Live in EverQuest II today is the long-awaited GU106: Seeds of Vengeance update. As Daybreak’s previously noted, the update includes the new Shard of Hate zone, the item examine window UI revamp, and new expert and expert event versions of some dungeons, plus the new fast travel feature to the Plane of Magic. There’s a big sale on cash shop items through the weekend, as well as a double experience event over the holiday to aid your leveling.
Beginning today, Daybreak has also kicked off a promotion granting “all existing accounts” a freebie level 100 heroic character, complete with a familiar, mercenary, flying mount, and a full set of gear, plus temporary access to the Planes of Prophecy so that you can actually level to 105 and check out the new stuff.
Star Trek Online
has officially put a launch date on its Deep Space Nine-based expansion, Victory is Life
: June 5th, at least for PC.
“The Deep Space Nine-themed update takes Captains on a maiden journey to the Gamma Quadrant, where they team up with crew members from DS9 to battle the Hur’q. This includes Quark (Armin Shimerman), Odo (René Auberjonois), Kira (Nana Visitor), Doctor Bashir (Alexander Siddig) and eight other characters voiced by the original cast members. The expansion also introduces a brand new Jem’Hadar playable faction, increased level cap, seven new episodes, an all-new Gamma Quadrant Sector Battlezone and other gameplay features.”
Meanwhile, as technically Star Trek Online is adding a new playable faction as part of the expansion, you should probably temper your expectations. You should temper them quite a lot. As players are discovering while they explore the test servers, there’s not a whole lot of original content for the Jem’Hadar faction.
Could H1Z1 be saved through the PlayStation 4? There is no doubt that Daybreak is banking heavily on the battle royale title striking big on the console — and it may do just that.
In the first day of the title’s free-to-play open beta, over 1.5 million players downloaded the game to give it a try. While definitely popular, the crush of players and 200K concurrency have caused issues, and Daybreak has been scrambling to deal with power outages, missing items, and other server problems.
“A huge THANK YOU to the 1,500,000+ of you who have joined us in The Arena since the H1Z1 open beta launch on PS4 yesterday!” Daybreak tweeted. “We’re continuing to work to resolve login and purchase issues, and are committed to bringing you a pure battle royale experience.”
The PlayStation 4 version of H1Z1 differs from the PC client with features such as “a radial weapon menu, grab-and-go equipment system, and no inventory management.”
No console lives forever, although it seems like the more recent generations have enjoyed lengthy runs. Sony delivered some disconcerting news to fans this week as it said that the PlayStation 4, which debuted back in 2013, is now heading into the end of its life cycle as hardware sales decrease.
This doesn’t mean that the console is going to be abandoned any time soon, just that Sony is shifting its hardware priorities elsewhere. Software sales are still expected to continue strong for the time being, and the company reported that the online PlayStation Network now has 80 million users. Sony told The Wall Street Journal that the next iteration of the popular platform is at least three years off.
It’s been a long time coming, but H1Z1 finally hit open beta on the PlayStation 4 last night. If you forgot the game was coming to PS4, you’d be forgiven; the announcement was overshadowed last month by an apparent legal mess and major layoffs at Daybreak that reportedly hit H1Z1 hard.
Worth noting is that this version of H1Z1 has been tailored for console, with some basic mechanics, like the crafting system and inventory management, removed entirely.
“H1Z1 has been redesigned specifically for PlayStation 4 players, with a larger weapon arsenal – six new weapons – and fully reworked UI among the new features. Matches are fast and frantic. The encroaching ring of toxic gas moves quickly while the new weapon progression system keeps players engaged with frequent, increasingly lucrative airdrops. H1Z1’s control system has been overhauled for maximum speed and mayhem on PS4. With a familiar radial weapon menu, players can quickly switch between their two weapons of choice: guns and grenades. The grab-and-go equipment system also makes it easier for players to collect loot on the run.”
Guild Wars 2’s recent renovation of underwater combat has brought back some interest to this oft-neglected sphere of gameplay. Inventory Full’s Bhagpuss used this occasion as an opportunity to examine the role of underwater combat in general and the changes to GW2 in specific.
“The undersea worlds of most MMOs weren’t quite so unforgiving but still they were shunned,” he notes. “Developers tended to avoid them too, other than blocking out something wet and watery in the most perfunctory manner possible. It was quite a surprise when Guild Wars 2 launched with a goodly amount to see and do below the surface, any number of bodies of water, from inland lakes to the open seas, offering much the same opportunity and inducement to explore as their counterparts on dry land.”
Once you towel off from that essay, join the MMO blogosphere as it looks at DC Universe Online, World of Warcraft, RIFT Prime, and more!
Even though the original PlanetSide has been dead and in the ground for going on two years now, Daybreak isn’t going to pass up an opportunity to exhume its corpse for an easy shot at publicity. As this week would have marked PlanetSide’s 15th anniversary, the studio is running an event in PlanetSide 2 to mark the occasion.
