If you were holding out hope that this year's edition of Guild Wars 2's Super Adventure Box would come with loads of new content... better let go that hope.
The patch notes released yesterday reaffirm that the Super Adventure Festival will begin on Thursday, but there's no mention of World 3, which honestly does comport with ArenaNet's longstanding assertions that it was unlikely to expand it further, at least this year, as they're working on a not-so-secret expansion.
However, if you were hoping for a new round of holographic skins, that seems assured, as the patch notes (and datamining alike) confirm the new Crimson Assassin set (they're red). It also looks like there's a fresh reward track for SAB as well as new cash shop buyables, including a new music box.
The rest of the patch is a motley assortment of bug fixes, the return of Basket Brawl, tweaks for SAB, tweaks for fractals, some new crafting mats, and the updated lockbox.
The monthly update cadence of Final Fantasy XI is continuing into April, but this time around the game is actually moving backwards a little bit. Just a little bit, though; it's bringing back one of the more popular Ambuscade foes for players to face once more, complete with new rewards available. If you couldn't get enough of fighting the Gigas, you'll have another opportunity.
Players can also see another old foe with a long history of being fought as another Ark Angel joins the list of Trust companions, this time the Ark Angel MR. There's also new log messages in the chat window for crafting gains to facilitate the Escutcheon line, new Records of Eminence objectives, and a few other quality of life features. Just because some of the monthly update content is glancing backwards doesn't mean the game as a whole isn't moving forward just the same.
Even though there are hundreds and thousands of MMOs spanning several decades, only a small handful were so incredibly influential that they changed the course of development for games from then on out. DikuMUD is one of these games, and it is responsible for more of what you experience in your current MMOs than you even know.
Of course, that doesn't mean everyone knows what DikuMUD is or how it shaped the MMOs that came out after it. You might have seen it used as a pejorative in enough comments that you know it is loathed by many gamers, but I find that there are varying degrees of ignorance about DikuMUD in the community. What is it, exactly? Why is it just the worst? And is it really the worst if we like the games that can point to this text-based MMO as a key ancestor?
Today we're going to dispel the mystery and myths of DikuMUD to lay it out there as it was and is today.
If you felt let down by the execution of RIFT: Starfall Prophecy
, you're not alone. In this week's producer's letter
, Trion Worlds admits that the expansion had "shortcomings" that need addressing. To wit, the studio said that it is "pouring heart and soul into improvements" to shore up the content as it moves forward.
Speaking of moving forward, there's certainly a lot of exciting things on deck for RIFT, starting with the imminent Patch 4.1. This update will add eternal weapons, a planar crafting revamp, a 10-player raid, and new weekly quests. Following that is the return of Carnival and the release of Patch 4.2 with its brand-new level 70 zone, Vostigar Peaks.
Conan Exiles' update 22 has arrived this morning, and as teased exhaustively over the last few weeks, it's a biggun, with the ruins system to clean up unused buildings, the new dye system for making your armor purty, new weapons, thrall crafting animations, and a slew of bug and exploit fixes.
But the more pressing news is that with this patch, Funcom will wipe all buildings and inventories on official servers (not private servers unless they choose to join in) as a result of the recent wave of exploits. Player levels remain intact.
Intriguingly, Funcom is also introducing "Exploit Hunters," a clever program designed to reward players who uncover and report exploits to the studio.
announced this afternoon that Star Trek Online
will drop the Reckoning update
on console players next month on April 18th -- that's a pretty quick clip for console players, who just got Agents of Yesterday mid-February
. Heck, PC players only just got Reckoning in January
. What's in it? A brand-new-to-you featured episode, the new crafting school, two Tzenkethi-themed space queues, and the new space battlezone.
"Season 12 – Reckoning centers around the new featured episode, Of Signs and Portents. Captains will join the Lukari on a mission to investigate weaponized use of protomatter in a new region of the Alpha Quadrant. Further evidence leads them to the Tzenkethi, a highly intelligent, militant species who plan on using the deadly substance to build a bomb capable of wiping out entire planets. Teaming up with legendary Klingon General Rodek (voiced by actor Tony Todd), the Alliance must find a way to stop the Tzenkethi from enacting a potentially cataclysmic attack. Season 12 also unlocks expansive new content for players to discover, including the Lukari Restoration Reputation, the new Kits and Modules Research School, a full space battlezone and two new space queues, Gravity Kills and The Tzenkethi Front."
Don't forget there's a double experience bonus event running this weekend!
Writing about WildStar at this point feels weird.
Obviously, I just finished up playing the game for this feature for four weeks. It feels fresh in my mind. And in many ways, it really has changed quite a bit from launch to its credit. In many other ways, it hasn’t changed much at all. And the ways in which it has changed would make a much bigger difference if those changes affected things that initially drove me away from the game.
