Neverwinter shows off the mechanics of the Spellplague Caverns

The next Neverwinter patch will send players into the depths of the Spellplague Caverns, and you can be sure that the denizens therein will not be amenable to friendly conversation. No, you're going to have to fight things, and that means new boss encounters and mechanics to deal with. The developers aren't willing to completely divulge the mechanics of these encounters, but you can at least get an idea of what you'll be dealing with thanks to the latest preview.

Each of the new fights is meant to introduce a different sort of mechanic, including gaze attacks (which can only be avoided by players looking away from the source) and a plane-shifting mechanic on the final boss. You'll have to work together with your teammates to overcome the challenges of the caverns, so make sure to go with your more observant friends for your first few runs. And, you know, close your eyes when appropriate.

Comment

Revelation Online shows off the many paths to wings

You don't want to walk in Revelation Online; you want to fly away. (Just like a dragonfly.) Fortunately, the game gives you wings pretty early on, so you can explore the world from the air as you wish. The most recent preview on the official site shows several of the diverse wings available to players in the game, ensuring that players of all styles can soar through the air with the greatest of ease.

Wings are available from dungeons as drops, but wings can also be crafted by breaking down unwanted sets of wings. You can also earn specific sets by crafting a new set from several reputation items. In short, you needn't worry that you'll suffer from a paucity of wing options, from insect-like dragonfly wings to billowing energy in vague wing shapes. Check out the full dispatch for more information on how to take to the skies.

Comment

Second Life as a modern refuge for the disabled

I'm certain I'm not alone in having been ill and injured several times over my life, once when I couldn't walk without considerable effort and crutches for many months thanks to a busted ankle -- and online games were a window to the world for me during each of those times, even more so than they are now.

Now imagine that you're permanently disabled -- or maybe you already are. That's the topic of a Backchannel article published last week on 2003 virtual world Second Life. Author Kristen French dug into the apparently large -- estimates begin at 20% of the game's 800,000 monthly active users -- disabled community in the "hugely profitable" Second Life world, where activists run social groups and events for people with everything from mobility issues to speech and hearing disorders and even autism.

Of note, one of the players profiled in the piece is getting more than comfort.

Read more

Wisdom of Nym: Gauging predictions after the Final Fantasy XIV fanfests

It finally happened, folks; we're done with the fan festivals until next year. (Yes, I fully expect to hear about the next set when we're getting about halfway through 2018. This is not an unpredictable development team.) We know the big elements of what Final Fantasy XIV will be seeing with its next expansion. So I find myself sitting here and asking, more or less for my own edification, how was my aim?

I made my guesses about what we were going to see, after all. I did them publicly, so everyone could read them. And I think I did pretty well overall. You can read my predictions before the Las Vegas festival and this past weekend's Frankfurt festival; I didn't have a specific prediction for Tokyo, although the aftermath gave me the chance for some speculation.

So how did I do? And how cool was what we actually saw? Let's go over it.

Read more

Funcom is now region-locking Conan Exiles' official servers

If you're a fan of playing survival sandboxes with your friends around the world, better scrape together some pennies to invest in a private server: Conan Exiles has implemented region locks.

"We have decided to East/West region lock the official servers for three reasons," Community Manager Jens Erik told Steam players at the tail end of last week. "The language barrier and the different playstyles is proving jarring for a lot of players. Also, the vastly different time zones between regions made offline raiding an unavoidable issue for a lot of players who would wake up to all their stuff being completely ruined."

The locks appear to affect both PvP and PvE servers, in spite of the fact that PvE servers aren't subject to the same timezone exploitation issues.

Read more

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite part of MMO gaming conventions?

The last of the pre-Stormblood fan festivals for Final Fantasy XIV has come to a close, and as with the prior two fan festivals, the bulk of my interest was satisfied after the keynote. There were a lot of other things happening, of course, lots of cool cosplay contests and interviews with the developers about what leads to creating the world... but the reality is that I'm mostly just interested in the actual information about the game. You could say that it's because of my job, but it's been the case as long as I can recall; once we're done with the information, my interest goes down, despite my respect for cosplayers and the developers.

I know some of you are the same way, doing your best Joe Friday impression and asking for just the facts. But I also know that's not universal; there are people for whom seeing cosplay contests or developer interviews are the main draw. Heck, there are people who mostly go for social interactions, and that's just as valid. So where do you stand, dear readers? What interests you about conventions for MMOs? Is it information about upcoming patches and expansions? Celebrating your fandom? Finding out what went into making the game? Something else altogether?

Read more

One Shots: I am no man!

The big screenshot challenge last week was to capture action, not just still shots, in MMORPGs. This is tricker than it sounds, because you have to be quick with the screenshot key and manipulate the camera just right to get the perfect picture. It is easier to do this with other characters, obviously, including those in cutscenes.

Borghive gets headlining honors with his "final showdown" between the Witch King and Éowyn from Lord of the Rings Online. She looks a little outmatched, what with being smaller and having an actual head, but I think she's going to come out just fine. After all, she is no man.

