It’s so disappointing when an evil deity fails to adequately plan for an invasion, isn’t it? That’s what’s hitting Riders of Icarus, and really, it just makes the God of Ruin look incompetent. First he sends his two weakest generals to take stock of the defenders of the realm, but then they wind up getting into dust-ups with mortals, losing, and letting their relics fall into mortal hands. So mortals are actually doing better because of this first invasion attempt!
Just sloppy work all around, really.
The overarching plan for future development is to ultimately give players access to the fourth relic slot whilst also allowing players mechanics to select the desired stats for that relic. Meanwhile, the world raid will continue to improve and offer better rewards and bigger foes, so don’t rest on your laurels just yet. Check out the full gameplan on the official site.
It’s almost the dawning of the age of… celestiality? You know, there’s probably a reason why Blade & Soul
didn’t make that joke for its Celestial Dawn patch, which arrives on June 20th. Seriously, you can check out the patch notes on the official site
, or you can look at a preview and a trailer for the patch just below. They’re all there, and they should provide you all of the background you need on the patch.
If you’d rather just read it right now, though, you can look forward to a new Heroic solo dungeon, the final part of the 12-player Nightfall Sanctuary raid, and a new Grand Celestial evolution for your favorite weapon. That’s in addition to the usual quality of life bumps that come with every patch including new items to purchase from Lee Youjin and a new buff for normal dungeons. Dedicated players will want to read through the patch notes just the same. There’s lots of information.
Bethesda’s E3 reveal of Fallout 76 had many gamers and franchise fans talking, no more so than out among MMO bloggers. After all, taking the series online for the first time is a pretty notable occasion, is it not?
“As I said before, I am all onboard with a Fallout survival game,” wrote In An Age. “Exploring the wasteland and looting all the things consists of about 80% of my gameplay in this series, and I am currently on an extreme survival game kick the likes of which I have not experienced since my high school JRPG days. All of that sounds fantastic to me.”
Leo’s Life isn’t as enthusiastic: “I was certainly interested last week. Now, not so much. It’s not the game that I wanted, but it’s probably the game that someone else did.” And Endgame Variable notes that, “The first thing they showed was your basic animalistic gankbox-style PvP. That’s got to be sending a message.”
Bless Online Executive Producer Sungjin Ko is back with another letter for the community today, this one offering insight into why Neowiz picked early access in the first place, especially given the game’s rocky reception. In short, it’s because Neowiz did so much rewriting of the game for western audiences and really wanted western audiences to give it a thorough testing.
“Ultimately, this desire to try something new with the systems of Bless Online combined with the need for an open discussion with our player base led us to Steam’s Early Access platform,” Ko explains. “It allows us to make sure we have the funds to continue supporting Bless, while also working directly with our players to make Bless everything it can be and more. […] Where we are today with Bless Online’s Steam Early Access is not where we will be when the game officially launches in the coming months. As you hopefully have seen, we’ve been hard at work addressing feedback, making changes, fixing bugs, and working to make the best game for both Neowiz Bless studio and our fans.”
With the rollout of Patch 4.3, Final Fantasy XIV is offering its players a nice big slice of content to enjoy as we head into the summer. It certainly seems to be a time in which many players are making their way back to the game — or through it.
For example, Harbinger Zero booted back up his subscription to give the game a second chance. Sounds like things are going well: “How can I not compliment the job system? It keeps the game fresh to know I can log in and with a button click change my playstyle while keeping my character and progress.”
Aywren Sojourner recently wrapped up Stormblood’s main storyline and has a few thoughts on the journey (with lots of spoilers, of course). “I hate to say it because there were some pleasant parts to Stormblood, especially in Doma,” she wrote, “but I’m actually just glad to get beyond this story arc.”
We’ve got more MMO blog essays, including ones on making alt-friendly MMOs, State of Decay 2 impressions, and the best and worst of Dungeons and Dragons Online!
When Radical Heights launched, I was inspired to put together a whole Perfect Ten about why trend-chasing doesn’t work for online games. Obviously, my chief focus was on games that wind up being developed at a rushed pace to cash in on trends and then run face-first into problems with chasing momentary trends, which… you know, you can just read the article; it’s linked right there. But it also prompted a follow-up question by longtime reader Sally Bowls asking why, with all of these issues, why the same rules don’t apply to MMOs.
The answer? Well, there isn’t one answer. There are three answers, all of which are part of the same set of considerations. For one thing, there’s the difference of development time and depth. For another, there’s the time before grinding. And last but not least, well… they do apply, really. But let’s take this piece by piece to talk about why trend-chasing for MMOs doesn’t quite provoke the same immediate reactions as it does for, say, MOBAs.
Is there any possible redemption for Bless Online? This disastrous soft launch has many players throwing up their hands and demanding refunds (not to mention flocking to competing titles). Any road forward to viability and stability will lead through proper balance and better design decisions, among others.
Neowiz apologized on Steam for the game’s imbalance after the so-called game balance adjustment in patch 18.104.22.168. The studio went on to outline how it is attempting to shore up the high levels: “Our game balance goal is to bind players together for our endgame content. In addition, we want the endgame to be challenging. However, we understand low-level and solo players’ difficulties and we will make up for it soon.”
