crafting

Tamriel Infinium: First impressions of Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset (mostly without spoilers!)

Over the years, I suspect I’ve made it well known what I find most important in my Elder Scrolls Online gameplay. I enjoy the environments and the quest storylines. I play most of the game solo with very little interaction with any other players. It’s not that I don’t like other players; it’s just that when I started playing ESO, the main storylines in the game where not very group friendly, so that kind of gameplay is what I expected and enjoyed. Of course, that means my primary focus, when playing through the Summerset Chapter for ESO, was story and single-player gameplay.

There are many things added with Summerset that aren’t single-player focused, like the new Cloudrest trial and the Abyssal Geysers, but I’d hardly call myself an expert in those areas. But we solo players do have many things to look forward to in Summerset besides the story quests, like jewelry crafting, a new skill line, and daily login rewards.

For today, I would like to focus on the main reason I play ESO: the story. I’m not going to spoil any major plot points as I describe my playthrough, obviously, but I would like to make mention of key players and things to watch for as you play through the newest chapter.

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H1Z1 is finally coming to PlayStation 4

Did you think slipping player numbers were going to do in the battle royale grand-daddy? Nope. Free-to-play must have been a big boost, as Daybreak announced today that it’s porting H1Z1 to PS4. Open beta is set to begin on May 22nd, with both signups and a preorder bundle ($29.99) available presumably as soon as the landing page starts working.

H1Z1 on PS4 is designed specifically for the console and focuses exclusively on the core elements that make battle royale exciting,” Daybreak’s PR says. “The game features a new weapon progression system, fully reworked UI, and new weapons and gear.” The company is touting a “tailor-made” control scheme for PS4, a “grab-and-go” equipment system, and new progression mechanics.

And lest you forget that this is the game Star Wars Galaxies fans can come home to,

“The crafting system has also been removed from the game.”

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Enter to win a copy of Wild Terra from Juvty and MOP!

B2P MMORPG sandbox Wild Terra isn’t resting on its laurels: Developer Juvty Worlds patched up for the faux-holiday at the beginning of April, adding “crystal” equipment and letting players vote on gear. Want to give it a go? Juvty has issued Massively OP a bundle of keys for the B2P game, worth $14.99 apiece on Steam, to distribute to our readers. There are no regional restrictions, other than the caveat that the game must be available to you on Steam for you to use the key. Read on to enter to win!

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Massively Overthinking: What we really mean when we talk about ‘difficulty’ in MMORPGs

Massively OP reader Steve wants us to revisit the Daily Grind on making death more meaningful without making it more annoying. His letter was long, so let me paraphrase a bit:

“It feels to me like underlying point was, ‘MMOs are too easy, so how do we make them harder?’ The question of video game difficulty is something that is seldom ever tackled head-on, as it tends to draw out a somewhat vocal minority. There are so many worthy topics about how people define difficulty, twitch skills vs. depth, easy vs. hard, difficulty vs. accessibility, easy vs. engaging, shallowness vs. depth, and so on. These are things I’d love to really see discussed more online, and very few sites will actually touch it. But I think that MOP’s community is overall mature enough to actually have some discussions about this without it devolving into a fist fight.”

I’m sure you’ll prove him right! Right, guys? Guys? So let’s talk about MMO difficulty in this week’s Massively Overthinking. What do we really mean when we talk about “difficulty” in MMORPGs? Are games easier than they used to be, and if so, is there something studios should do to change that?
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RIFT progression server activates its first two raids

Yesterday RIFT’s progression server took a step forward, pushing the line of content forward with some old endgame activities.

Two 10-player raids, Drowned Halls and Gilded Prophecy, were activated. To help plug players into these instances, the looking for raid tool has been included without any threat of a raid lockout. The raid difficulty will be the same whether or not you use LFR.

Trion Worlds also added mage tank loot in the patch and fixed some issues with the ignore command and crafting reagent purchasing.

Next up is the Greenscale Blight raid, which is coming on April 25th.

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Villagers & Heroes adds in new village options with the Wellspring expansion on May 14

The heart of gameplay in cross-platform MMORPG Villagers & Heroes is all about villages, so anything that expands your options for villages is going to be welcome. The game’s upcoming Wellspring expansion for May 14th does just that by adding in new environmental customization, letting you place your village in anything from a lovely fall vista to an arid wasteland. Why you would want to live in an arid wasteland is somewhat unclear, but it takes all types.

The expansion also brings in more governing options for mobile players and several new village projects, along with more involved crafting and gathering. There are also new daily login rewards to help motivate everyone into jumping in-game on a regular basis, if the game itself wasn’t motivation enough. So that’s a whole lot of good stuff on its way, and you’ll have to wait less than a month to see it all in the game proper.

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Closers invites players to take part in new challenges at the planar gate

If you’ve got a need for some new challenges in Closers, possibly of the planar variety, you’ll get plenty out of the new Planar Gate challenges asking for players of level 73 and above to take on some raid fights. You’ll need a group, of course, but you can get new gear and accessories, so it’s all good.

