character creation

Absolver shows off the basics of character creation and equipment

When you play Absolver, your character’s face is a mask. You don’t get to see more than that. But there’s still room for character creation despite that; players can choose different genders and hairstyles, after all. A new video from the game’s development team shows off the character creation as well as what it means to have a game where character faces are never seen, moving customization in a different direction altogether.

Obviously, this means offering players a wide variety of outfit choices and ways to differentiate characters thusly; the flip side is that players will have to carefully consider the properties of each piece of equipment. More defensive gear is often heavier and will slow players more, while lighter gear might not blunt the impact of a blow to the same degree. Check out the full video below for a look at creation, lore, and armor all in one place.

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Choose My Adventure: Starting completely fresh in Shroud of the Avatar

I really know pretty much nothing about Ultima.

This is only partly my fault. Way back when the Ultima games were a big deal on PC, I was still decidedly locked to consoles, where the options for getting into the series were rather limited. Aside from that, it was years before I really acquired much of a taste for the Western style of RPGs as opposed to the Japanese style… and considering that the roots of that style are half-buried in Ultima (along with Might & Magic and Wizardry, to be very broad and avoid overburdening this header), you can see why I’d kind of give things a pass.

All of this is pretty relevant when it comes to Shroud of the Avatar because you kind of can’t separate the two. No, Shroud of the Avatar is not an Ultima game, but it’s Richard Garriott building the game and inserting himself into the proceedings. It’d be like George Lucas making a new movie based off of Buck Rogers and Akira Kurosawa’s filmography; it might not bear the title, but you know you’ll wind up with something pretty close to wars what are waged across the stars.

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Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire’s huge new in-game map and the promise of PvP

There’s a joke on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit that you don’t need to read anything about the game — you just wait for WoodenPotatoes to put out a 30-minute video on 2 minutes of content and explain it all to you and more. It’s probably true, but since you’ve some time to kill until Path of Fire launches on September 22nd, so why not fill it with WP?

His latest videos zero in on several big subjects. The first and most intriguing is the new map; it’s clear that the map has almost doubled in size as huge parts of the deserts southeast of Orr are now colored in and soon to be accessible. The scope of the map is compelling, maybe especially compared to the Heart of Thorns zone area, which is positively tiny to scale. He also raises some questions about why the developers would bother including empty but drawn-in areas to the east of Ascalon (like that big ol’ lake). Hmm!

The second video focuses much more on PvP and WvW, something ArenaNet has only lightly touched on since the big reveal. We’ve tucked both videos down below – and don’t forget to vote in our morning Leaderboard poll on whether or not you intend to play the freebie preview weekend in GW2 starting Friday!

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Valiance Online kicks off its investor alpha today

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when Valiance Online would open for testers, the day has come. The investor alpha is starting today (it was announced yesterday, albeit when things were winding up), but there’s still a reason to watch the archived footage of the game’s most recent developer stream down below. Just skip ahead 30 minutes first, because the archived footage has half an hour of “starting in a bit” as a lead time. No, we don’t know why.

Aside from the announcement at the end which we’ve already spoiled, the stream footage covers powersets (starting at around 52 minutes in) and character creation (around 1:55), so there’s plenty of interesting stuff in there if you’d like to see behind the scenes. You can check it out just below if you’d like to watch, assuming you’re willing to jump past the perhaps oversized prep time.

Or maybe you really like waiting half an hour after pressing “play” before watching the video, we won’t judge you.

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Dark and Light preps huge bug-fixing and quality-of-life patch

Snail Games is riding high after Dark and Light’s early access launch last week, and it’s already prepping its next big patch, which the team says focuses heavily on bugs and quality-of-life tweaks. It’s also pretty amusing. Of note,

  • Missing textures, collision issues, the UI mess, and lighting slowdowns are all due for a fix.
  • The Sacred Path area is getting better rain, ouchy lava, and improved physics, plus a less-dark night. There will be less crud in the cities to trip you up too. “It’s called The Sacred Path for a reason,” Snail quips.
  • Bugged quests that improperly tracked progress are being severely punished; the studio promises “a number of revisions and optimizations to our quest system throughout the Early Access period.”
  • Everybody complains about character creation animations, so those have been “improved slightly.” Bonus? “Male characters’ short hair no longer looks like Muckripper scales.”
  • Bugs with taming, busted weapon spells, alchemy, bedrolls, and elementals are all being addressed.
  • “Blacksmiths Talos and Estel have found their clothes and underwear.” Bless.

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Check out the character creation options for Black Desert’s upcoming Mystic class

As it has always gone with Black Desert, there’s another new class coming to the game dubbed the Mystic, meant to function as the female equivalent of the male-only Striker class. (This is apparently easier than just making one class open to both genders.) There’s a full gallery of screenshots and a teaser trailer down below; the Mystic herself is supposed to be an orphaned girl from Calpheon who was taken in and trained in the Far East, only to journey back when her male sparring partner (i.e., the Striker) headed back.

You can also check out character creation screenshots and video courtesy of Dulfy. The video is just below and shows off the options available, from character build (very skinny to “slightly thicker Michelle Rodriguez”), muscles (waifish girl to a waifish girl with the hint of abs covered in enough baby oil to slide on sandpaper), and hair (high ponytails and cute pixie cuts rule the day). Between that and the class trailer/screenshots down below, it might be hard to wait for your punch-happy lady character, but at least you’ll know how you want her to look.

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Crowfall hosts a race and class ‘show and tell’ session

Remember how Crowfall announced back in May that it was decoupling its race and class archetypes to allow players to mix-and-match more freely? This wasn’t a one-and-done reveal; the team has been hard at work to refine this new character creation design and hosted a “show and tell” on YouTube to share its progress in this area.