Through May 25th, PlanetSide 2 is enjoying double XP (quadruple XP if you’re a subscriber), a construction sale, a free “bending beacon” device that triggers a meteor shower. Players can also log in every day to get a free throwback bundles containing classic PlanetSide gear, camo, and vehicles.
While you’re celebrating the 15th anniversary, make sure to reminisce about classic PlanetSide with our Game Archaeologist retrospective on this MMORPG shooter!
When it comes to notable years in the MMORPG genre’s history, 2008 stands out as one of the most significant. World of Warcraft’s debut onto the scene in 2004 caused an upheaval in ways far too numerous to go into detail here. Suffice to say that its overwhelming popularity drew the attention of game designers who looked at the staggering numbers of players and found themselves envious of the potential to grab a slice of that money pie.
Many projects went into high gear following WoW’s launch, with plenty of them trying to copy the formula and structure that Blizzard established in the hopes of making it at least partially as big as that game. So-called WoW clones began to pepper the market and there was a sense that gamers were ready to move on from World of Warcraft to the next generation of MMOs. In many players’ minds, this would be either 2008’s Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, two big-budget MMOs with strong IPs that carried a lot of the weight of expectation.
Little did anyone realize that 2008 represented a bubble that was about to burst on the industry and the WoW clones that followed — including Warhammer Online. Today, we’re going to take a look at “bears, bears, bears,” the high hopes of Mythic Entertainment, and how WAR became a casaulty on its own battlefield.
Superman looks pretty good for 80, doesn’t he? And 80 is definitely a birthday worth celebrating. That is exactly what DCUO
is doing with a big commemorative event
going on right now. Massively OP’s MJ is jumping into the festivities. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to dive into the Death of Superman, part 1.
What: DC Universe Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 18th, 2018
Next week’s Seeds of Vengeance update for EverQuest II should give the population plenty to do as the game heads into the summer months. Daybreak continued to expand upong the patch’s offerings with a look at new expert dungeons and fast travel options.
GU106 will add expert and expert event dungeons to all Planes of Prophecy instances. You know the drill: higher challenge equals better rewards. The patch also includes an Elixir of the Expert to boost a character’s stats for such dungeons even if they’re somewhat underleveled.
The devs are also helping players zip around the game: “Druzzil Ro has removed the restrictions from the teleportation platforms in Plane of Magic, and opened two new pathways to Metetherial Plains and Amphitheater of Song. Fast travelling from one location to another is as simple as stepping on your closest teleportation platform and choosing your destination.”
When Daybreak’s Columbus Nova fiasco and layoffs were hitting last month, most of the company’s MMORPGs resurfaced without missing a beat, reassuring their playerbases that the patches would continue and the titles would see ongoing support. That wasn’t the case for the survival half of the original H1Z1 known as Just Survive. The lack of communication and information had prompted many players to assume the game would be “Landmarked” – that is, finally released from early access/beta to earn a little launch money and then quietly sunsetted.
But late last night, Daybreak finally tossed its fans on Reddit a bone. Technical Director Mitch Evans apologized for the silence, saying that he still has a “small yet passionate team” working on the game.
“Right now, we are focused on making sure you continue to enjoy the game, so the majority of our resources are spent mostly on maintaining game stability, fixing game-breaking bugs, and improving anti-cheat methods,” he writes.
In the comments of a recent Daily Grind, MOP commenter Sally reminded me that a certain MOP writer who shall remain nameless (Larry!) had an absurd number of Star Wars Galaxies accounts, and one might argue that while one sub to such a game isn’t pay-to-win, a whole ton of them might be, particularly in an economy-centric game like SWG.
The interesting thing about SWG was the diminishing returns on all those accounts: The human’s time was the limiting reagent. Yes, having another 10-20 lots per account for harvesters would bring in AFK money, but it might not be worth the human’s time to actually go deal with the harvies (or factories or storage houses) past a certain level of wealth; you could make more money in the same amount of time doing other, far less boring things. But there was definitely a sweet spot in the 2-5 account range, where you could run one of every crafter and create enough busywork to fill an entire day.
I found four accounts overwhelming but self-sufficient – and absolutely pay-to-win, for my definition of winning. (I have always assumed Larry’s stable was more for roleplaying, and might not fit the category.) Likewise, I’d argue that paying to multibox in themeparks, bypassing the need for other people, is also pay-to-win in many games.
What do you think? Should running multiple MMO accounts be considered pay-to-win?
For 80 years, everyone has enjoyed Superman. Everyone other than balding, transparently evil corporate overlords, anyhow. DC Universe Online
players have enjoyed him in a more active role, though, so it may seem a bit odd that the game’s big event to celebrate four score years of the Last Son of Krypton is… the Death of Superman
. That’s a bit unusual, isn’t it? “To celebrate your anniversary, you’ll die”?
Of course, the story it’s based upon is iconic. And there’s plenty to do in the update, too; players will be able to explore a new version of Metropolis in the wake of Doomsday’s rampage along with new daily and weekly missions. So it’s a celebration of an important part of the character’s history, and not to spoil a decades-old story too much, but it doesn’t end with Superman staying dead. Still, it might send… mixed messages.