The Star Citizen subreddit is aflame this weekend after bloggers on multiple sites and social media platforms, seemingly spurred on by a certain self-proclaimed Internet Warlord, have held up recently disclosed Cloud Imperium loan documents as “proof” that the company is close to failure and in danger of losing game assets allegedly put up as collateral.
Redditors have sought to counter that narrative, arguing that it’s part of a multi-year FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) campaign by Star Citizen detractors. They point out that securing a line of credit is not even remotely uncommon (and is in fact wise) for a large corporation with strongholds in multiple countries, given current interest rates. Others suggest that the “bank” is actually a wealth management company known for investment and that no bank of this caliber would loan a large sum of money if it had little expectation of remuneration, collateral or not.
We reached out to CIG’s PR firm for clarity; turns out the company lawyer just responded on the official forums with the official statement:
In my mind, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
is all about sticking the landing. After a few years of FFXIV
being out, the game has consistently earned high praise from people who play it. Heavensward
was recognized as a definite high point for the game, improving more or less everything in the game and adding more besides. So the question was whether or not Stormblood
would continue down the same road or try to dramatically upend things, break down what once worked well and lose sight of what people enjoy.
The good news, then, is that it sticks the landing.
Everything that worked well in Heavensward has been brought forward and refined, and the parts that hadn’t worked so well have been trimmed away, repurposed, or outright removed. It feels very much like an expansion to the same core game, but in the process it manages to address almost every complaint I had over Heavensward almost incidentally. And it continues on in the high standards the game has set for itself over the years, resulting in an expansion which I’m already in love with after finishing the main storyline.
After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
The time is finally here. While pre-ordered players were able to play from Friday onward, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
officially launches today. Players of all sorts can log in and start fighting for the liberation of Ala Mhigo and Doma beneath the heel of Imperial occupation; the developers have even officially confirmed that the instance issues hitting the game at the start of Early Access have been largely resolved
. (Most players were able to solve those issues on Sunday, but the official statement is still nice.)
Not currently a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s Welcome Back campaign to take a trip in and see what all of the fuss over Red Mage and Samurai is about. Planning to remain a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s first subscription loyalty campaign to pick up a mount based off of the Falcon in Final Fantasy VI. Just want to catch a roundup and the launch trailer again? Jump on down below, friends.
There have basically been two attitudes throughout the past weekend with Final Fantasy XIV’s early access to Stormblood. Here, we’ll run it like a Tumblr meme; tag yourself appropriately in the comments:
- “Wow, all of this stuff is really cool!”
- “A system error occurred during event movement.”
I spent Friday and Saturday stuck in the latter, but Sunday I moved on the the former. But I can’t really talk about this early access period without talking about the server errors, what may have been causing them, and what should be considered when discussing them.
Because, make no mistake, this was not a fun weekend to be trying to play FFXIV much of the time. It was often dizzying in its frustration, and it was made all the worse because there’s always a communication gap with the game despite the best efforts of the staff. This in and of itself is something I really should write a column about, but that’s not today’s column.
Everyone knows there are going to be issues with an expansion on launch, and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
is no exception. Players have hit up against a pretty nasty one, however, even beyond the usual matters of queues and server loads; something seems to be causing issues with instanced content, including a very early part of the main scenario that’s causing huge population bottlenecks around one questgiver.
Producer and director Naoki Yoshida has been doing his best to keep players updated, but at this point getting past this early instance is largely a matter of clicking for entry repeatedly and hoping to not get the now-dreaded error message stating that the instanced battle could not be started. It’s not exactly surprising that the game would have some issues with early access, but players are left unable to progress beyond the first two areas of the expansion without some appreciable luck (and the instance servers aren’t at their most stable even for other purposes). The issue is being addressed, so keep your eyes peeled for updates when the logjam is finally broken.
When I spoke to ZeniMax Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler a few months back, I was intrigued by the PvP that Morrowind was offering The Elder Scrolls Online. When it hit the test servers, I found it to be exactly what I thought it would be. But because of my playtimes or just the general activity on the PTS, the queues didn’t pop much, so I didn’t get enough of an impression of the Battlegrounds during the test.
However, since the chapter hit the live servers, I’ve been able to spend a good bit of time in the no-Champion Points version of the instanced PvP zones. (As many of you know, I have a heavy aversion to Champion Points, so I apologize that my impressions of the Battlegrounds are only reflective of that.)
Now, I enjoy PvP sporadically. I would not consider myself a hardcore PvPer. But there was a time when I spent all of my game time in both instanced and open-world PvP, so I am not ignorant of the interests PvPers: balanced classes, interesting and unexploitable maps, and strategic and engaging objectives. Of course, there will always be balancing issue when you’re dealing with the number of class combinations ESO carries, but they are relatively balanced. And the other interests fall in line with most other MMO PvP. There is one major flaw that appears effective on paper, but when you factor in human nature, it fails almost every time: 4v4v4.
