If you happened to miss it, MJ and I jumped to the island of Vvardenfell on Monday because early access for the Elder Scrolls Online chapter of Morrowind started this week. Unlike other times that we’ve streamed together when most of what we did was questing, we just explored the island this time. Although part of that time was spent just figuring out my mic situation, it was a fun way to see the island and a very interesting way to play the game.
When MMOs and I were young, I hopped into Ultima Online not having a clue how to play the game. I saw miners running around naked supposedly because ore was heavy (and the threat of ganks was real). I saw people standing just outside the city carefully poking each other with low-level knives to help them gain experience. I also saw people standing around the bank barking, attempting to sell their wares. None of this was actually questing, but all of it was a legitimate way to play the game.
Elder Scrolls Online is a unique game, far apart from your standard themepark-style MMO. I would still call it a themepark, but it veers from the standard World-of-Warcraft-style themepark in many ways, chiefly in that you don’t have to follow a singular path to get a lot out of the game. In fact, have come up with some alternative ways to enjoy the content of Morrowind without following the main questline.
Could ARK: Survival Evolved finally be launching? That’s a question many survivors would love to see answered soon. Unfortunately, we can’t provide you with any date as one hasn’t been announced. But it appears there could be a light at the end of that tunnel thanks to a Studio Wildcard interview earlier this week in a podcast dedicated to the survival genre.
If you are a fan of survival games as I am (and chances are high if you are reading this!), you might really want to check out Infection – The Survival Podcast. ARK fans especially will be interested in this week’s episode 122; it features a lengthy discussion with Kayd Hendricks, the senior technical game play designer. Hendricks touches on many subjects, including the team, early access, wipes, launch, narrative, and more. Even without a launch date, it’s really worth a listen/watch; a couple of his remarks really struck a chord with me.
Thinking about giving The Elder Scrolls Online a go as the march toward Morrowind pushes on toward June? You probably won’t find a cheaper deal between then and now than the Humble Bundle’s prices.
You’re looking at $9.89 for the cheapskate version for people who just want a looksee, but the Gold edition for $29.99 is probably the best deal, since it includes most of (though not all) of the DLC packs to date.
Anybody picking it up?
The newest Adversary mode for Grand Theft Auto Online isn’t about stealing things. It’s barely even about exploding cars. No, it’s about taking the game back to its roots with top-down stunt racing on an elevated track, complete with boost sections, power-ups, and all of the general ridiculousness you could expect. It’s the Tiny Racers mode, and it’s live now, without any need for DLC.
Players who drop too far behind the pack in this mode will get blown up, but for the most part it’s just about fun and mildly goofy top-down races across seven tracks. You’ll be getting increased rewards for playing it for the next week or so, which should serve as even more motivation to try it out. Check out the trailer just below for a glimpse at the action.
When I took the trip to ZeniMax Online Studios to check out Morrowind a couple of months back, I was sitting at a table with other games press and a handful of ZOS developers, including Creative Director Rich Lambert and Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler. The conversation wasn’t exactly off the record, but it wasn’t really an interview setting either. We were just talking, mostly about our lives: how Brian had to leave soon because he might get in trouble with his girlfriend and how Rich spent many overnights at the same hotel that the press had been staying in because he was at the office late and had to be there again early the next day.
During the course of the conversation, we ended up talking about how the press had originally received the Elder Scrolls Online and how it received it since the console launch. It’s not a big secret that I said some pretty critical things about ESO shortly after its PC launch. Rich pointed out during the conversation, possibly not knowing the outlet I was from, that he was surprised at how the opinions had turned around, especially Massively’s. And when he said “Massively,” I don’t think he realized that it was specifically my opinion that had that changed, drastically, since I’ve been the site’s ESO columnist since before the game’s launch.
If you don’t yet own The Elder Scrolls Online but want to see if it’s worth owning ahead of the Morrowind update, you’ll get your chance today. Starting at 10:00 a.m. EDT everyone can download the game and log in for free. You’ll have full access to the base game, although you won’t be able to hop into the various DLC areas or quest lines. Unless, of course, you purchase them, which is a bit more doable at this point since the game is currently knee-deep in its anniversary sale.
If you’ve participated in a previous free week, you’ll be happy to know that your characters and progress have all been retained, so you won’t have to start over from the bottom. And you’ll get 500 Crowns for free just for logging in, so you have even more reason to be tempted by cash shop shinies. The free week lasts until April 18th at 10:00 a.m. EDT, so go ahead and jump in as soon as you’re ready.