Read more

The Daily Grind: What do you think about slavery as a concept in MMORPGs?

Last week, MJ and I were discussing a stream she was planning on Conan Exiles where she planned to help friends capture "thralls" to bring back to their bases and put to work. The term "thrall" is the game's way of softening what it really is: slavery. The slaves are NPCs, mind you, not other players, but honestly, the idea creeps me out a little bit anyway, far more than, say, Revival's long-ago proposed NPC prostitution design.

(But the mechanic is cool. Wouldn't it be nifty if player modders found ways to replace human slaves with elementals or automatoi or summoned spirits? That would basically negate my squeamishness entirely.)

Interestingly, as I reflect on why I find it mildly unsettling, I am thinking back to folks who roleplayed slaves, usually twi'leks, in Star Wars MMOs, and while I might roll my eyes, somehow that bothers me even less: Even though they were human vs. AI, there was a voluntariness about those storylines, play-acting instead of making an uncomfortable social statement via NPC. Conan actually rewards people for enslaving NPCs -- if you opt out on a server with the mechanic, you're at a disadvantage.

I don't know. I'm conflicted. What do you think about slavery as a concept in MMOs? Are Conan Exiles' slavery mechanics something you enjoy engaging in?

Read more

WRUP: This ham is your ham edition

Hello, reader. Hello, and good morning. Or should I say... good ham? That sounded clever before I typed it out. Look, the point is that I have your ham. This ham right here is yours, and if you ever want to see it again, you... well, you'll look at the header, but if you ever want to have your ham back, you're going to do exactly what I say.

First, go to the nearest Cumberland Farms. Assuming it's near you, anyway, I don't want you to be driving like fifteen miles out of your way. I guess you could just go to a regular grocery store, but... wait, they probably have ham. Depending on where you live. If you live in Israel, there's probably no ham in the grocery stores, right? That would be weird. Or is it weird for thinking that? If you live in Israel, let me know about the ham situation.

You know what, forget it. Just go get another ham and leave your comments on this week's What Are You Playing. I'll give your ham a viking funeral. It's what you would have wanted if you didn't mind me stealing your ham.

Read more

The Daily Grind: What's the most boring part of MMORPGs?

While MMORPGs are supposed to be these giant buffets of entertainment options available at our fingertips, the truth is that there are always parts of these games that are... less exciting, shall we say, than the others.

I can think of a few that are usually systems I avoid because they're pretty boring. Crafting is unfortunately one of these. In concept, I love the idea of making your own gear and forging your economic destiny, but in practice, most MMO crafting interfaces are so dull and repetitive that I can't ever stick with them.

What is the most boring part of MMORPGs to you? And for bonus points, how would you fix it?

Read more

Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival XIV Europe: Samurai, Doma, and theme songs

If you're a fan of Final Fantasy XIV, the European fan festival is something you've been waiting for more or less since December's Japanese fan festival. We've been eagerly anticipating the reveal of the remaining new jobs for the expansion, more mechanical details, and whatever else can be teased out about the game's second expansion. At long last, the keynote finally happened, and as expected... well, things were revealed. Many things.

So what's coming next in Stormblood? We're getting Red Mage, we're getting swimming, we're getting Ala Mhigo, but what else is right around the corner? Oh, tons of other things. For one thing, the new job is actually Spider-man. Yeah, we were all taking that t-shirt bit far too figuratively.

All right, no, that's not true. The actual revelations were even better, and if you weren't up at an unusual hour to catch them all on the livestream, we've got them right here.

Read more

Warframe community rallies for weekend Extra Life stream

The Warframe community has a big streaming weekend in store for fans thanks to what organizers are calling "the largest gathering of Warframe content creators."

"The Warframe 72 Hour Livestream is feature over 30 streamers all doing what they do best, playing Warframe and entertaining the masses! This event will also feature a few member of DE staff throughout the 3 day period, so keep your eye out for them! Of course, no honest-to-goodness streaming event would be complete with a charity to a good cause! All proceeds will go to the Extra Life network of children's hospitals! The event will kick off right after Devstream #88 this Friday, February 17th 2017 at 3:00 PM EST and will run continuously until (roughly) 4:00 PM EST on Monday, Feburary 20th 2017!"

If you'd to donate as well as watch, you can do so through the community's Extra Life page, which also lists all the streamers and their timeslots. The streams themselves will be hosted on Twitch.

Read more

Pokemon Go adds the second generation of pokemon to the game

It's time for you to go out and catch some Gen 2 starters and maybe a Wooper or a Miltank. The second generation of pocket monsters has been added to Pokémon Go, with those players still wandering the street compiling a helpful rundown of all possible information on these new critters. They might be hard to track down, but at least it's not yet another Pidgey.

The addition also brings changes to many of the Generation 1 monsters, with attacks being altered or rebalanced for more engaging battles. Meanwhile, some fans are already clamoring for Generation 3 to get added into the game, because no one is ever satisfied. Plus, of course, the official games are already up to Generation 7, so there's some way to go before this game has caught up.

Comment

1 2 3 277