“But I play Tina most of the time,” you muttered, “so I can’t get to 73 or above!” But you can now, friend, because this update also raises Tina’s level cap to 75. Now everyone wins! There are even some new outfits for Tina in the Academy bundle featuring all of the glasses you could want for one character.

The update also includes login bonuses to give you a taste of what’s available in the aforementioned planar raids as well as more costumes, new crafting options, and so forth. And you can enjoy all of this today, which means you need not sit around waiting for the patch to arrive. You may have to wait to go home to play it, but no one can really help with that.

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Dead Rivals infects mobile with its zombie MMOARPG

Need a quick zombie fix on your mobile device but still crave the MMORPG approach? Gameloft, no stranger to whipping up knockoffs of hit video games, may have the answer for you in its newly launched Dead Rivals.

Dead Rivals marries action, a post-apocalyptic landscape, and MMORPG-style quests for an interesting experience. While it only has three classes, the pocket title does offer up base building, PvP, NPC factions, and a whole lot of crafting.

“Gameloft’s new title is the first of its kind, a mobile zombie MMO. It blends fast-paced action and classic MMORPG adventuring to create a thrilling, undead action RPG,” the studio said. “Survival is a constant struggle. So, to increase your chances in both PVP and PVE challenges, you must research, craft, and improve facilities and your character’s unique class weapons.”

The game is available on iOS, Android, and PC. Check out the trailer after the break!

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SoulWorker Online adds high-level PvPvE operation

What’s the newly launched SoulWorker Online to do to keep players occupied as they dash up the levels? Turn them on each other, of course!

The dev team activated a new PvP operation that is accessible at level 55. The operation, called Dimension Trip, opens up three times every day and hosts between four and eight players per match. The special arena tosses both monsters and players at each other as they move through four successive sectors, earning points as the teams race against a 10-minute clock.

Once an arena bout is concluded, ranks will be handed out and rewards divvied up accordingly. It sounds like players will get a special currency that can be exchanged for items from a crafting vendor.

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Pantropy reboots its Kickstarter campaign a month after its last one

Give Pantropy credit for pluck: Less than a month after developer Brain Stone canceled the sci-fi shooter’s Kickstarter halfway through its campaign, the game is back up on the crowdfunding platform.

This time around the studio is attempting to raise a modest $24,633 for its vision of mechs, crafting, and base building. So far, it seems to be doing fairly well, with over $10,000 pledged by fans. The studio said that the community had grown by 50% since last month, which is another encouraging note.

Brain Stone encouraged fans last month by saying, “We have received multiple publishing and investment offers. We have decided to stay independent! Don’t worry we’ll continue to develop the game and it will be released on Steam early access this year.”

In the meanwhile, the team is busy working on flying bases, a tier 2 gatling gun and mining laser, map zoom, jetpacks, mech jumpjets, and additional concept art.

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The Elder Scrolls Online previews the mechanics of jewelry crafting

One of the biggest additions with the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset is the inclusion of crafting skills for jewelry. That might seem little, bit since those vital rings and necklaces can support some diverse builds, it’s especially important to have those items now be open for crafting. The process should feel familiar to experienced crafters, but there’s still a full guide available on the process for anyone who wants to try making the prettiest possible necklace.

If you’re not concerned with any of that, though, you still probably enjoy the game’s anniversary event bonuses, so you’ll be happy to know that the game is extending its anniversary celebration by an extra week through April 23rd. Get a double experience buff, eat some cake, and celebrate being in the game. Possibly by picking up the raw materials you will later turn into a lovely ring. Everything feeds into everything else.

Want more on Summerset? We got hands-on with the game at GDC and PAX.

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Guild Wars 2 has completely overhauled gathering tools with glyph upgrades and wardrobe implementation

A couple of weeks ago, a nasty patch bug borked up harvesting tools in Guild Wars 2. Hardest hit were the endless-use versions that run a thousand gemmies in the cash shop. Obviously, ArenaNet fixed all that. Today’s patch goes a step further toward making the tools much cooler by adding them to the wardrobe, meaning all your toons can spew lava and toot fireflies while hacking away at rocks.

“You can change their appearance with transmutation charges the same way you do your armor, weapons, and backpacks: open the Wardrobe in your Hero panel, click on an equipped tool, and select a skin you’ve unlocked. The preview will display each tool’s on-use effect. You can use gathering tool skins across your entire account, and they can be applied to limited-use tools as well as unlimited tools.”

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PAX East 2018: Frostkeep’s MMO Rend has come a very long way in just one year

My experience with Rend last year felt a bit like stepping into a faerie circle and slipping into another world, sneaking up to a rather secret meeting in a restaurant on the Boston pier and seeing this game that at once seemed like a very obvious take on a familiar formula while also being immediately appealing to me personally. So it was a given that I would go back, and I can confirm that the fish restaurant itself was very real; I had some fried fish. It was tasty.

Of course, by that point I had already seen Rend again because it had a booth on the show floor showing off what it had on offer.

I didn’t get to actually play the game on the show floor this year, but I did get a guided tour through all of the things that the game had gone through in the year since I had seen it. As I was told repeatedly, when I saw the game then, it was the work of five guys crammed into a basement working on something. Now, though, the game is approaching something much bigger, better, and brighter.

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