Have you been itching to pop into The Elder Scrolls Online ahead of the launch of Morrowind in June? Good news for you: Bethsoft has just announced it’s plotting a free play week beginning tomorrow and ending on April 18th. The event is for PC, PS4, and Xbox One (and Mac!), so you’ll have seven days to try it out without dropping a penny.
On a fresh account, you’ll have access to the whole base game (but not the DLC). You also pick up 500 crowns to spend in the cash shop. “Any characters created, Crown Packs purchased, or Crown Store items bought, as well as any progress made during the Free Play Week will carry over when you purchase the game,” ZeniMax says, in the hopes that you will indeed purchase said game. Plus:
“During the Free Play Week, you’ll enjoy a discounted price on either The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (the base game) or The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Edition, which includes the base game as well as the four major DLC packs: Imperial City, Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and The Dark Brotherhood.”
I’ve been a bit frustrated with Niantic lately. I love some of its ideas, but I watched someone else play Ingress prior to Pokemon GO’s release, and I noticed very similar problems between the two games after release — problems that the company should have noticed and corrected in its followup.
Recently I decided to try out the former. Both are totally unintuitive. You have to search the UI for the tutorials, though Ingress’ can be accessed only near objectives. You’re asked to join a faction sooner there than in PoGO and with no context beyond 2-3 sentences. The game throws jargon with little to no context at you throughout the tutorial, making it difficult to follow. I walked around, clicking things and used items that I don’t fully understand, not because I’m too lazy to read but because I wanted to understand a game without consulting google. I saw portals get taken without anyone around me as I stood by an objective near a government-restricted area where standing still longer than it takes to read “No Trespassing” could trigger security. I couldn’t get into it, not just because it was simple but because it was poorly designed.
So let’s assume that you’re a regular MMORPG player who’s never really been into Elder Scrolls series, wasn’t around for TES III: Morrowind, never picked up Skyrim’s Dragonborn DLC, or didn’t side with the Ebonheart Pact in The Elder Scrolls Online. Or maybe you just have nothing but antipathy for dark elves in fantasy. If you’re in those groups but are still interested in The Elder Scrolls Online as just a solid themepark MMORPG rather than fanservice, you might be wondering just why the heck everyone is freaking out in anticipation of the Morrowind expansion.
That’s exactly what ZeniMax’s new lore piece out today tries to explain, giving newbies some backstory on the island of Vvardenfell during the time period of the MMORPG, from the politics to the ecology of the region.
So what if there’s a new Destiny 2 trailer on the way with an official announcement later today? That’s later today. You want to know all of this now. A Reddit thread with more information on the title has been deleted, but the rumors have already gotten out elsewhere that the game’s story will involve more hopping around the Solar System, searching for more power as the Guardians run out of their limited reserves following the fall of the Last City.
The leak also offers supposed box art for a PC release and details on the collector’s edition, which includes the first two pieces of DLC, cosmetic in-game items, a bag and a custom charger, and a premium box. Whether or not all of this is true remains to be seen, obviously; it could be completely untrue, but it all sounds plausible enough. We’ll just have to speculate for… an hour or two, at least.
; thanks to Marnick for the tip!
You wanted answers, we’ve got answers! As soon as Funcom
sent us the press release and the FAQ about the launch
of Secret World Legends
and its effect on The Secret World
, we fired off some questions to get more details and some clarification. Game Director Romain Amiel
has now expounded on different aspects of both games for us, including the use of the Ability Wheel, changes to progression, Grandmaster status in both games, future development, and more. Here’s what he had to say.
(Bad news spoiler: Your hopes of having continued content in The Secret World or a new graphics engine have the same lifespan as an Orochi agent.)
Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
In the comments of a Daily Grind last week, a few commenters tangented into debate about The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind pricing.
See, the original “ESO Plus” deal for ESO subscription holders granted them full access to all future downloadable content (DLC) forever and ever, as long as they were subscribed to the game. Morrowind, however, has been marketed not as DLC but as a “chapter,” meaning it will not be subject to the Plus promises, and so everyone will have to pay for it. Grumbling ensued.
“Suppose I paid BMW a monthly fee to drive [BMW] cars,” commenter Odin wrote. “I could drive whatever I want as long as I paid. They announce a great new car I want to drive. I cant wait, but they tell me, “This isnt a car; it’s an automobile. You have to pay extra.'”