factions

Factions is a standalone expansion for Guild Wars that released on April 28, 2006. It may also refer to the combat module release of Origins of Malu.

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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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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Multiplayer sci-fi sandbox Pantropy has launched its $91K Kickstarter

Last September, we first heard about Pantropy, a “sci-fi faction multiplayer shooter with mechs and focus on building and crafting” and a really cool name – not quite an MMO, but in our orbit, we think, particularly with the sandboxy features, hosted servers, and 128 potential players per server. At the time, German studio Brain Stone was plotting a November Kickstarter, but that was apparently delayed, as the Kickstarter launched just a few days ago and runs for the next month and change with a $91,903 US goal.

€15 (about $18.34 US) – is the cheapest pledge for a copy of the whole game at its estimated June 2019 launch; in fact, the devs are straight-up calling it a preorder, though you’ll need to pony up a little more for early access or closed alpha, set for later this year. The Kickstarter is specifically meant to help the team finish the game faster, optimize for performance and multiplayer, hire an extra level designer, add high-end sound effects and music, and flesh out the story. PvE servers are slotted for the second stretch goal (around $122,000 US); character customization (“play as male or female, tweak your appearance into something you’re proud to wear into battle”) comes at $305,000 US. Console ports are also on the table.

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Sea of Thieves dips into the lore of the high seas

Believe it or not, there’s more to Sea of Thieves’ world story than “pirates going mental on each other.” Rare has created a thought-out playscape that is dripping with lore for those who are willing to stop killing each other, eating bananas, and looting treasure to notice. And the first bit of lore is in the title of the game itself.

“The thinking behind the world is that the Sea of Thieves is just this rumor,” said Design Director Mike Chapman in a new dev video. “If you knew the clues to get there, you’d be able to plot a course yourself.”

Even the NPCs have their own motivations and reasons for being in this region of the world — again, which players might discover if they slow down to investigate. These motivations form the driving force behind the game’s core factions. Check out the video after the break!

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Perfect Ten: RIFT features that deserve praise

Maybe it will be short-lived, but it is exciting to see attention and excitement return to the sphere of RIFT following the announcement of the upcoming Prime server ruleset. I’ve gone from not thinking much of this title in my absence to somewhat missing it to absolutely craving it within the span of a week, and I’m sure that’s only going to get worse.

Seeing friends and commenters talk about RIFT has reminded me of just how many incredible features and qualities this MMO has. Sure, it’s made a lot of missteps and just about nobody really loves the business model, but there is a genuinely good game here that has a feature set that most MMOs could only dream about having on the back of the box.

So whether you’re thinking about returning to RIFT this spring or perhaps taking it up for the first time, here are 10 features from the game that I feel deserve public kudos.

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Perfect Ten: Ten more World of Warcraft races fans would like to play

Sometimes, you write a column more or less as a mental exercise, and then World of Warcraft drops an expansion pre-purchase that makes it all feel highly relevant.

The world of Azeroth is a world of astonishing variety. On Earth, we have exactly one form of intelligent bipedal life, but when it comes to species native to Azeroth that are gifted with speech and cognition, the plethora of playable races available barely even scratches the surface. And that’s without even getting into the various races available on Draenor and Argus, although at least the latter seems to be mostly limited to various flavors of demons and more subraces of Draenei.

The point is that even with a grand total of 19 different playable races, it’s easy to come up with other playable races that would be a fun time. And now that we’ve got allied races on the docket, that’s pretty viable as an option. So let’s look at a sampling (based on personal preference) of the races we can’t yet play but would still be pretty fun. Blizzard, take notice.

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Interview: Trion Worlds goes in depth on RIFT Prime

Following the initial announcement of RIFT Prime and the ensuing details that started to come out of Trion Worlds on the progression server, we had many of the same questions, confusion, and concerns that some of you have expressed. So we reached out to Trion Worlds for further clarification on the concept and progress of the Prime server ruleset, and Producer Amanda Fry came back at us with responses to explain just what’s going on behind the scenes.

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Mobile MMO roundup: Lineage 2 Revolution, Bless Mobile, Fellow Eternal Clash, and Rise of Ragnarok

Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, those MMOs that obviously don’t count because they are played on a small screen instead of a massive screen, and we all know that’s what the M stands for.

First up is Lineage 2 Revolution. Netmarble’s new toy got a big update this week infusing the game with seasonal content for both its PvP modes. You’ll want to make sure you jot down the Fortress Siege and Open Siege start times in your calendar! For PvE players, note that

“the latest game update also expands the max level for players to 180, along with the expansion of Main Quests, Daily Quests, and Scroll Quests, providing more content for active and higher leveled players. New region, Giran Dominion, has been added, along with field expansion in Deathly Fog Shores, Devil’s isle, Haunted Necropolis, Ivory Tower Catacombs 1, 2, and 3. Moreover, Elite Dungeon has additionally opened Ivory Tower Catacombs 1, 2, 3, allowing players to gain even more EXP and Adenas.”

