Culture & Community Category

The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Revelation Online promotes mentoring with the Journeyman Alliance

We all know that playing a new MMO can be a challenge. Heck, sometimes it’s even a nigh-on impossible one; you have a lot of things to keep in mind all at once, and you get a lot more out of doing things and screwing up than just hearing about them. That seems to be part of the motivation behind establishing the new Journeyman Alliance in Revelation Online, a chance for players at level 49 and above to form a bond with a newer player and serve as a mentor and a guide.

Players will need to complete a quest chain to become a mentor, then find someone to be mentored, and clear challenges together as a team on a daily basis. Success improves your status with the faction, eventually allowing your mentored companion to become a mentor as well, proof that you have in fact taught someone what needs to be known. If you like in-game rewards for helping out new players, it seems like something you may very well enjoy.

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Check out a trailer for ArcheAge’s upcoming naval arena

Battle on the high seas! Cannons firing, seas foaming, decks wet, local slang dialect nearly incomprehensible! If that all sounds like fun times to you, then you’ll want to get in on the naval arenas coming to ArcheAge in the near future; the trailer for that update is available now just below, and it features everything you’d want from such a trailer. (So, boats shooting at one another, in other words.)

Teams of four will take on the battle, fighting not just the opposing team but the raging waters and neutral sea monsters. There’s no word on when this is coming out to the localized version of the game, but you can take a look at the trailer and get hyped for when it does arrive. You can even experience it in VR, if you have a friend nearby ready to spray your face with water repeatedly.

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Skyforge takes a first look at regional invasion

There are regions in Skyforge that are largely irrelevant to higher-level players. There are a lot of invasions in Skyforge. The two things have largely remained separate from one another, but someone finally looked at these two elements and asked a reasonable question. “Why don’t the invasions hit these underused regions?” that bright soul asked.

Wine bottles were opened. Cheering was heard. It was the moment that changed everything.

This may be a slight dramatization, of course, but the point is that the need to breathe new life into these regions is coupled nicely with new fronts in the existing invasions. So players can look forward to regional invasions in the not-so-distant future, pitting player forces against invading armies in new settings that scale for a variety of levels. So now you have a reason to go back to areas you left behind and the invading armies don’t seem like they can only invade spots with the proper invasion paperwork. Everybody wins! Except the residents of the regions being invaded, presumably.

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PSA: Today is your last chance to buy a Kritika Online founder’s pack

Been on the fence about buying in to Kritika Online? It’s time to make a decision now, because the game’s founder’s packs are going away very soon. Tomorrow, even. So you have today (and no longer) to buy in the founder’s pack and get things like exclusive costumes and pets.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that the costumes in question that serve as headliners are only available in the most expensive founder’s pack, which clocks in at $99.99. The cheaper versions offer no costumes but a variety of other benefits. You can decide for yourself if it’s worth the price up front or not; you’ll just have to make that decision soon before the last pack is sold and they’re gone forever. So no pressure. (You can take a look at our stream of the game to catch a glimpse of what it looks like in play, too.)

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Wisdom of Nym: What happens next in Final Fantasy XIV?

It’s pretty clear that the Final Fantasy XIV team (and the localization team specifically) are pretty huge fans of Hamilton, to the point that I’m surprised that the Emperor didn’t specifically burst into a song from the musical in the ending sequence. Especially because it’s… kind of a relevant question at this point, once you’ve seen the end of the MSQ.

So what does come next?

Obviously, this column will feature spoilers, so consider yourself fairly tagged. But I think this is a relevant question to ask because this expansion is, in its own way, a very different animal from its two predecessors right out of the gate. The relaunch ended its story in a place so open that it could really go wherever without a problem, while Heavensward ended the 3.0 MSQ with obvious points for continuation. (It helped that the obvious thrust of the expansion took a sharp left turn around level 55.) In the case of Stormblood, though…

Yes, I’m avoiding saying more before the cut. Spoilers down below, people.

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The Soapbox: The disastrous Pokemon Go Fest was just Niantic being Niantic, and that has to stop

I know I complain a lot about Pokemon Go in my articles here, but there’s a reason for this. I’m a huge fan not just of the Pokemon series but of what Niantic is trying to do with its game on a basic level. The idea of getting games outside with the rest of the world instead of hidden in our rooms and offices is hugely appealing. I’ve even applied to work at Niantic before (though obviously I wasn’t selected), so for me especially it’s frustrating to see a company I want to succeed repeatedly making the same kinds of mistakes. These are mistakes that plagued the game’s launch, several events, feature reworkings, and now not one, but two birthday celebrations within the same year. 

