That headline may sound strange, but after a long, hard talk with game creator JC Baillie of Novaquark at E3 this week, I feel it’s the most accurate. Initial rumblings about the game hinted at a huge, single server game with seamless planet-to-space action plus voxel-based world building. I was admittedly skeptical when I heard about it, even more so when I saw some of the pictures. Then we got this week’s E3 video, and to the demo, Baillie brought a treat with him: the actual game.
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You wouldn’t know it, what with most of its big announcements having already taken place over the weekend thereby rendering actual attendance a bit of a waste of time, but E3 technically kicks off today. So far we’ve had a few peeks at what’s in store, like The Elder Scrolls Online’s One Tamriel stuff and the Dual Universe trailer, and Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is at the event to scoop up interviews. So before we get too far in, humor us for this morning’s Daily Grind: What MMOs or other games are you pumped to see at E3 2016? Or as in past years, do you think the show’s a has-been?
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 13th, 2016
A film does not have to be good to be entertaining. I hold that as a pretty firm truth. Snakes on a Plane, for example, is not a good film; it has an absurd plot, ridiculous solutions to problems, terrible dialogue, and one scene very clearly shot after the rest of the film simply to insert the Internet’s favorite fictitious line into the movie. But it was a very entertaining film, and thus exactly what it set out to be. There is room in this world for a Warcraft film that is entertaining without being good.
This is not that movie. This movie is trash.
At no point during the entire two hours of this film’s running time did I ever find myself approaching “entertained” by anything other than the sheer, mind-wasting awfulness of the film. It commits every single storytelling sin you can think of and more besides; it’s neither shot nor scored well; it’s filled with bad acting and awful dialogue that is not helped by fake accents which careen all over the map. It also fails as fanservice, with an attention to pointless and incorrect details in some places while completely ignoring details elsewhere.
Let’s just walk through this. Warning, there are spoilers if you have somehow missed the last few dozen times this story has been told in various formats. Not that you should care anyhow, since you shouldn’t go to see it.
It might seem a bit baffling that the Warcraft film was released in China well before it was released in the United States (which is sort of the origin point for World of Warcraft, for those who missed that memo). Then again, it makes perfect sense when you look at the film’s opening numbers. The movie hit an impressive $156 million when it premiered in China, but its opening weekend here garnered a disappointing $24.4 million against a budget of $160 million before marketing.
More than half of the audience members polled were loyalists to the game, but that still was apparently not enough to pull the film out of “bomb” territory. It’s unclear how well the movie will have to do in foreign markets to break even, as budget doesn’t take marketing or other peripheral expenses into account, but it’s safe to say that the take from China will need to be significant; US reception is proving very, very frosty. Our own review of the film is forthcoming soon.
All players have to kill a few NPCs now and then to pad their wallets, but PvE covers more than just shooting NPCs and many aspects of EVE‘s PvE gameplay are woefully outdated. Mission-running is an archaic system that provides little challenge or variety, mining is a severely unrewarding profession, and the Sansha incursions should have been replaced or heavily expanded on years ago. We found out at EVE Fanfest 2016 that CCP now has several new teams working on PvE, and this week game designer Linzi “CCP Affinity” Campbell released details of an interesting new PvE event called Shadow of the Serpent that will be kicking off at the end of the month. But what would our ideal PvE systems look like, and what more can be done to improve EVE‘s rapidly antiquating NPC-smashing gameplay?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at what the Shadow of the Serpent event means for the future of PvE and delve into four key PvE improvements that I think would improve EVE Online for all involved.
Some of the most momentous occasions in MMORPGs aren’t when players are invited to explore strange, new zones, but when the community comes back to a familiar and beloved locale for a ground-shaking event. This is what might be in the making for Aion 5.0: Echoes of Eternity when it releases on July 13th.
The Echoes of Eternity expansion will travel back to the Tower of Eternity to “to recover lost memories from the Cataclysm and discover a truth that will forever change the destiny of Atreia.” Flowery language aside, the update is going to raise the level cap, welcome players inside the Tower for the first time, and add two more zones to the game.
In the meantime, the game is recruiting hard with its Homeward Bound event. During the event, which runs through June 25th, new and returning players will be given extra goodies while everyone can run a daily mission to get additional transformation candy boxes. Aion is single-handedly keeping the dental industry in business at this point.
Players can expect a new live letter from producer Naoki Yoshida and a discussion of the Palace of the Dead content which is due out in patch 3.35, along with general patch 3.3 questions. There will also be battle challenges against Sephirot and a fat chocobo statue for people to climb upon if you’re on the show floor. So keep your eyes peeled next week; sure, the content of this patch is pretty fresh, but there’s still more stuff to look forward to in the near future.
The fantasy MMO is swinging back to the “embracing” side of the spectrum with its upcoming 18.2 update. Two of the six new raid bosses have been revealed for the so far-unnamed instance: giant Orc Rakothas and war elephants called Mumakils. The studio said that the update should be out by the end of June.
Until then, players can enjoy the reactivated Spring Festival, complete with new dyes, a spiffy steed, and flashy cosmetics. According to the game’s calendar, the festival will run through the 21st.
WildStar is officially live on Steam now as announced earlier this week. Carbine is kicking off the launch with the return of the Space Chase event, which runs until June 20th.
Good luck, cupcake.
So is it a relief or a cash grab that ArcheAge is hosting an event for the next two weeks to ease up on these restrictions? Through June 21st, players can regrade gear with a 1.5x bonus to success while replacing possible Celestial item destruction with a mere gear demotion. Buy one, get one free regrade sales promotions will be ongoing during this period.
The event triggered a wave of negative player reaction, with some upset that Trion didn’t give a heads-up in advance, that the divine notices are spamming screens, and that it has had a noticeable impact on the game’s economy.
Players not interested in earning the right to march about with chest hair and torso straps will still have plenty of stuff to purchase from the event, including new vanity pets, new floaters, new mini-powerboards, and all of the rewards offered in previous years. So you could also step onto the bridge with a new pet whilst wearing a bright silver outfit that could only be considered swimming attire by someone feeling very generous with the definition. That’s the sort of respect you can’t get from just a spaceship.
Every month, Final Fantasy XI offers players a nice and straightforward way to get rewarded for logging in: a login campaign. You log in, you earn points for logging in, you spend points on items, and then everyone thinks you’re awesome and gives you money. Maybe less so on that last part, but the important point is that the next campaign is almost here, complete with the chance for players to earn a chitinous new crab hat.
Other prizes from the login campaign include a summonable alter ego, furnishings, and the usual assortment of high-level drops that players can use for various things. If none of the items from this campaign appeal to you, don’t worry; you can save up your points from month to month, albeit not all of them. Check out the full prize rundown on the official site.