The overall goal is for players to find it more rewarding to stay in matches, less rewarding to leave the match, and less penalizing for people who stick it out after other players jump ship. That’s a set of changes starting with the idea of a “safe to leave” flag, a point when players can leave the match once it’s clear that the outcome is all but decided… which, in turn, discourages players from jumping ship at the first sign of trouble. Combined with the team’s ongoing efforts to tackle major server issues, players should increasingly find it easy to get in and play matches which they intend to get in and play… and stick out to the end.
There are two things that have kept me away from mobile ports of MMOs for the longest time. The first is the fact that I only recently got a tablet, and quite frankly my phone is not where I want to be playing a game over the long term. The other thing? Honestly, I have so many games to play off of mobile that it’s hard to motivate myself to play something on mobile as well.
Despite that, I love that mobile ports are becoming more common, especially for games which allow you to play on mobile clients or desktop versions. That just strikes me as worthy, and it has my appreciation. So today, we ask you the related question: What would motivate you to try an MMO on a mobile device? Would it need to be a mobile port of a game you already play? Something very different from existing MMOs which requires a mobile device? Or would it take a different sort of device than the ones you currently have?
I’ve mentioned many a time that I like Funcom quite a bit. I want to like Funcom quite a bit. Heck, I want to be excited about Secret World Legends, but every day or so I get reminded that such a course of action will be very difficult at the least. Because quite frankly, Secret World Legends seems to want me not to be excited about it, as evidenced by… oh, every single thing that Funcom is doing around it.
Which is odd, because Funcom literally has access to a playbook for a large-scale reboot.
Secret World Legends is coming off of The Secret World, which was a cult MMORPG classic with a mighty fan following. Final Fantasy XIV was coming off of… well, its initial version, which had a fan following full of people who admitted that it was halfway to Stockholm Syndrome. And yet that game managed to get people excited and earn fans, while Funcom seems dead-set on alienating people or making them just plain nervous.
Bear with us for a moment, here. You know there’s a game out right now that has a whole lot of characters but is allergic to any actual story, so most of what fans do is ship one character with another character. So what happens when Obnoxious Shotgun Edgelord and Just An Actual Cowboy Straight-Up In The Game hook up and manage to somehow have a love child? Well, Paragon has answered that question with its new ranged carry character, Revenant.
Don’t believe us? It sounds kind of unbelievable. Here, check out the reveal trailer just below in which you see a cowboy-hat-wearing specter of death with a shotgun revolver stomp around and shoot things. Seriously. If you’ve got some fanfics on deck about how such a thing would be possible… well, please don’t send them to us. We’re fine with leaving that as a biological mystery.
From there, it’s a complex system of figuring out what the long-term impact for the issue is and how easy it is to fix; sometimes the developers see an issue as very real, but with very vague reports of a bug taking place they don’t know how to start fixing it. So it’s not that the developers aren’t listening to you; it’s that they’re listening to everyone and they’re changing what they can in a large sea of feedback. Of course, there is a companion sale going on right now, so you could always pick up a companion and complain to your favorite honey badger. The honey badger might not care, but he’ll listen.
There’s an interesting discussion which pops up on the Final Fantasy XIV Reddit from time to time regarding the differences between American and Japanese players. For this topic, the most pertinent discussion is one of strategy. The American community, as a whole, prefers to have static groups of players who will often undertake risky but fast strategies; if the strategy works, it’s a quick and solid clear, but as soon as someone screws up it’s all down the tubes. By contrast, the Japanese community prefers strategies which are safer and more reliable, giving everyone more leeway… and possibly resulting in a slow clear when you get the group together.
Obviously, this applies to other games. From World of Warcraft to Black Desert, you always have the option of playing it safe or going big. Pulling one enemy at a time to farm for drops means you’re unlikely to ever get overwhelmed, which can certainly happen if you pull half a dozen… but if you succeed, that half a dozen can probable be minced faster than pulling them one by one. So what about you, dear readers? Do you prefer safe strategies or fast strategies in MMOs? Are you happier with a sure-fire win, or would you rather risk losing in exchange for a big victory?
