game mechanics

EVE Online is adding smaller skill injectors for newer players

The changes to PLEX for EVE Online make it easier to buy small chunks, sell small chunks, and not have all of it get blown up when you stuff a cargo hold full of your money. Of course, part of what has made PLEX so vital is the need for newer players to be able to catch up with veterans, which ties into use of skill injectors… which are currently very expensive. So the game is introducing a cheaper way to get those, as well.

Existing skill injectors will be marked as large injectors, while the new smaller skill injectors will hold a maximum of 100,000 points and offer smaller and smaller rewards to players with more skill points. The hope is that newer players can buy the bite-sized injector and start to catch up before moving on to larger purchases, thus ensuring that everyone can more quickly take part in the sprawling wars of backstabbing that make the game tick along.

Comment

TERA’s third week of anniversary rewards includes a pin-up car

The last week of TERA anniversary rewards is almost upon us, starting on 5/23. That means you still have one more day to turn in Anniversary Tokens for the past week’s rewards, but it also means you can look forward to the final batch of rewards. And what’s on the list for the last week? Why, a hatchback car decorated in cheesecake pictures of the Elin, the race that looks like prepubescent girls!

You could also get a permanent disco ball.

It’s worth noting that the car mount is a permanent mount that has never been available before, and it likely won’t be available again given the nature of the event. Whether or not that triggers your collector instinct is for you to decide, but you’ll want to decide soon as the game’s anniversary celebration moves into its final week.

Comment

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best launcher?

Launchers! They’re stupid, they’re boring, they exist primarily as a gateway between you (the player) and what you actually want to do (play an MMO). And yet I find myself sometimes having a weird nostalgia for some of these programs. PlayOnline is a pretty terrible and unnecessary piece of software, but that opening tune always gets me, and I remember browsing around it even aside from just jumping into Final Fantasy XI.

Heck, I miss the old World of Warcraft launcher from the game’s inception. I far prefer it to Battle.net or the Blizzard App or The Impediment To Playing Destiny 2 or whatever it’s called at this point. That might just be me getting old and cranky, though.

Then again, that’s part of the thing about launchers – they’re transparent until they aren’t, and for better or worse they have a long history with MMOs. So which MMO has the best launcher? Is it the best because it’s lightweight? Familiar? Reliable? Or just because it hits you just right and you love it despite its many flaws?

Read more

Gigantic discusses upcoming polish and balance changes in open beta

The development of Gigantic has moved on to the stage of polishing and refining the content already in the game, which is a good thing for players. The latest official set of community answers focuses on exactly that, dealing with the balance and quality-of-life changes planned for the game’s open beta testing. Matchmaking issues are still being investigated and worked on, and players can expect at least one more major update during this test phase to address balance and bugs.

New voiceover lines for certain characters are also being added, and players can expect to see those as well as integrated voice chat in the relatively near future following internal testing. There are also plans to show more numbers in the future to help with theorycrafting, although those numbers are unlikely to show up in the next couple of builds. Check out the full rundown for all of the information you could want about the process of making the game polish up and shine nicely.

Comment

Destiny 2 may not launch simultaneously on PC and consoles

Properly excited about Destiny 2’s announcements yesterday? We don’t blame you. But there are a few points you might wish to consider. For example, keep in mind that you may not be getting the game on day one; a release date is officially not set in stone for the PC version, and it may be a bit later than the console version. This is partly due to the fact that Bungie is well aware PC players will want things like field-of-view options, text chat, uncapped framerates, and so forth.

There’s also no word at this point on whether or not players will be able to have any sort of cross-pollination between the console and PC versions, although the team knows the demand is there. None of this is meant to demolish enthusiasm, but it probably does affect your enthusiasm to know that the PC version will offer more graphical options but might show up later. In summary, check out some raw PvP match footage below.

Read more

Path of Exile explains upcoming Energy Shield mechanical changes

There are some big changes coming to Energy Shield in Path of Exile’s next expansion, and as tends to happen with major system changes, the designers have penned a lengthy column explaining why these changes exist. It’s not that Energy Shield is inherently bad, obviously; the problem is that with high enough values and the right collection of relics, players can ultimately use Energy Shield to completely replace Life as a survival mechanic, which results in characters with enormous health pools without any investment in doing so.

To fix this problem high-end shield values have been significantly tuned down, and several different items have had their synergy with Energy Shield adjusted to provide a more tangible drawback. Vaal Pact, for example, will no longer provide any benefit to Energy Shield (whereas it currently allows almost an immediate refill of shields without any drawbacks). However, it will also be possible for players to craft better Energy Shield items earlier, so players can still try out the builds that made these changes necessary; they’ll still be potent, but they should no longer make you effectively unkillable.

Comment

The Daily Grind: How much does optimization affect your MMO play?