So in many ways, when I write about WildStar now, I’m still writing about the launch version of the game. It’s just that we’re now several years out from that launch, and its potential to really be something no longer has the time to turn into reality. It’s still just a hope for what it could be, and there’s not much more to the game beyond what we see right now. So it’s the same state of the game, but it’s gone from promising opportunities to unrealized potential.
When I add news to our newsroom for our reporters to pick up, I often add links that just say "such-and-such a game exists" -- because just existing is what's new, or at least new to us. Today, we had three of those, and I'm combining them all for this quick look at three MMOs and orbiting games that you've probably never heard of: Age of Rivals, Lothgar Online, and Little War Online.
Lothgar Online (Asylumsoft) launched yesterday. Let me warn you upfront: If you aren't into retro pixel graphics and hardcore gameplay, you probably won't like this MMO. The devs, who are also the folks behind the similarly styled Elderlands, call it an "Online RPG built in a classic style, paying homage to 1980s RPGs," and yes, that means PvP, corpse looting, and attunement in addition to a giant world, guilds, skills, and questing. On the other hand? There's no cash shop either. Old school isn't always a bad thing! (via Reddit)
DualShockers has a new interview out with Conan Exiles' Joel Bylos. It's from GDC, but it's still worth a look given that it includes info on this week's patch. For starters, expect to see the new decay system (it's been renamed as the "ruins system" now), the planned dye system, new weapons, and the promised thrall updates -- eventually, players can expect alchemists, engineers, sorcerers, and beastmasters as thralls. Don't expect mounts until summer, though. Crafters, a heads-up for you: Since crafting progression is getting a revamp, "players will get to repick all of their recipes."
The Purge is also a hot topic for future updates -- basically, it'll be a massive AI invasion with special thralls and an eye toward wrecking your server's best stuff. Can't let that happen, now can we.
Meanwhile, following player outcry over the excessive duping and exploiting going on there, Funcom has announced it will partially wipe the official servers.
If all goes well, within a few days the Lord of the Rings Online
community will be getting its first glimpse of Mordor with the release of Update 20 (Standing Stone Games
said that it is "tentatively planning"
to roll out the patch next week). I don't know if I'm prepared, but after months of speed-leveling my Lore-master through the last few expansions, I'm in a place where I will be among the crowd that charges into the Wastes on launch day.
Update 20 is a big event for several reasons and should give us some insight into what the developers are thinking with their Mordor expansion later this year. Plus, with the 10th anniversary event right around the corner, the LOTRO community will have a bounty of content and activities to keep it busy during these spring months.
So as we saddle up our horses (and ponies and goats) for the trip north into the Wastes, let's mull over what we can expect when Update 20 lands.
If you've somehow missed it in every single discussion of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen's design philosophy, the game is very much a throwback to the older days of MMOs. Of course, back in those older days you would have to go to four or five different sites to find out about the materials for a simple crafting recipe, and there was no assurance that all of those sites would be providing the same information. The new Pantheon wiki should be much easier to look at for any needed information.
Due to the early state of the game the wiki is still on the lighter side, but it already outlines what we know about the game's classes, races, and mechanics. Plus, it's a wiki, so you know that updates are going to be pretty easy to come by. Check out the whole thing, whether you're looking for information right now or just want to bookmark it for future use.
I don't really like survival games, typically -- I understand why a lot of people do like them, don't get me wrong, but I don't care for them myself, for a whole forest of reasons. To make a survival game that I want to play, you have to really come at the genre from a side angle, which can be hard to do while retaining the things that people like about the genre.
At this early juncture, I can't say that Rend (official site) will do all of that. But I can say that the groundwork is in place for something that might be worth getting excited about.
I was incredibly fortunate to be granted one of the first meetings with Frostkeep Studios and a first look at Rend itself, in a conspiratorial PAX meeting on the second floor of a fish restaurant on the Boston piers. It felt a bit as if I were being shown something that should not be seen, some artifact of great power that had been hidden away from prying eyes. Perhaps that's as it should be.
OrbusVR, the blocky indie VR sandbox from Ad Alternum, has finished out its Kickstarter successfully this morning.
The studio had originally promised a brief, one-week Kickstarter with only a $10,000 goal, which backers met within four hours of launch. It sails to the finish line today with over 500 backers and $34,000 raised, which covers stretch goals including a pet companion system, extra world boss, and the Explorer's League faction, falling just shy of an additional battle discipline (like the Monk or Shaman). The Kickstarter money is intended to buffer the game's existing funding, not pay for the whole game.
OrbusVR is being built for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as a full-scale MMORPG with all the basics -- questing, combat, open-world zones, group content, and crafting -- plus more unusual features like hybrid instanced dungeons, hidden and "feat" quests, player bounties, tiered safety zones for PvP, and a nifty compass system, the last of which was previewed over the weekend. Raiding won't make it in for launch.