The next EverQuest progression server is on its way on May 24th, but it’s a little different than previous progression servers because this one won’t ever catch up to the live game. It’s not supposed to. No, this server is meant to be locked into the era of Planes of Power; after six total expansions have been released (The Ruins of Kunark, The Scars of Velious, The Shadows of Luclin, The Planes of Power, The Legacy of Ykesha, Lost Dungeons of Norrath), the server will stop there. No more progression.
Of course, this is a good thing if that’s exactly your favorite era of the game and when you’d want to stop anyway, so the game’s 12-week schedule for each expansion might be just perfect for you. The server is also a true box server, meaning that multiboxing isn’t allowed, so you’ve got to play the game with everyone else as the developers intended. You can hop on to the new server on May 24th, and all of your questions about raid lockouts and the like have already received helpful answers in anticipation.
Massively OP: At this point in your career at ArenaNet, how many pieces of music have you composed for Guild Wars 2?
Maclaine Diemer: I think about this from time to time, but I honestly don’t know. I’d say it’s in the “several dozen” range, between all the holiday festivals, Living World content, Heart of Thorns, and other miscellaneous stuff like cinematics and marketing videos. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
The year was 1998. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States of America. Everyone spent an enormous amount of time and money on watching a movie about a sinking boat. Google is founded. The second Harry Potter book is published. Absolutely no one dances the Charleston. And StarCraft: Brood War is the hip new release by the scrappy underdogs at Blizzard. It also costs money, because every video game costs money at that point. But it doesn’t cost money any more; Blizzard has made the title free as part of its classic games collection.
If you’ve never played the game, you can download it and start playing right now to experience everything therein as it was originally released, minus the CD case (and the remarkably thick instruction book that came with the base game). This comes in advance of the upcoming rerelease and remastering of the classic games, so expect the title to seem just a little bit dated. But it’s also classic StarCraft for free, which means that some people (including this writer) can stop carting around the same game discs from nineteen years ago.
The general consensus for WildStar has been that the game is running on borrowed time for several reasons. That’s a sad conclusion, but an understandable one. And so that probably also means curtains for Carbine Studios, and… wait, the studio is hiring people? For a new team to work on a new project of some sort? They’re not just sitting around and waiting for things to come crashing down?
All right, if one of you wished for this on a monkey’s paw, you need to tell someone now before the consequences shock and horrify everyone.
The listed positions are for Concept Art, Graphics Engineering, Tools Engineering, and Combat Design, which… could mean lots of things. If not for the fact that the listings state this is part of a new team for a new project, it’d be easy to assume this was an attempt to shore up WildStar, but the fact that it is for a new project is enough to light one’s imagination on fire. What happens next? We don’t know, but we sure are excited to find out.
This is important; balancing for new and inexperienced players only produces a game that doesn’t have the depth needed for long-term play, while balancing solely for veterans creates a game that’s impenetrable for newcomers. So how do you make a game that’s fun for people getting into the genre for the first time as well as people who eat, sleep, jungle, and repeat? Check out the video below (courtesy of Gamasutra) for one possible answer.
Of course, it also had other stuff in it, so this time around we can start going into other useful stuff like new jobs and class design. Which is a good thing, since, again, we’ve got a little while longer until Stormblood arrives, but not forever. So enough preamble; let’s finish up talking about the stories in Heavensward, especially as we’re moving into the parts that just unambiguously did not land well.
There are a number of issues that I have with the character creator for Black Desert, but I greatly enjoy and appreciate the fact that I can actually have tattoos. Not just a little thing on the side of my character’s face, either; my characters can have scrawling marks along their bodies if I so desire. It’s a little thing, and there are many games in which it would be rarely, if ever, actually seen by others… but I like it. And it makes me sad how few games actually offer that option.
It is not unique in this regard, though. I will never stop appreciating the fact that we get new hairstyles in Final Fantasy XIV on a regular basis, usually at least two per patch, and they always offer new options for characters. I feel like Star Trek Online has something really nice in both allowing you to slide your character’s proportions around within constrained rules, and I also like the option to choose between your idle poses. Many of these features aren’t as expanded as they could be, but they’re still options I wish more games had. So what about you? What option do you wish showed up in more MMO character creators?