When I feel like lying to myself, I tell myself that I don’t care about optimizing my characters in MMOs. I even sometimes convince myself that it was true for a while; I did play a Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft back before Crusader Strike was even in the game. But the reality is that even then, when I happily shot myself in the foot to avoid raid utility, I still worked overtime to optimize my character. I will gladly walk into an awful build with eyes open, but I will then do everything in my power to make that awful build work.

I have a Red Mage build on Final Fantasy XI that comes as close to being a functional melee attacker as any I’ve seen. I made a DPS Gladiator in version 1.0 of Final Fantasy XIV. The list goes on. But I know there are people out there who will only play with optimized builds, like a friend of mine from City of Heroes who had seven Shield scrappers to optimize AoE farming. And then there are people who hate any hint of utility and choose character builds solely for aesthetics. What about you, dear reader? How much does optimization affect your playing of MMOs? Do you play to optimize your build, do you avoid it, or do you enjoy making terrible builds the best they can be?

Read more

Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward in review – odds and ends

By the time you read this, I’ll be up in the air flying across the country. Assuming you read it on the day it publishes, anyhow, and odds are that you will do so since you certainly won’t be playing Final Fantasy XIV today. Which makes for a good day to take a closer look at the odds and ends of Heavensward, doesn’t it? I sure hope so, because that’s what I’ve got lined up, it’s going to cause problems if this is a bad time.

We’ve covered the majority of the game’s battle content, but there’s still a bit more stuff to cover, and I could probably go into more depth on a few areas if I wanted this to be even longer. But let’s start by covering the content that, arguably, flopped pretty badly on launch, to the point where the whole system got yanked, revised, and returned in a much more tolerable form. Which has its own problems, but hopefully provides a good template moving forward.

Read more

EVE Online’s patch today changes PLEX and adds new Blood Raider ships and shipyards

The bad news for EVE Online fans is that the game is going to require extended downtime today. There’s nothing to be done about it; it’s just a thing that has to happen. Why? Because the big 119.5 patch is going live. That means the game is rolling out PLEX changes to make PLEX into a currency while also no longer making PLEX a valuable physical item to blow up on a regular basis.

Of course, this patch contains more besides, as there’s the first iteration of new AI systems with Blood Raider shipyards and visual improvements to suns throughout the game. Players will also be able to display fleet emblems on station, enjoy new models for the Pacifier and Enforcer, and obtain new Blood Raider capital ships. You can check out the full patch notes to find out what you’ll be doing once the servers come back up; you’ll have plenty of time to think about it.

Read more

The Daily Grind: Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community?

DPS meters, in theory, are a really great tool for players who want to push the envelope in content. That is, however, just in theory. World of Warcraft has made them more or less ubiquitous bragging mechanisms. Heck, even if they could be useful, they lack a lot of useful data; simply knowing that someone is doing lower DPS doesn’t necessarily provide a lot of information as to why. And since they’ve become almost constant bragging tools, most people who aren’t interested in that side of gameplay react negatively to meters no matter how important the meters might be.

Of course, it’s hardly the only example of a useful tool becoming less useful via implementation. Players can turn lots of things into ego manipulation. Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community? Does it seem that good tools wind up being used either for unintended purposes or find their useful elements get sidelined? Or do you think it’s more a matter of emerging uses that are equally as valid as the intended use?

Read more

Final Fantasy XIV offers its first glimpse of the dungeons in Stormblood

There will be a lot of dungeons to explore in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. That’s not a spoiler, that’s a fact of life, just like there have been a lot of dungeons to explore in the game so far. The latest blog post teases players with a brief glimpse at some of these new dungeons while carefully avoiding showing us any of the new abilities or talking too much about what players can expect from the mechanical changes coming with the expansion.

The dungeons we see are largely centered in Othard, with one appearing to be an outdoor dungeon in the Azim Steppes. One, however, appears to be an octagonal arena in some sort of Garlean facility, which seems like something to be found around Ala Mhigo. It’s all speculation right now, although it’s possible that players will need to match a bit more positional challenge in the expansion, since the game appears to be adding a fourth waymark in Stormblood.

Source: NA Blog, JP Blog

Comment

WoW Factor: Breaking up is surprisingly easy to do

The classic break-up line is “it’s not you, it’s me.” It is, of course, usually a lie, and it often gets followed up shortly afterward with a line that makes it clear that it is really you. But it’s still a not-terrible way to ease into a breakup, to convey the idea that you want to move forward without bad blood between you.

So I’m sorry, World of Warcraft, but it’s not me. It’s you. It’s really on you. And a little bit on me, perhaps, but the parts that are on me have more to do with the fact that I’m aware I have better options open to me. It’s like declaring that you won’t go to Dunkin’ Donuts any more when the store in your area is constantly on fire; a bit of that is on you, but you could put out the fire.

Wait, I already did that fire joke, didn’t I? Let’s move on.

Read more

1 2 3 76