character creation

Legends of Aria is pushing out a quality-of-life patch ahead of PAX East

The next big patch for Legends of Aria does not signal the start of the next beta phase. Instead, it signals moving to a more robust version of the game ahead of the game’s demo stations at this year’s PAX East convention at the beginning of April. After all, it’s better to give players a demonstration of the real game than a potemkin village (a comparison drawn by the developers, even), and why not give actual players more fun stuff when it’s the same amount of work?

As for what’s in the update itself, players can look forward to tinting their armors with various hues, a new pass of optimization, and a greatly improved starting experience for new players. That last one means making it clear that the game is completely without classes, adding more character creation options, and providing better guidance at the beginning. The patch is due out for March 30th, so please look forward to it sooner rather than later.


Wild West Online outlines the massive changes coming March 20

Hoo-ee. There’s a whole mess of stuff in the newest patch for Wild West Online, so much so that the patch notes are jam-packed with videos showing all of it off. Players will see the change right away with the shifts to character creation that force you to align with a faction, as well as the new frontend system that has integration for the game’s real-world currency shop. There are also new customization options for character outfits, horses, and even firearms.

But all of that is just a coat of paint, not changing how the game actually plays. No, the changes in play come from things like the full day/night cycle, the first pass at character skill trees, an improved map interface… the list goes on. You’ll really want to look through the full patch notes, but you can get a taste of all the changes through the selection of videos just below. (That’s right, just a selection. There’s a lot of stuff here.)

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The Daily Grind: Are you playing Sea of Thieves?

It’s officially Sea of Thieves day; the game launched here in the US in the wee hours of this morning. During our awards rollout at the end of 2017, I called Sea of Thieves one of my most anticipated multiplayer games for 2018. At the time, I could easily imagine my MMORPG guildies, already fond of playing pirates, rolling into the game to crew a ship on the high seas.

But last year’s hype seems to have faded away over the last few months as a critical mass of gamers checked out the pre-launch version of the game and came away with more questions than answers about the game’s PvE content, its unchecked PvP, and maybe above all else, its downsized character creation system. It never was an MMO, but these revelations made it seem even less an MMO than a lot of folks had been led to believe after the E3 demos, subduing the buzz.

How about you? Are you playing Sea of Thieves? Are you waiting to see how it develops? Or have you given it a hard pass?

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Interview: ArcheAge 4.5 Legends Return launches April 5th with dragon taming and fresh start servers

If I were to tell you that ArcheAge’s next big update is launching next month, you’d tell me that it’s too soon. And we’d both be right! Although 4.0 was just released last December, and North America has been on a six-month cadence for getting the content after it launches in Korean, 4.5 will hit servers on April 5th. Yes, that’s 4.5 on 4/5 — easy to remember, no? Executive Producer Merv Lee Kwai explained that as XL Games is putting a renewed emphasis on the Western market, North American and the European regions get to launch an update first after Korea for the first time, instead of waiting until after Russia and China.

So what goodies do we have to look forward to before the other regions? Dubbed Legends Return, this update introduces dragon mounts, two new world bosses, a crafting commission system, and Battle Balance (a change to skillsets). There are also changes to regrading equipment and the bruisers badges. And last but not least, new fresh start servers are opening up, this time with a time-locked twist. To get a feel for all these changes, I sat down and previewed the new content with Kwai, Associate Producer Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan, and Community Manager Joe “Muzzy” Brogno .

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Choose My Adventure: Already captured in Warframe

You know, I’ve been oddly impressed with the starting experience for the past couple of titles I’ve been playing in Choose My Adventure. Both of them have managed to avoid one of my pet peeves, where characters tell you that there’s no time to explain when there is not only time but an immediate and obvious necessity to explain. Starting off Warframe immediately made it clear that there was, in fact, no time to explain, because I was surrounded by hostile enemies with some form of restraint device on my frame.

That isn’t to say that you start off with no idea what was going on. You get the absolute barest overview of what’s taking place before you launch into your first encounter, which makes it clear that you’re waking up slowly and have to get right back into the thick of things right away. But it was an impressive experience insofar as it really does feel like you shouldn’t quite have a clear picture of what’s going on. Something is happening, yes, but there has not yet been time or opportunity to explain much.

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Choose My Adventure: Voting for the start of Warframe

The votes are in, and I’m heading to the world of Warframe. Or worlds. I am honestly not altogether clear about how much of the game takes place in space and how much of it is, like, still focused around one specific planet. Obviously there’s one specific place where you can do a lot of exploring, that’s a thing, but at the (very real) risk of exposing my own ignorance, my knowledge about the setting is kind of a blank space from top to bottom.

That’s not by way of laziness, for the record. Or at least, it’s not just laziness; some of it is how I prefer to take on these game where I know very little. As it stands for me, Warframe is that game where I don’t know much of the story or the background, but the results of the game that I do see are incredibly neat and surreal. It seems like it’s a game all about intensely baroque and odd-looking robot-armor-suits engage in all sorts of high-speed high-flying combat, and limiting that down to the realm of actual facts seems like depriving it of that power.

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Perfect Ten: What I discovered after returning to Dungeons and Dragons Online

When I look back at last year, the most surprising turn in my MMO gaming career was staging a successful return to Dungeons and Dragons Online. Initially I had only planned to revisit this old flame for a couple of runs and a quick blog post, but before I knew it, I had been sucked back in to this unique and flavorful MMO.

