EverQuest Next may not be F2P

SOE Daybreak has been all about “F2P your way” for a couple of years now, but comments by EverQuest Next senior producer Terry Michaels and lead designer Darrin McPherson in a recent dev team Q&A indicate that the business model for both EQN and Landmark is very much up for discussion.

“Not every model for monetizing a game fits with every game type,” Michaels says. “Right now we believe that they’re going to be F2P games, but we’re not willing to say absolutely that’s what they’re going to be at this point in time.”

“We do not want to lock ourselves into one thing,” McPherson continued. “We want to make the best game possible.” Click past the cut to watch the video. If you want to skip ahead to the business model segment, it starts around the 16-minute mark.

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Star Citizen’s Roberts talks upcoming release schedule

How big is 2015 shaping up to be for Star Citizen fans? Pretty freaking big, if Chris Roberts‘ latest Letter from the Chairman is any indication. “We are entering into the tightest schedule we’ve ever had for public releases,” Roberts writes. “In short order, you will see Arena Commander 1.1 (now with REC!), the FPS module, and the so-called social module, our first foray into the persistent universe.”

Roberts has a lot more to say, including bits about the aforementioned REC, upcoming community events, and a playable version of the FPS module that will debut at PAX East.

[Source: Letter from the Chairman]

 

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Shroud of the Avatar talks economy, online vs. offline modes

This weekend’s Shroud of the Avatar post is a big one. Update of the Avatar #113 explains how the game’s single-player offline mode will function as compared to the online world, with particular emphasis on save games, companions, and spawning rules. Portalarium also says that a few items available for purchase in offline mode (like the castle and keep-sized lots) will not be available online. Finally, there will be no character transfers between the two modes.

SotA tech director Chris Spears also has a lot to say about the game’s economy, but you’ll need to click the source link below to read it!

[Source: Update #113]

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WoW and Destiny topped media mentions in 2014

This will probably not come as a shock to you, but a lot of press was talking about World of Warcraft and Destiny last year.

ICO Media tallied up all of the article mentions of video games in 2014 and sorted them out according to categories. Destiny was near the top of the overall heap at 36,915 mentions. In the straight-up MMO category, World of Warcraft topped at 21,449 mentions, followed by Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, WildStar and Guild Wars 2.

MOBA mentions were included as well, and League of Legends led the pack with 21,222 mentions. To illustrate just how much LoL dominates that part of the industry, the next game mentioned — Dota 2 — only had 11,069 mentions.

[Source: Gamasutra]

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One Shots: Dragons can be heroes, too

I’ve given dragons a lot of flack over the years for being overused, underwhelming stock MMO bosses when bears deserve top billing. But what about player dragon heroes? Where do they stand in my estimation?

I guess I’ll give them the scaly benefit of the doubt that they can do actual good in the world and be self-sacrificing for those in need, although it wouldn’t surprise me if most of them turned out to be raid villains in the making.

Our first One Shot for the day is from dragon-loving Jake: “This is Kahdesh’Hadhi, an Argonian Dragon Knight from Elder Scrolls Online. I think this game is beautiful, and I’ve taken more screenshots here in the past week than I have in any other game. It helps that the UI is so minimal that I’m much more immersed in the environment and aware of my surroundings on a regular basis.”

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO boasts the best bard?

A player on Reddit recently asked one of the most pressing questions in the MMO genre today: “Where can I find a fun Bard-like class?” Though often posts on the MMORPG Reddit aren’t heavily populated, this one elicited dozens of responses and ideas. I’m telling you: Bards are awesome, and everyone knows it.

Naturally, the thread quickly devolved into bragging about just who could twist the most songs as a Bard in classic EverQuest.

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Make My MMO: February 21, 2015

Welcome back to Make My MMO, a recurring column from Massively-that-was which covers crowdsourced MMOs of both the fully funded and the not-so-much variety. Each week we’ll round up the most relevant crowdfunding news stories in case you missed them, and we’ll also keep a running tab on active funding drives.

