What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 20th, 2017
What: Black Desert
Ever wanted to fight over a castle in the sky and shout “winter is coming” at your enemies? Gloria Victis will oblige. It recently dropped a new snowtop location dubbed Skergard Castle for everybody to fight over. “This addition greatly expands the world PVP formula, allowing the best guilds of each faction to compete for rulership over their own fortress,” Black Eye Games says. “In the future, guilds will have numerous benefits coming from controlling territories, such as the ability to select which workshop will be built, the possibility to regulate taxes for each workshop, and a chest for collected taxes.”
In fact, the studio has lots of big plans for the sandbox’s world PvP. It’s working on turning more existing locations into guild hotspots, adding new castles and towns, building out a market system, and “implementing a system which will link these locations in order to create visible frontlines, while maintaining the player’s freedom to choose where to strike with their warband.” The latest update includes a catacombs-based world event. Halloween is on the way too!
Great ready to pay more for Chronicles of Elyria.
Soulbound Studios announced this week that it is preparing to raise the prices on all of its packages, a move that the studio said it will repeat every eight months until the game releases. Actually, instead of “we will increase the price,” the studio is preferring the phrase “we will continue to decrease the deep discounts” to market this. Bravo.
The price increases range from $5 to $50 and will go into effect on November 8th as the game grows near the first pre-alpha release. In addition to making packages more expensive, Chronicles of Elyria will be retiring its nobility-for-hire packages in about a month, cutting off players from literally buying the kingdom. The studio has other plans for its monetization schemes, such as the return of layaway and a la carte purchases.
(For the record, the proper way to read the headline is out loud, rap-style.)
And before you can ask, yes, it is pink. It is all of the pink in the world.
The “Pink Power Bundles” contain pink wings, pink sunglasses, and a pink crown of flowers, all of which will do double duty by raising more awareness of this cause and completely baffling the monsters that you fight. “Are you sure that you came to battle?” they will ask. “Perhaps you got lost on your way to a Barbie convention?”
And so our next soundtrack for examination is the rather excellent Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind OST by Brad Derrick. I haven’t hidden my disappointment in the base game’s soundtrack, as it didn’t quite live up to the expectations established by previous Elder Scrolls titles. Therefore, I’m happy to say that Morrowind really stepped up to deliver a much more memorable and moving soundtrack with plenty of nostalgic elements.
For more on the making of this score, read Derrick’s interview on the main site: “For The Elder Scrolls Online, the music has to bridge the gap between the familiar and the new, satisfying player expectations while still having a unique identity. This means making sure the music is ‘Elder Scrolls-y’ enough to sound like it’s from the same universe as the other games, but at the same time different enough so that it’s clearly ESO music, belonging to the time and spaces of our game.”
Interface junkies, gather round, especially if you like detailed old-school-inspired MMORPGs, for Project Gorgon has unveiled a detailed tour of its new UI. It’s been “written to take advantage of the latest that the Unity Engine has to offer,” says the studio, and it’s largely thanks to the programmer hired with your Kickstarter funds.
“To reiterate, the main point of this rewrite is to make it easier for us to add UI features in the future. So in this first version, the most important thing is that we don’t lose any important features from the old UI. But there are some tangible improvements. The new UI’s appearance was designed by a top-rated UI artist. It has a cleaner look while still fitting in a tremendous number of functions and features. And we’ve taken the time to add some improvements — many small ones and a few big ones — that will make your gaming life immediately better.”
The dev blog released o the forums this week shows off collapsible skill trees, copypasting from tooltips, right-click context menus, frame moving and docking, outfit loadouts, chat customization, and maybe most importantly, a “stuff to do” panel that explains, well, what to do when you’re “stuck or confused.”
“Will this mean Bless Online is coming to Steam? Is it being released globally? The answer to both questions are… resounding ‘Yes!’ We are so glad you are here and are grateful for your support. Bless Online development team has been busy for the good part of this year. We’ve taken all of the feedback from our community to make the game better. Our intention is to return to you when we have the game we are all proud of. The development team will be working night and day to improve and polish the experience until the launch in 2018.”
You’ll recall that the game was once intended to launch here last year under the Aeria banner, but that deal was dissolved and NEOWIZ committed to launching the game itself. The gorgeous MMO, having just gone what it called a “rebuild project,” is currently in testing in Japan and South Korea.
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing.
“I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.”
But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what we’ll do in this week’s Overthinking. Is he right about not needing this type of housing? And if not, how would you fix open world housing?
The game is the MMO version of an ambitious survival-oriented sandbox by Bitbox that was itself a scaled-down version of the originally planned MMO, so now we’ve come full circle. The survival game (Life is Feudal: Your Own) also has a strategy sim spinoff called Forest Village too.
Is it a coincidence that Loki will be coming back to the silver screen for Thor: Ragnarok in a couple of weeks? You can never tell with that crafty character.
“Today, Loki joins Marvel Heroes Omega on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as the console version’s 44th playable character. With an ensemble of spells ranging from arcane magic and illusionary tactics to powers of ice and fire, Thor’s half-brother has the goods to cause plenty of damage in battle.”
Crowfall isn’t content to make gathering as dull and repetitive as in other MMOs, which is why the team is putting great stock in its so-called “action harvesting.” This system has come under further refinement following its introduction a few weeks back, and the devs were on hand this week to demonstrate why you’ll need to be on your toes when you’re cutting down that tree or scrounging through that bush.
One of these refinements is the addition of “energetic harvesting,” a skill that uses the new action pips to trigger buffs during the process. Players were also shown several of the optional disciplines that a character can equip, such as Logger, Quarryman, Lookout, Hoarder, and Survivalist.
ArtCraft informed the community yesterday that it has started to send out instructions for guilds to reserve their names. “Hey, Crowfall Kickstarter backers: Watch your inbox for guild name reservation info. Newer backers can reserve guild names in November,” the studio posted.
This is not inherently a bad thing. My time with Guild Wars 2 has not been unpleasant (but you can read more about that next week), even if it hasn’t been perfect; I’ve been having fun. At the same time, once you’ve dissected the game’s various map-based offerings and the story’s general flow, there’s not a whole lot else to be said. I could pick apart bits and pieces of the story that work better or worse, but at that point, isn’t it largely perfunctory?
Of course, there is something to be said for the paucity of other things to talk about. Path of Fire is an interesting experience to come back for, because while you can see that the game is putting in overtime to address some of the issues from Heart of Thorns, there are other issues that either aren’t addressed or aren’t addressed terribly well, both of which are interesting to analyze. From my perspective, anyhow.
If you are not at least keeping an eye on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and how it’s currently disrupting the entire online gaming market, you probably should be. Or at least let us do it for you. Today’s addition to the mounting pile of evidence that this may be slightly more than just a fall fling is the fact that it’s now surpassed both League of Legends and Overwatch, according to Gametrics, a Korean tracking service.
VG points out that Overwatch also passed up League of Legends last year before falling back down, so we’ll see if PUBG’s arc follows that same path, particularly given that the game won’t see any more patches until its formal launch.