I actually got sucked into the hype recently and even said that the events surrounding the festival might give people a reason to come back. I’ve finally removed my foot from my mouth after previously downing some crow, but I’ve realized that, now more than ever, Niantic needs some tougher love, and here it is.

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Final Fantasy XIV sees a price hike for Brazilian and Russian players

Shock! Dismay! The prices for Brazilian and Russian players have risen for Final Fantasy XIV! But to confuse the issue a little further, they’ve risen to… just about the same level as everyone else pays worldwide. According to the official statement on the forums, this was simply a result of adjusting the pricing exchanges for different currencies, making sure that everyone worldwide is paying about the same amount.

Player outrage over the issue is unsurprisingly at peak volume, with the two main points of contention being that the adjustments were not announced ahead of time in any format (and indeed, even Square-Enix’s own staff seems to have been somewhat surprised) and that the price adjustment fails to take into account different incomes in different regions. It’s not the first time in recent days that we’ve seen some dispute over localized pricing for different regions, which if nothing else goes to show the difficulty in operating a global game with servers open to all regions.

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World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade emulator shut down by Blizzard cease-and-desist

Well, what did you think was going to happen?

As they have no legal legs on which to stand, MMORPG emulator projects operate on the hope that they’re under the radar enough that the actual owner of the intellectual property won’t notice or care that such activities are transpiring. Unfortunately for operator Gummy and his team over at Burning Crusade, Blizzard wasn’t about to let this fly on its watch.

The studio issued a cease-and-desist letter to the World of Warcraft emulator just weeks after the game started to become more public with open beta testing. This shutdown echoes the great drama that we saw last year with the closure and fallout of the Nostalrius vanilla WoW emulator.

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One Shots: Hail to the victor!

Have you ever been able to capture a truly victorious moment in your MMORPG journeys? Rees Racer did, and he is not above showing off (fortunately for us!).

“No spoilers, so I’ll just pass along a TERA cutscene shot from a meeting with Priestess Ciebel after the defeat of a traitorous threat to the Alliance,” Rees writes. “Of course, my Gunner is issued new orders almost immediately as there are seemingly always other harbingers of doom to confront…”

You save the world once, everyone wants you to keep on doing it, over and over again. My advice? Start charging per apocalypse and put aside a portion for retirement in another dimension.

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The Daily Grind: How do you feel your first MMO influences your current playstyle?

I can tell you what my observations have been about how people act based on their first MMO, but I can only guess at the ways having Final Fantasy XI as my first game have influenced my subsequent play choices. I know that after that game I’m far more leery of any game requiring me to group up with others just to level up, often times eschewing the “fastest” methods of grouping and grinding just out of a deep-seated distaste for that. I’m also eager to dive into lore and world details, sometimes to the point of seeing depths in hints and suggestion that turn out to not be there on closer inspection.

So today, we turn the question over to you. How do you feel your first MMO influences your current playstyle? Part of it depends on what your first MMO is, of course, but the analysis from there is all you. Does having World of Warcraft as your first MMO make you gravitate toward raiding or specifically avoid it? Does listing Anarchy Online as your first MMO lead you to be more social or less social? Share your self-analysis with us! We’re curious.

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The Game Archaeologist: EverQuest II East

Publishing a video game globally is a monumental task, more so if it is a live online game such as what you’d find with MMORPGs. With different countries and regions come various traditions, prohibitions, language barriers, government restrictions, playstyle expectations, and financial models that must all be sorted out and overcome for these games to come out.

One of the most famous examples of adapting an MMO for use in another country is how World of Warcraft had to make significant graphical changes to its death-themed imagery (including its Forsaken race) in order to get approval to operate in China. Censorship aside, many studios have adjusted their games to include elements appealing to a certain country in order to get more fans (such as WildStar’s panda explosion).

Today we’re going to look at a short-term oddity in EverQuest II’s history, when SOE attempted to expand the game into the east — and how that rebounded back to impact the west.

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WRUP: Fine ways to waste your life edition

Acquire the world’s largest collection of unopened expired mayonnaise jars. Start a band with the goal of having the world’s best cover of 4’33”. Develop an extensive database and software designed to allow people to see which state comptrollers through history would win in a boating contest. Run for president of your bedroom by campaigning around the neighborhood. Use a dedicated scientific experiment to determine exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Devote your life to finding an insult that upsets owls.

Sent letters to celebrities using cut-out magazine letters indicating that you hope they are all having great days. Translate “Baby Got Back” into Aramaic. Find out which Whole Foods in the nation will let you stand in the produce department while yelling out the names of Transformers for the longest period of time before you are thrown out. Write nonsensical introductions to What Are You Playing. Learn how to install and have passionate opinions about various versions of Linux.

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