The team said that player suggestions and feedback led to the development of skill trees, all of which are currently being worked on by the team. These skill trees include ones for crafting, combat, exploration, race, and class, so it looks like there will be plenty of room for customization and growth as players advance in the game.

If you’re interested in the game, set aside an hour to look more in-depth at the classes and races below!

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EVE Online is killing off the last remnants of walking in stations

Hey remember EVE Online’s walking in stations, the talk of the genre a decade ago? Remember when all we really got was a captain’s quarters where you could finally see your character moving around as more than a flat avatar? Even that is now coming to an end.

In a dev blog this week, CCP says that “development time involved in maintaining the current state of the feature is significantly disproportionate to the number of pilots using the feature,” due largely, we assume, to the fact that the feature was a half-measure to begin with that was never developed further. While usage increased when EVE Online went free-to-play last year, it’s shown “steady decline,” and CCP doesn’t want to devote 4-6 weeks of art team dev time on it any longer.

“It is of course important to note that while use has been falling steadily over time, part of the reason for further decline recently has been a change in the default view that occurs when a character docks in a citadel, which doesn’t offer captain’s quarters and switches the account setting to hangar view,” says the studio.

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Wild West Online’s brand-new gameplay video shows bounties, saloons, and more

It’s the video release that Wild West Online fans have been waiting weeks for: A six-minute glimpse into the western MMO’s gameplay.

During the video, you’ll get to see quick snippets of character creation, open-world exploration, outfits, saloons, gambling, thieving, rest cabins, and different environments. Some of WWO’s unique features were on display, such as a hotkey that pops up icons that highlight interactive features in the game world. Newspapers are pretty important as well, as the devs will use them to highlight in-game events and push the story forward.

You’ll also witness how the bounty system works. Players can claim bounties of naughty desperadoes on public boards and then hunt them down for cash. It might be a good idea to bring a friend or two along to ensure victory, however.

Fans have until July 20th to decide whether or not to preorder the game and secure a spot in alpha and beta testing. Give the video a watch after the break!

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Crowfall’s ads and disads system is the best part of character creation

Ah, character creation: the best part of so many MMORPGs. So how’s it working for Crowfall? A new dev blog out this week from ArtCraft explains that the archetype separation announced last spring has necessitated a change from the old system of archetype statues in-game. Now, UX Design Lead Billy Garretsen says, the system is much more like you’d expect from a traditional MMORPG: You’ll pick your race and class from lists and get a default vessel, then choose gender, hair style, face, and head shapes. The best part is the ads and disads system.

“Once the look is settled, it is time to alter the character’s stats and attributes through Advantages and Disadvantages. Every race and class combination will yield a pool of Creation Points that can be spent on Advantages to provide stat benefits in various categories. Alternatively, you can opt to apply Disadvantages that will decrease your stat values but grant you bonus Creation Points that can be applied on further Advantages. For example, Eagle Eye will grant increased accuracy with ranged weapons, while Dim Witted will lower Intellect, but grant points that can be spent to further increase Strength.”

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Gloria Victis sings a song of improved combat and performance

Sometimes it’s the small details that makes a patch memorable. For Gloria Victis, it’s something as simple as additional music during character creation, terrain footstep sounds, and a Chinese translation.

These come courtesy of Wednesday’s patch, which also factored in plenty of new combat and performance improvements. Hit detection, player synchronization, and being able to block arrows with a shield strapped on a character’s back were all fixed thanks to player feedback and developer response.

We’ve got a buffet of Gloria Victis videos for you after the break, including one of the new music tracks, a look at crafting, and the combat update. Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Chronicles of Elyria has 12 tribes planned, could include cross-breeding

While progress on Chronicles of Elyria has slowed a little this summer due to illnesses and vacations, the team has a lot to report in this week’s blog update.

One interesting tidbit from the post concerns the game’s tribal lineup, as the team has “skeletal data” in place that allows for the creation of a full dozen races. But could there be more if the species get a-mingling? It looks like there could be, as devs are discussing cross-breeding as part of the offspring system.

Out of the dozen, eight will make up the initial selection of playable races. These include Brudvir, Dras, Hrothi, Janoa, Kypiq, Neran, To’resk, and the Waerd. The other four will need to be discovered during gameplay in order to unlock them as character creation options.

The rest of the letter covered the glory of otter bears, progress made on the MUD client, and a sneak peek at the third version of the website. The team promised that a midyear state of the game address is being prepared and should be posted soon(tm).

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Hands-on with Secret World Legends: A second chance for a first impression

I would like to start this article by saying that there are a lot of things to like about Secret World Legends, but for me, those good things — despite their being some of my favorite things about RPGs and MMOs — make it hard to overlook what I consider the flaws of the game.

Although there were always weird bits to The Secret World’s storytelling, like the silent protagonist, I’ve long considered it to be some of the best storytelling in MMORPGs. With the launch of Secret World Legends, that has not changed. In fact, I would say that as an introduction to the game, it’s improved. The weak point to the game has always been the combat. There were some very confusing things about it, which have been fixed, and there were some aesthetic issues, which have not been fixed.

I am very torn about how to approach my impressions of the game. I want to come at it as someone who hasn’t played it before because it’s being sold as something new. But at the same time, I have played the game, and I know exactly why I never played it for more than a week at a time. I approached the game from two different perspectives: Would this impress someone who has never played it, and will returning players who didn’t stick with it over the last couple of years be interested enough in the changes to come back?

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