And speaking of that, for the next two weeks we get to write about ourselves in this space, as our Kickstarter is ongoing through March 6th and you lovely backers continue to stick it to the man while humbling us with your support.

Click past the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news. And don’t forget to tip us if you see something we missed (especially this week and next as we’re still scrambling to get our new house in order!).

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Star Citizen’s space mining sounds pretty fun

Here’s a novel concept: pounding space rocks into space dust could actually be fun! At least it appears that way in reading the latest Star Citizen design doc, which is focused on mining. “Mining presents players with a variety of challenges requiring skill and intelligence, whereas mindless repetition of a task and idle drudgery are explicitly avoided,” explains persistent universe director Tony Zurovec. “There are no aspects of mining that allow a player to simply press a button and wait without concern for a result, or that require players to perform an action repeatedly without some element of thought and/or dexterity coming into play.”

Zurovec’s lengthy update touches on everything from freelance mining vs. working as an agent to finding an asteroid field and divvying up specialist responsibilities including pilot, scan operator, beam operator, etc.

Then of course there’s the selling of space rocks, which sounds like an occupation unto itself when you factor in the transport logistics necessary to sell high, not to mention possible speculation if you opt to purchase storage facilities and wait for the market to trend in your favor.

[Source: SC website; thanks Cardboard!]

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Skyforge preps for NA and EU closed beta

Closed beta testing for Skyforge will be coming soon to North America and Europe, according to a new producer’s letter. While Skyforge is already hosting “some CBT activities” in Russia, the science-fiction MMO is working hard on server architecture and localization so that testing can commence in additional regions.

The team has ambitious plans for the upcoming test: “Starting with CBT1, we’ll support more players, have more content and features enabled, and will be keeping our test servers up for longer and longer periods of time as CBT progresses. In addition to all the new content you’ll come across and adventure in, you’ll also get some hands-on time with a few new features in CBT1 including character customization, itemization and upgrades, [and] the marketplace and the greatness system.”

Information about founders packs for the game is also forthcoming.

[Source: Producer’s letter]

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LOTRO Legendarium: What can we expect from Mordor?

Welcome to LOTRO Legendarium, the continuation of my old Road to Mordor column from Massively. Why the name change? First, I never got to name RTM (it was chosen by another author before I came on board as a writer). Second, I wanted to work in Lord of the Rings Online’s name into the title. And third, I liked how Tolkien used the term Legendarium to refer to his writings on Arda. And here we are!

As I make my way through Central Gondor on my Captain, my attention and thoughts have increasingly turned to our assumed great destination: Mordor. While 2015 holds large updates for us in Gondor, including Osgiliath and Minas Tirith, it’s a reasonable assumption that our next steps will take us through the Black Gate and into the foul lands of the Enemy.

So if and when that happens, what can we expect from a nation that personifies evil with its very essence?

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Pantheon video update shows visual upgrade, new art assets

Visionary Realms posted a new Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen video update this weekend. Creative director Chris Perkins narrates approximately four-and-a-half minutes of footage that shows off visual upgrades that the team have been working on since the first of the year. The video also offers a sneak peek at new in-game art assets.

Finally, project lead Brad McQuaid also posted a new image on Twitter highlighting the visual upgrades. Click past the cut to view the vid!

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EverQuest Next severs ties with Storybricks

Daybreak continues to trim its asset portfolio, as the former SOE studio has cut loose artificial intelligence software company Storybricks from the EverQuest Next project.

“We are not working with Storybricks any more,” Senior Producer Terry Michaels said on a livestream chat yesterday. “We made the decision that it was in the best interest of the game to take that work in-house. They did a lot of work for us and we’ll be utilizing that. It’s not like that work is lost.”

The team said that it is “still committed” to making strong AI happen in the game.

[Source: Livestream chat. Thanks to Ranging Berserker for the tip!]

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