been something that enterprising fans have engaged with, but it’s good to see that even as time has marched onward, fans have continued to find ways to make the game that much prettier.
You know, I seriously could have sworn
that I publicly predicted the next Final Fantasy XIV
patch would be out on May 22nd. But alas, I can find no record of it, and thus I get no credit for predicting it correctly. Other than with myself, but I try to generally avoid putting to much stock in that.
Regardless, the important thing here is that we’ve got our next patch date and we’re ready to go with all of the corresponding anticipation. We’ve also got the spoiler-filled trailer that’s going to prove almost impossible to decipher until we watch it again after playing all of the stories and say, “oh, that’s where that scene is from,” so that helps too.
So let’s piece together what’s going to be our last column working from partial information, before next week we have patch notes to look over and analyze in greater detail. There’s even a 24-hour maintenance cycle to prepare for, you know.
While Conan Exiles may have made a fairly quick trip out of early access compared to its peers in the genre, there’s always the worry that it’s already made its mark and launch won’t get people interested in it. However, the people at Funcom seem happy with its concurrency numbers, as the game’s official Twitter reported concurrency of around 50,000 players on Sunday evening. That’s just how many people were all online and playing at the same time.
The same Twitter was also used to inform players that while there are other plans down the road, the immediate focus for the team is on addressing performance and stability issues; quality-of-life improvements and other patches will have to wait a little bit longer. So while there’s more stuff coming down the road, it can hold off until everyone can log in and play the game reliably. Which is probably for the best.
Ladies, gentlemen, and those who fit neither category, Rhonin the mage is dead in World of Warcraft. And there was much rejoicing. But just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he doesn’t get a new model; heck, Uther’s been dead even longer, and he gets a new model in the most recent build of Battle for Azeroth. Dead people change their clothes repeatedly for years after they die, everyone knows that. Considering they always show up semi-translucent, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to put on some clashing colors, but apparently you coordinate your tones beyond the grave.
The latest build also involves more ability tweaks, including several reshuffles for Death Knight talents and adjustments to Demon Hunters. Players can also test out the second part of the war campaign, the storyline involving camps and footholds in the Horde-specific zones of the game by the Alliance. Horde players will just have to watch this part, apparently. (It is still in testing, after all.)
Source: Wowhead (1
One of the things that no one discusses about MMOs is the way that they can be lonely. The presence of so many people in online games is important, it’s by definition one of the features that makes MMOs unique. And yet there are also moments and times when the games thus manage to feel unimaginably lonely.
Seeing areas in Final Fantasy XI once filled with players now almost completely empty, for example. When you’re up at the right hour in World of Warcraft and all of your friends have gone offline. Seeing your friends out in other things while you have nothing much to do in Final Fantasy XIV. Being the one person sitting on the outside edge of a roleplaying group in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
So let’s talk about that this morning, because that’s an uplifting topic for the day. When have you felt loneliest in an MMO? Was it a matter of timing, or was it even just a period of time when you saw your friends leaving without anyone new to connect with?
Move an object from one place to another. Get from one place to another. Avoid being touched by this object.
It all seems so simple, when you look at it from the right angle. Everything’s simple until it isn’t. And when it isn’t, it’s suddenly impossible. You start to break down the moments of the act, the minute expressions, and you realize that it all looked simple because you were focused on the goals. No one was struggling because they misunderstood the goals; the goals were obvious. They struggled because those goals were genuinely difficult to achieve.
Sometimes it’s hard to get an object from one place to another. Fortunately, replying to What Are You Playing looks and is easy. Maybe writing this looks easy, too. I couldn’t tell you.