Wondering what happened to Rend since its big debut at PAX East? Frostkeep Studios went decidedly quiet over the summer after the three-faction sandbox’s first alpha. Did something happen in that alpha that made the devs change their minds about creating the survival game? After meeting with Jeremy Wood, Co-founder, and Jordan Leithart, developer, at this weekend’s PAX West 2017, I learned that Rend very much is still a thing; in fact, now it’s a even bigger thing. The devs didn’t change their minds about making the game — they’ve increased the scope.
Wood noted that after fan reactions, the team knew it had something good, “something people were excited about. In order to do that justice, then we needed to expand our vision a little bit.” He said the game was too contrictive — it “needed more.” So more it is. Rend is making some big changes, from dramatically increasing the size of the map to adding in more MMO elements to the game. And after checking out these chances, I am more excited to jump in the game myself when it is expected to reopen its doors to testing this fall.
Now that the fantasy sandbox Tree of Life has officially launched, what’s next for this game? The answer is obvious: ghost archers. Did you even doubt it?
The team is adding these spectral bowmen to protect lowbies in the early zones from unwarranted ganking: “The ghost guardians for each gaction are patrolling around the novice areas and attack the adventurers from their enemy factions. The successors of your factions are now protecting their descendants.The guardians are invincible, shooting strong arrows. Note that those guardians go through the walls and the buildings since they are ghosts.”
Now that makes us want to be able to play as the ghost archers, so let’s make that happen, developers. Yesterday’s patch also added more animals out in the field, a new level 5 arrow tower, a longer cooldown for resurrection, and some graphical improvements.
. Thanks Twotridents!
Happy September, EVE Online
. Howsabout an expansion? You got it: CCP
has just announced Lifeblood
, launching October 24th.
“As new technologies for resource acquisition emerge in the form of Upwell Refineries, new moon mining capabilities and refined reaction processes, pirate factions have set their sights on taking a slice of the dwindling resources that remain in New Eden. With more tools for resource gathering at the hands of capsuleers than ever before, the competition for raw materials and supremacy over space is becoming more heated than ever as the cluster is pushed closer toward the brink of all out conflict.”
New refinery structures are en route, along with moon mining, a better UI for reactions and The Agency tool, collaborative gameplay dubbed “resource wars,” pirate FOBs to take out, a balancing pass for alpha ships, and a ledger for mining history. The studio’s also awarding Fanfest and EVE Vegas ticket holders a Marshal class CONCORD Battleship. Requisite trailer below!
Curious where you might travel to next in The Division’s post-apocalyptic New York City? Since the whole game is “tourists with guns” anyway, why not visit the aircraft carrier Intrepid, which is now a floating museum-slash-video game level?
Ubisoft revealed the details behind its upcoming Resistance update today, informing players that they will be visiting a new zone called West Side Pier. It’s here where the Intrepid is docked, but don’t expect to be standing around goggling and taking pictures! The enemy factions are starting to band together against the Division forces, and players will engage in the new Resistance PvE mode to counter their threat.
If that’s not enough, Update 1.8 is also going to add a 4v4 deathmatch skirmish mode for Division players who can’t get along. What kind of example are we giving to the enemy by doing this, anyway?
Check out the reveal trailer below!
Last week, colorful sandbox MMO Tree of Life slipped the bonds of early access and launched itself into the wild blue yonder of live operation. If you played it a while back, you may be startled to see how much it’s changed in the meantime. In fact, the team has subtitled the game “Beyond the Journey” to indicate that this is almost a completely rebuilt game.
The release version of Tree of Life includes the warden tree building system, guilds, factions, the mastery system, a better UI, more mounts (ever want to ride a chicken for some reason?), more decorations, and the new Clay Engine 2 game client.
The team re-released an official launch trailer but also threw in a nice new wrap-up video of the early access period to thank the community for all of its help. You can view both of these after the jump.
Daybreak is a whirlwind this week: First it broke up the H1Z1 party and got Just Survive its own apartment, and now it’s bringing PlanetSide 2 up to speed. The studio is unveiling what it’s calling Critical Mass, an update planned for later in August that overhauls the game’s victory point system.
“Previously, the VP system acted as a sort of checklist where factions would complete various objectives which then rewarded points to that faction,” Daybreak explains. “Earning these points was somewhat removed from the moment to moment experience, and would often reward factions for what they’ve done in the past, instead of painting a picture of the current state of a continent. This was especially noticeable toward the end of the process, where continents would lock abruptly, often interrupting high-intensity battles in a dissatisfying or anticlimactic way.”
To fix that, the team is removing random alerts, nuking the “checklist goals” from the system, changing how continent locking works, and providing scaling rewards. Expect it on the test server “soon” ahead of the PC/PS4 launch later in August.
Korean sandbox import Tree of Life is officially in “final beta” ahead of its launch this week.
“NeoBricks is announcing Tree of Life, the sandbox MMORPG on Steam has been already started the Final Beta on live servers and the official launch will be on 17th of August,” reads the press release. “By official launch, German, Russian, Brazilian-Portuguese, French and Simplified Chinese will be added.”
NeoBricks and OddoneGames previously said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild; today’s press post says the game was “loved by around 85,000” users during early access.
Along with the partial wipe ahead of the launch, the plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. But PvE servers are not happening. “The three factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature,” the devs wrote earlier this month. “We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP
Here’s a little bit of bad news that’s followed by a large dose of good news for Arcfall fans. The team announced that it decided to move back the implementation of the game’s PvP system by two weeks.