Read on for more mobile MMO news!

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Players datamine Sea of Thieves to find out what content is being held back in beta

While there is a lot of fun being reported from players in this past week’s Sea of Thieves closed beta (for the ones who could get in, that is), one of the common complaints that we’re hearing is a disappointment over the amount of content on display. This may be in part due to Rare’s decision to create a “bespoke” experience that intentionally limited the beta.

Because of these concerns and fears over a fun but possibly shallow game, some players have datamined the current version of the game to see what they might be missing. Dataminers catalogued a bit more content, including the three NPC factions (or companies), several types of creatures (such as sharks and parrots), the ship-destroying kraken, mermaids, more types of riddles, additional ship customization options, various shops, plenty of weapons, and several maps and locations.

While some gamers see that as plenty, others are finding it wanting – and still others are pointing out that the client may not have everything anyway, even hidden. Maybe it’s a good idea to just not judge the full game on this particular beta, yeah?

Source: Reddit. Thanks Sorenthaz!

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The Repopulation has big plans for housing, combat, trade, and astronomy in 2018

So here we are in January, one whole year after Idea Fabrik bought The Repopulation from a beleaguered Above & Beyond. The new company got it back online last year, and how could it not, since it owns the engine, right? Today, IF’s published an annual update and roadmap to spell out just what’s coming to the sandbox in 2018.

The company says January has been focused on caching and performance, plus the new targeting system and newbie tutorial. As for the rest of the year, the team is working with an 8- to 10-week update schedule and a new patch numbering system to build out inventory fixes, a consolidated astronomy system, better harvesting and surveying, the farming and horticulture system, a unified race spec system, unified factions, updated guilds, crafting tweaks, new NPCs, a new dynamic mission system, camp spawners, the combat progression overhaul, player merchants, the auction house, the UI, and the housing revamp. It’s, well, everything.

And don’t forget the world revamp. “We want to give the players a full map instead of a partial world,” IF says, “so this will take the longest time development-wise and as a result will have a longer wait time.”

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The Survivalist: Another year, another Survival Game guide

A new year, a new batch of survival games! Yes, the genre has become so popular that one guide, no not even two guides could contain all of the survival goodness. More keep cropping up. I certainly can’t say as I mind, since this is the style of game that has been giving me the feeling of having an impact on my environment. And it’s not all the same collection of zombies, although there is still plenty of that. It is interesting to see what new takes developers are bringing to the table. Want to do a survival reality show? There’s a game for that! How about living like a viking? Yup. What if you want to be the psychotic killer that survivors are trying to, well, survive? Got you covered. Fell like upping the ante and surviving via VR? There are a few of those available.

If you are looking for a new survival to sink your teeth into, here’s the addendum for some newer games in development as well as some newly discovered ones since the last mega double guide. Note: This collection will be a mix of multiplayer and single-player titles with some uniques thrown in.

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EVE Online improves forward operating bases with today’s patch

The pirate factions of EVE Online have always been a threat. We’re not talking about player pirates, mind you; we’re talking about the NPC pirates that have their forward operating bases scattered throughout space. Fortunately for players, these bases have become both more numerous and easier to discover with the launch of the January patch today, meaning that it’s easier to see the bases and take them on as you go about your business in the game.

You are, of course, at risk of being attacked by player pirates while you’re fighting NPC pirates. It’s that sort of game.

The patch also improves the mechanics of the game’s ammo reloading systems and offers a better UI element for the Agency, both of which should make the game a little easier to just play. Combine that with a number of visual improvements to existing structures, and players will have plenty to enjoy throughout space as they hunt for more pirate bases. Or try to avoid all sorts of pirates, that’s also possible.

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WoW Factor: The fate of the class orders post-Legion, part 2

Back before the winter break, I took a look at how the various class orders are going to handle the increased conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The short version is “in a variety of ways.” Some of them are going to care a lot and it’s going to make a big difference; some of them are just going to continue on or split up. Or, at least, they would if the developers felt like giving them a proper send-off.

They definitely deserve one, mind. The question remains whether or not they will get one.
But regarldess of that, there are still a half-dozen class orders that I didn’t cover before, and they’re just as important as the first batch. So let’s finish up the second part of this particular series looking at the other half of the class order halls, starting with one that really seems like it ought to be renting office space in Dalaran most of the time anyhow.

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