dungeon

EverQuest announces ‘true box’ progression server

These days, EverQuest seems to exist to be a test bed for different progression server concepts. Its community certainly doesn’t tire of starting all over again, which Daybreak is banking on for the launch of the Coirnav progression server on March 16th.

As part of the game’s 19th anniversary, the rollout of Coirnav will give players a slightly different way to experience the game: without multiboxing. This “true box” server only allows one EverQuest account per computer as a way to encourage players to group up with friends instead of relying on armies of alts.

Other rules for this server ruleset including instanced raid bosses, a 12-week cadence of content unlocks, and slightly slower XP rates than most other progression servers. As with all of EverQuest’s progression shards, you’ll have to have a subscription to be able to access Coirnav.

Source: EverQuest

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Pantropy works to simplify crafting and protect players from offline raids

With $24k out of $94k raised so far, the German mech shooter Pantropy has a long road ahead of it in its Kickstarter campaign.

The team hasn’t stopped developing for the game during this period, however. It reported that work is being done on an “offline raid protection system” to make the PvP battlescape a little more fair.

It also acknowledged that its crafting system needs an overhaul: “We also got a lot of feedback from our current playerbase and the result is that our crafting is waaaay to complex. We’ll try to re-write all crafting recipes today and make them more simple.”

As we’ve pointed out previously, Pantropy is a little larger than your typical multiplayer game but less than a bigger MMO, with a server size of 64 to 128 players duking it out over an alien landscape.

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AdventureQuest 3D comes to a head with the Dragons of Ashfall

The third and final chapter of AdventureQuest 3D’s epic Dragons of Ashfall is now live. After months of battling up and through a volcano, players are finally able to take the fight to the big bad dragon boss itself.

Five and 20-player raids against the Great Dragon Talyn lies at the heart of the update, but it is certainly not the only addition. With the patch, the level cap has been increased to 20, players can now earn the DragonSlayer class, and new gear is available to unlock.

The team said that now the update is live, fans can expect to see a faster pace of releases: “Next week we will release those two dungeons to the right and left at the top of Mount Ashfall. Then, it is time for Dage’s birthday — a gateway will open to new area of the Underworld. Heroes should be advised to be weary of signing any ‘contracts’ in the underworld. Then the Shaman Forest and Dragon’s Graveyard will quickly follow.”

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Chaos Theory: Do you need to sub to enjoy Secret World Legends?

A question I am asked quite a bit about free-to-play games is whether or not one needs to sub to really play. It is a fair question: We’ve got enough examples in the industry where not subbing can cripple you to the point that it is less than no fun and not worth even trying to play. So how about Secret World Legends? You’ve heard how great that story is and your interest is piqued, but you’ve been burned before. Do you need to pay for patron status to have a worthwhile experience playing? No. And yes.

The answer actually depends on what you want from the game and your preferred style of play. Can you play SWL and have a blast immersed in the amazing atmosphere and story without paying a dime? Absolutely! To get the most out of the game if you play more hardcore, however, you definitely want to become a patron.

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Want to try World of Warcraft’s PvE e-sports? Join season 2 of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational

World of Warcraft and e-sports go together like coffee and donuts! Macaroni and cheese! Bubblegum and walking! Yeah maybe more like that last one. And Blizzard is not giving up making the two work. In a new stream and dev blog out today, the company discusses just how season of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational is going to work.

Like last season’s showdown, this season’s will begin with two weeks of proving grounds beginning February 27th and March 6th. “During the two-week Proving Grounds period, you’ll form a group of five friends and tackle the highest difficulty Mythic Keystone dungeons you can handle,” Blizzard explains. “Your goal is to complete a total of five level 23 Mythic Keystone dungeons over those two weeks.” Duplicate runs don’t count, you can’t swap out characters, and you’ve got to beat the timer. Then you’ll register your team and await your invitation for stage 2. It’s an invitational, after all.

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The Daily Grind: How much time do you log in a typical MMORPG session?

The Pantheon community is discussing a really interesting question about the two-hour gamer this week: “How much do you expect to get done within a two-hour time frame?” The answers on the forum so far naturally skew toward the type of old-school gamers who are Pantheon superfans to begin with, so I wondered whether that would be the same for the greater MMORPG population. After all, MMOs (and other online games) have consistently rewritten the script for how much time they expect you to put in toward any given activity; while once it was no big thing to sit for a day camping a piece of gear, modern online games tailor matches and dungeon-runs for much shorter periods, sometimes in that 30-minute sweet spot.

So today’s Daily Grind is two-fold: First, how much time do you allot to a typical play session – do you consider yourself a two-hour gamer, playing in roughly two-hour chunks, or are your playtime chunks smaller (or longer)? And secondly, what do you expect to accomplish in that amount of time?