Over the past four months I’ve been slowly progressing through the early and mid game, taking my scrappy Gnome Artificer up to level 10 and through more odd stories than I ever recall being a part of the game (to be fair, the last time I had played regularly was 2010).

Now that I’ve had time to experience and reflect upon playing Dungeons and Dragons Online in this day and age, I wanted to share with you 10 observations that I’ve gleaned from this fantasy roleplaying game.

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Final Fantasy XIV announces an end to congested worlds and restricted housing sales

The launch of Final Fantasy XIV’s new housing plots came with an additional restriction: Players weren’t allowed to purchase these new plots as individuals, just for free companies. Similarly, the launch of Stormblood brought a similar restriction, as players on designated “congested” worlds could not make new characters on those worlds or transfer characters to those worlds. But on February 20th, both of these restrictions will be lifted. Players can once again transfer to congested worlds, buy individual houses, and dress up in moogle outfits as tanks.

Actually, players could do that last one before.

Players will still be restricted to only owning one house per server on a given account, so the opening of plots doesn’t change that; similarly, there will still be preferred worlds for character creation, and if population disparities rise again the same countermeasures will be put back into place once more. However, for the time being, players will be able to get together and play more easily. In the end, isn’t that all anyone really wants?


Crowfall’s latest development stream is all about hello and goodbye

If you missed the most recent development livestream from Crowfall’s team, you can watch it now just below. And it’s covering a lot of ground, including the recently announced changes to the way that character slots and character creation will work. Those of you worried that your plans of necromancy were shot down can rest assured that even with the game’s new Crypt system, Necromancers and the crafting of potent vessels remains just as important; all that’s changed is the way that these things are brought into the game, not the fundamental concepts.

Of course, this look at the outline of what’s being added for the game’s fifth alpha test is about a lot of greetings and departures, introducing vendors, spider canyons, and lady centaurs while removing basic armor and certain well-known class builds. You can get the full rundown in the video just below; be fairly warned that it is an hour long, so don’t start watching if you have to leave in a couple of minutes.

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Sea of Thieves will make your character for you

As an online multiplayer RPG, Sea of Thieves is making its own playbook instead of copy-and-pasting features and structure directly from other games. One such deviation from contemporary MMOs is that the pirate title will not let players mix-and-match their own character’s visuals when starting up a new game.

You read that right.

Instead, Sea of Thieves will randomly generate a handful of swarthy sea dogs from various options, giving players the choice to select one or roll up a fresh batch of Frankenpirates. This design choice is very deliberate, as Rare wants players to embrace crazy-looking characters instead of striving for perfection: “We want people to think, this is my very own Rare-created pirate character. It will encourage players to pick a character who wouldn’t normally be a character they would create in a character creator. It’s not about just making ourselves.”

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City of Titans introduces its costume designer while teasing character creation

We haven’t seen the character creation for City of Titans just yet, but you know that’s going to be an important part of the game. You can’t have a proper superhero title without proper superhero costumes, after all. The latest piece on the official site is interviewing one of the development team’s costume designers and talking about the development behind the scenes, but both it and the video accompanying it promise that the actual creation preview is coming very soon.

Kayla “Z06” Bianchi talks mostly about her own gaming history and preferences in the little interview, but you can also see some of her work for both the concept art and interior level design. If all you’re interested in is the prospect of seeing how you can make your character, check out the video just below. (It’s a teaser, not a full trailer, so be fairly warned.)

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WoW Factor: First impressions of allied race leveling in World of Warcraft

Last week, I wrote about the addition of allied races without having actually gotten to play around with them much. You have to understand that at some point in the past I angered an elder deity of some sort, a fact which I myself was not previously aware of, but which remains the only real way to explain World of Warcraft releasing its pre-orders on the same day that my other game of choice released a major update which demanded my attention.

Or it was just bad luck, but “angered the gods” feels like a more all-encompassing explanation of same.

The bright side, though, is that it meant I finally had a chance to experience both big new things at the same time, enjoying the worldwide level scaling at the same time as I was enjoying my new allied race characters. So now that we’ve talked a little bit about the conceptual side of things, let’s talk about the actual leveling experience beyond the first unlocks.

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Crowfall explains its new approach to character selection with the Crypt

As it currently stands in Crowfall, you are not the character that’s marching around. You are a little shining blue crow, which is what you start as before you select a specific avatar and customize it. That’s just your meat-puppet that you ride around in. Technically speaking, the game’s new form of character creation doesn’t change that fact, as you are still at the core a flying little spirit crow. But the game is adding in the Crypt to choose between your different avatars, and those will now serve as a more proper set of characters.

Rather than players respawning and re-selecting their avatars, the new system allows you to unlock vessels permanently as specific characters in your library, with your game experience starting in your first (and likely primary) avatar. Finding Crypts allows you to swap between your different vessels at will, as your account-wide progression remains the same no matter how often you swap between them. Check out the full overview for both lore and mechanics on the official site, which should provide an interesting cooperation between the lore side of the game and the mechanical one.

Source: Official Site; thanks to JamesGoblin for the tip!


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