Balance is only one of the studio’s worries, however. Players have reported that it’s not that difficulty to utterly break the game by modifying Bless’ initialization file. Want to fly? Choose your level? Bypass restrictions? It’s all possible, and it’s allegedly happening. Perhaps Neowiz needs to get on top of this? Just a friendly suggestion.
It doesn’t appear that the second wave of Bless Online sales that began yesterday for the game’s early access launch will top the peak of the early access headstart. Steam Charts is showing yesterday’s peak falling just shy of the weekend’s 34K zenith, with over 20K players in there right now.
What will make Neowiz happy, though, is that Steam reviews have recovered somewhat; while yesterday the game had sunk into the “mostly negative” zone, this morning it was merely “mixed.” (Steam reviews have been buggy this morning and on some games are showing at zero, but we expect that fixed at some point.)
Since Neowiz’s apology yesterday – itself a response to complaints over the game’s lack of endgame content, fleshed-out PvP, and dupe-protection – it’s suffered another round of “urgent maintenance” downtime, closed a server, added a new server, and dropped character creation restrictions on multiple NA and EU servers. It’s also kicked off a new experience and crafting buff event.
It’s safe to say that Bless Online’s early access soft launch is not going to plan. As we’ve been reporting, the Neowiz MMORPG has been suffering from crashes and downtime since its release on Monday, with players up in arms over the lack of content at endgame, duping bugs, PvP problems, and cash shop shenanigans. Reddit is understandably awash in complaints and refund notices.
That’s no doubt why Executive Producer Sungjin Ko is back on Steam today with copious apologies in tow. “We would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who participated our Head Start as Founders for the recent issues which resulted in long waits and many inconveniences,” he writes. In the short term, Ko says, Neowiz has been racing to get more servers online and curb the client, loading screen, patcher, database, looting, and launcher problems, all of which have been addressed. “Now we have expanded to six NA servers and four EU servers,” he notes, with more waiting in the wings.
Players who feel like tanking is too straightforward in World of Warcraft will definitely have to do more stuff in Battle for Azeroth. Whether or not that’s more fun is a different story, but tanks are having their threat generation cut to 40% of their baseline value in Legion and as low as 20% of the threat generated by a fully geared endgame tank. So expect to tab around a lot more and frantically taunt things to keep everything on you. Doesn’t that sound fun?
No? Well, it’s happening anyhow, apparently.
Speaking of thankless chores you didn’t want, the latest comic leading up to the next expansion centers around Magni, former king of Ironforge and current speaker for the planet of Azeroth. It’s a thankless job with long hours, low pay, and also the fate of an entire planet resting on your diamond shoulders. Learn all about it in comic form!
If you thought the Bless Online community was in meltdown after two days of early access headaches, wait until you see the reaction to the actual MMO once people started playing.
Reddit is currently aflame over several topics. For starters, the first players are already hitting level 45 and finding that the endgame content they expected based on what’s in the other regional versions of the game simply isn’t there. One poster rattles off an immense list of missing content, including arenas, battlegrounds, the PvP ranking system, hard mode dungeons, daily dungeons, and honor point system.
(Worth pointing out here is that we became suspicious about the state of PvP ourselves when no PvP was shown at the day-long press event a few weeks ago, despite studio claims that PvP was one of the game’s three pillars.)
The endgame in Revelation Online
is heating up today with the launch of Imperial Wars, My.com’s latest content patch. The nifty part is that this is one of the content drops that really make an MMORPG worthy of the name, thanks to the fact that the “entire population of a server can participate in fighting another server for dominance of the Imperial Frontier.” It’s basically WvWvW.
“The Frontier map is the largest battleground in the game and hosts multiple castles, towns and camps for the rivaling sides to fight over. Each week two of the game’s servers will be locked into a series of daily activities on the massive battleground map, alternating between attacking camps, gathering intelligence or even taking down the Crystal Chaos beast for its resources. Players will need to participate in the daily activities to be eligible for the rewards in the decisive final confrontation at the end of the week! Up to 300 players per side can simultaneously join on the Imperial Frontier in the final battle held each Sunday.”
Today’s update also rolls out new hireable mercenaries, tweaks to the badge and rune system, and “new class optimization options to improve healing or damaging effects, reducing damage taken, to get the most out of the characters.”
As it always has been, so it is again; we’ve got our next patch for Final Fantasy XIV
just around the corner, and thus we have a new set of patch notes to peruse well ahead of the actual patch. But we don’t have the full list of new items, which is frustrating. Especially if you’re thinking about which furnishing items you want to move around and so forth, because really, what other
stuff is important in a given patch? Endgame progression? Who cares.
Reading through the patch notes is always a bit like some sort of ersatz holiday, because you already know the majority of the things you’re getting but not all of the details until the patch notes come out… and then the patch notes deliberately obscure some things so you still don’t know everything. But I can live with not knowing exactly what quests are in Return to Ivalice just because I can see that there are a lot of them. So let’s start taking this apart before we get to actually play it.