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Ashes of Creation shows off 52 minutes of pre-alpha gameplay

Open world dungeons, node tending, and other pre-alpha adventures were all part and parcel of Ashes of Creation’s developer livestream last week. The team showed off 52 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay that included exploration, various features, and a ton of action combat.

The team answered many community questions on the livestream, including how the current build was tailored specifically for testers: “We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it’s not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our dungeons. And that’s totally going to change when we go live.”

Other topics discussed was Ashes of Creation’s stealth system, account-bound player housing, caravans, diminishing returns on crowd control, animal husbandry (woo), and cosmetics. Check it out below!

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The Daily Grind: What do you think about ‘buying runs’ in MMORPGs?

Long ago in classic Guild Wars, I used to be fond of buying runs – probably the earliest was the Beacon’s Perch to Droknar’s Forge run. You’d take your alt to Beacon’s, pay the runner a few plat, then sit back as the runner warped the party along an extremely dangerous route past the majority of the game to the zone where you could craft good-looking, max-level armor, then you’d port back and keep playing and not need to worry about tedious armor upgrades along the way. It was actually a lot of fun to watch the specialized runner “work” and to chit-chat with other folks in the running party. And yep, it was all legal gameplay. Other games have similar mechanics in spite of not having party warping; you’ve probably heard of gamers in themeparks like World of Warcraft buying a “spot” on a raid that will essentially carry them and give them the loot they’re after.

In Guild Wars 2, however, you’d probably best watch out if you’re into that type of gameplay: ArenaNet clarified last week that it’s OK with people buying runs in-game, but the studio says a lot of people in the running business are actually involved in third-party RMT, which the company considers illegal, so you buy runs at the risk of account bans if you transact with the wrong group.

What do you think about “buying runs” in MMORPGs?

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Destiny 2 empowers players to set Nightfall strike challenge levels, prototypes raid features

Destiny 2’s Nightfall strikes are in the wings, waiting for their turn to receive some love and adjustments. This should happen soon, as Bungie plans on getting rid of the pass-fail timer and replacing it with other criteria that will score varying degrees of success. Also, players can pick up challenge cards with handicaps that add a score multiplyer to their runs.

“Fireteams of any size should be able to participate, from organized clan groups to skilled solo players,” promised Game Director Christopher Barrett. “Players should be able to determine their own challenge level, by going slow and steady or fast and wild, with elective modifiers to test the most hardcore veterans.” Read more

The Game Archaeologist: BBS door games

When you think of MMORPGs, I wouldn’t blame you if your mind stayed rooted firmly in the past decade or so, perhaps taking a brief vacation to 1997 before returning to today’s 3-D polygonal glory. But it’s not like people just woke up in the late 90’s, looked at each other, and said, “Hmm. Online multiplayer RPGs. Let’s make it happen!”

On the contrary, history had been building up to that moment for quite some time. Tabletop RPGs and computer MUDs (multi-user dungeons) were both important ancestors of modern MMOs, just as was a mostly forgotten piece of software lore: the bulletin board system, also known as the BBS.

In layman’s terms, BBSes were like pocket internets — host computers that allowed anyone to dial up and use special programs remotely. While BBSes weren’t (initially) tied together like the world wide web, they featured a lot of the elements that would make the world wide web so popular, such as email, forums, and, yes, online games.

Today’s special Game Archaeologist will take a brief look at the history of the BBS, as well as a couple of its games that could be considered “MORPGs” (the “massively” part would be a while in coming). Dial up, gentle readers, and make your hissing modem noises!

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Pokemon Go adds Rayquaza, European shop events, and raid fixes

Hey trainers! Legendary pokemon Rayquaza joins the raid fun “for a limited time” in Pokemon Go beginning today through March 16th.

“In celebration, Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region will take over wild encounters until February 13. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to catch powerful Pokémon such as Salamence, Altaria, Metagross, and more! […] You’ll also have a chance to battle the Legendary Water-type Pokémon Kyogre before it swims away on February 14.”

Players across Europe should hit the mall, as all 58 Unibail-Rodamco POGO shopping center locations will activate lure modules at the pokestops during daylight hours in February, with an extra community day on the 24th. This is real life.

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The Stream Team: Elder Scrolls Online Dragon Bones dungeon run with devs

If you enjoy playing Elder Scrolls Online, you are likely looking forward to the Dragon Bones DLC that will be released next week. But what if you can’t wait until then to check out the new dungeons? You can either dive into them on the test server, or join Massively OP’s MJ and ZeniMax devs as they delve into them for you. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to vicariously experience either Fang Lair or Scalecaller peak. And bring your questions for the devs!

What: The Elder Scrolls Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 9, 2018

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Massively Overthinking: Which MMORPGs should stay away from legacy servers?

Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.

That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?

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