Bummer, right? Well, it’s actually because of an unexpectedly good thing. The team said that it’s been making such great progress on the western sandbox that it will be able to exit pre-alpha and enter alpha testing earlier than anticipated. And because the transition requires a wipe, it didn’t make sense to also wipe for a PvP system two weeks beforehand.
Thus, on August 25th Arcfall will officially become an alpha product, and add systems like PvP, animal taming, animal farming, mounts, factions, guilds, swimming, castles, player-owned vendors, and a revised loot system. That’s a decent trade-off for a two-week delay, eh?
In the pantheon of SOE’s (now Daybreak) flagship EverQuest franchise, there used to be a whole family of MMOs gathered around the table every evening. There was Papa EverQuest, looking a little wrinkled and worn but also radiating fame and authority. Next to him was Mama EverQuest II, a powerful matron of entertainment. And EverQuest Next used to be a twinkle in their eyes before it was extinguished.
Then, in the next room over was a cabinet. The cabinet was locked. Inside that cabinet used to be a weird abnormality that certainly looks like a member of the family, but one that hadn’t seen the light of day in quite some time. This member subsisted on the scraps of an aging console and the fading loyalty of fans, hoping against odds that one day he’d be allowed out for a stroll or something. His name was EverQuest Online Adventures, the EverQuest MMO nobody mentions.
EQOA was a strange abnormality in SOE’s lineup. While it was one of the very first console MMOs and heir to the EverQuest name, it was quickly eclipsed in both areas by other games and left alone. Yet, against all odds, it continued to operate on the PlayStation 2 for the better part of a decade before its lights were turned off. Today, let’s look at this interesting experiment and the small cult following it created.
When Star Wars: The Old Republic
first released, an old Star Wars Galaxies
argument popped up, and the crux of that argument was this: “No one wants to be Uncle Owen.” If we say that SWG
pre-NGE was the Uncle Owen game, where players could successfully play a simple moisture farmer, and compare it to SWTOR
, where you can be a member of the Dark Council, then we would see that SWTOR
is clearly the winner if we are talking about the sheer number of players. However, SWG
was one of the founding MMOs; it helped kickstart the genre. There were just not that many people playing MMORPGs at that time, so comparing the raw numbers is a bit unfair.
The argument continues. If we look at the story in the upcoming Battlefront II game, we see a kind of Uncle Owen story. The main protagonist of the game is a Commander of a squadron of Imperial soldiers that we have never heard of until now. Her name is Iden Versio, and she is, for all intents, a faceless Stormtrooper. Star Wars fans are very excited about playing through this storyline. I’m one of them.
However, the biggest place where we see the Uncle Owen controversy is in the SWTOR roleplay community, and I believe that if we study their arguments for and against playing a powerful character, we will gain a greater understanding why some storylines work and others do not.
Short of taking a blow to the head, there’s very little I can suggest in the way of experiencing a familiar MMORPG for the first time again. That new car smell eventually fades away, that initial head-over-heels enthusiasm settles into routine, and a vast world full of mysteries gradually gives way to familiar knowledge over time. It’s not a terrible thing, mind you; relationships change and develop with games as they do in real life.
But I find that every so often I come to a point when I don’t want to give up a game that I’ve greatly enjoyed, yet I’m also a bit burned out and feeling like I am hemmed in by a daily routine and the same-old, same-old. That’s when I start to employ a series of tactics and approaches to inject fresh experiences and perspectives.
So if you’ve been playing an MMO for too long and need to change things up to keep from getting stale and restless, what can you do? Here are 10 suggestions that I found quite helpful in my own gaming career.
Here comes another MMO emerging from early access! We’re talking about Korean sandbox import Tree of Life, which hit beta last year following a transition to factional PvP and a big graphics overhaul. Developers NeoBricks and OddoneGames, who’ve said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild, are plotting a final beta from August 10th to 16th, at which point the servers will be partially wiped and launched on the 17th.
The announcement comports with last month’s note that the test phase would come to an end in “early August 2017” when the game is fully released on Steam. The plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. As for PvE servers,
“The idea of PvE/PvP servers is interesting but we do not consider it. In the world of ToL, the 3 factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature. We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP (We have looked at the Community Feedback and have been discussing about PvP and concluded to remove the Relic war in the official version).”
After just a brief delay (but still probably way too soon), Lord of the Rings Online
has officially launched its Mordor
expansion. I’m sure I owe somebody something for wagering all those years ago that we’d never get to this day, but here we are.
“This expansion allows players the ability to explore the shadowy lands beyond the Black Gate and includes:
Over 300 new quests: Players journey into Mordor and plunge into a new adventure, filled with lost stories, unfamiliar enemies, and the opportunity to fight through the lands around Mount Doom and beyond.
A new allegiance system: Pledge support to one of the factions seeking to reclaim this long-lost piece of Middle-earth. Players will be able to gain bonuses, story and exclusive gear along the way!
Crafting and gear updates: Players are able to customize their Hero with all-new armor, weapons, accessories, and more!
A new race – the High Elf. With the purchase of the Collector’s Edition or the Ultimate Fan Bundle, players will be able to ally with the High Elf.
Extensive landscape updates. Explore the beautiful and terrifying landscape of Gorgoroth to discover hidden treasures and additional rewards.”
You can pick up the expansion on the official site, but maybe take a look at our thoughts on the different tier packages first — you’re looking at at least $40. We’ve tucked our Mordor coverage to date down below along with the launch trailer, which, well… it doesn’t really show the game’s best look. Happy patch day!