We’ve known Black Desert was coming to consoles for a long time now; the first teases landed last year, with confirmation as recently as March. Kakao took the pre-E3 shows to announce that console for the imported sandbox is indeed happened, at least on Xbox One and Xbox One X, Microsoft’s long-teased $499 Project Scorpio powerhouse. While BDO will be an Xbone launch exclusive, it’s probably a safe bet to assume it’ll come to the more popular PS4 eventually too.
Expect the whole shebang early next year, after the launch of the X. The trailer’s down below.
I have been head-over-heels for Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel, and the Morrowind chapter has only added to my enthusiasm for the game. I understand that this game now feeds into the things that I really like in my MMOs, but it didn’t always. And I know that other people clearly have different tastes from mine
What I would like to attempt to do today is to face some of the desires and questions people have for MMOs, to examine some of the common pitfalls afflicting MMOs to see how ESO Morrowind fares and avoids those it does. I’ll attempt to imagine that I am looking for a new MMO and stumble upon Morrowind – what am I going to look for and what are some other people going to look for in the game?
Have you got the urge to explore? ArcheAge’s Erenor Eternal
launches this evening, bringing three brand-new zones for players to gallivant about in. Of course, as with every large named update, there’s plenty more content
than just pristine sod to prance upon in Auroria. On top of a new level of gear, a new skill progression, and new battlegrounds, Erenor Eternal
includes significant crafting changes and a big revamp of the tradepack system. Although my personal focus was riveted on the tradepack revamp, I was more than happy to get a peek at the new zones with Senior Producer Merv Lee Kwai as we toured and talked about the upcoming changes.
The burgeoning SpatialOS empire has a new member state this week, as Italy-based Dynamight Studios announced that it is making Fractured using the world-building platform. Fractured is a relatively new project, having started back in January, and promises to combine action RPGs and sandbox MMOs to great effect.
Key features for the project include a skill- and reflex-based combat system, world colonization, player-driven economy, scads of crafting, housing, and characters who are effective from the get-go after choosing strengths and weaknesses. Equipment and levels are being severely downplayed in Fractured, with the emphasis on players expanding their knowledge and reputation during adventures.
Fractured’s knowledge system actually sounds pretty neat: “Say goodbye to the conventional RPG level and skill systems you’ve seen way too often and embrace the power and flexibility of the Knowledge System. It’s about time you get rewarded for your courage and cleverness, not for the hours you’ve spent hunting zombies or punching a training dummy!”
Last weekend, we ran an article covering PC Gamer’s detailed investigation into Ashes of Creation’s pledge system. At the time, PC Gamer’s Steven Messner wrote that Kickstarter had told the author that AoC’s revenue and profit sharing systems ran afoul of Kickstarter’s rules and that consequently, Kickstarter had asked AoC’s Intrepid Studios to remove Kickstarter pledges from its referral program, which Kickstarter said Intrepid had done.
Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif disputed that, saying that while Kickstarter asked the studio to change the language of its referral program, Intrepid had not actually changed the program itself, meaning Kickstarter pledges were still included in the referral program, which Intrepid says it believe remains in compliance with Kickstarter’s rules.
In heated forum comments about the situation, Sharif also accused PC Gamer’s writer of issuing an “outright lie” and of having an “agenda” and “combative” demeanor. “We know that he wanted to ride the hype wave with the project with clickbait titles and an article that he riddles with reddit links? Really? lol,” he told the game’s official Discord channel.
Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter has successfully funded this morning, bringing in a grand total of $3,271,809 US out of its $750,000 goal with almost 20,000 individual backers contributing, thus making it the largest Kickstarter for an MMORPG ever. Intrepid Studios’ Steven Sharif has previously told us in interviews that he has investors lined up to cover his anticipated $30M budget goal.
Reaching the $3M pledge mark unlocked the stock exchange stretch goal, which is expected to introduce “in-depth economic performance metrics for commodities, trade routes, wars, and raids” and allow player investment in nodes and social groups.
Missed out and regretting it? No need: “During the month of June, interested gamers can continue to pledge their support and upgrade their pledges on the Ashes of Creation website,” Intrepid’s PR this morning said (amended below). “No early bird packages will be allowed, but this extended round of pledging is intended to allow folks who could not use Kickstarter payment methods to still show their support. To make the idea even more interesting, Intrepid Studios will soon be unveiling even more stretch goals that all backers (Kickstarter or official site) will unlock.”