OrbusVR adds in new pet breeding and gear combination

In the real world, walking up to someone and asking if you can put your dragons together will probably get you arrested. In OrbusVR, it’s a very normal and good thing to ask with the latest patch, which allows you to combine two existing dragons in a little dragon hutch to result in a new baby dragon. It’s the first pass on the game’s breeding system, and it makes sense that you would start with dragons as opposed to more common real-life pets. (After all, as alluded to above, dragon breeding is illegal in real life.)

The patch also contains a new system for improving your gear. If you’ve got a sword with some secondary stats lower than your existing sword, for example, you can combine the two into one sword, and the new sword will automatically gain any stats that were higher from the other sword. Combine that with new pillar teleportation, new sound design, and more bug fixes, and you’ve got reasons to be excited about the game’s latest patch.


The Daily Grind: Would you play a PvE game with full item decay?

One of the most insightful comments I ever saw about Darkfall (yes, Darkfall) was that, realistically, in a game with open PvP and full looting, it was inevitable that you’d lose all of the good gear you had on. That would always be a real risk, and it would always happen sooner or later. The real question was how long it would take you to rebuild to full power after such an event and how tedious it was to do so.

I’m not fond of that style of gameplay as it stands, but I still think about it, because it doesn’t need to be “full loot and free-for-all PvP” for that core principle to stand. A game with nothing but PvE could still have you lose gear as soon as you die, or it could ensure that your gear would eventually break and be unusable forever no matter how much you repair it.

On the one hand, this would kind of damage the very environment of a game like World of Warcraft with its emphasis on perpetual improvement; at the same time, it could also be seen as a way to break away from the game’s ever-upward treadmill, and it would mean that continued gear drops from world quests would still provide meaningful gear even if you have something better right now. So what do you think. Would you be interested in playing a PvE game where your gear decayed to nothing and you had to rebuild? Where you replaced a piece not because you got a stronger one, but simply because it was always time-limited?

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Revelation Online encourages you to strip… your gear of enhancements

It is possible that Revelation Online could have used a thesaurus for its latest feature, as “stripping your gear” produces a mental image that is wholly unrelated to what said feature actually involves. See, it’s about stripping enhancements from your gear, not about…

Oh, you’re already on the mailbox. No. Put your boots back on. Can we… can we just talk about this feature? While wearing clothing? Yes, that’s much better, thank you.

See, in a game with multiple item enhancements, you’re often tempted to hold on to everything in the hopes of just upgrading one thing, right? So now you can strip your old gear of experience, Dragonspikes, and Tier Beads all at once. Then you can apply those to new pieces of equipment, ensuring that you still have a reason to upgrade and a reason to not hoard your upgrades.

Although we suppose you can still take off all of your gear if you want to. That’s just not the feature under discussion.


Neverwinter reveals gear sets found in Tomb of Annihilation

When you dive into Chult for Neverwinter’s next expansion, you’re going to be facing new threats. And what goes well with new challenges? New equipment, obviously. The latest development update discusses the gear you’ll be getting, starting with the fact that Chult’s gear doesn’t involve set bonuses; instead, each individual piece has a bonus, freeing you to play around a little more with mixing and matching.

Characters fresh off of the boat can pick up a new set with bonuses devoted to fighting harder when you’re at lower health, and there’s also a slightly better set available for players who earn the trust of the locals that’s all about strength in numbers. Hunt marks drop still more powerful gear, and players can also pick up the best gear available by diving deep into the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Check out the full preview if you’re eager to see what new fashions you can wear as you head into the jungle.


Star Wars: The Old Republic explains the Bolster changes in Patch 5.1

Players who logged in to Star Wars: The Old Republic after patch 5.1 and jumped right into PvP probably noticed right away that their Bolster effects were working a bit differently. Specifically, Bolster wasn’t nearly as strong as it had been before, going from bolstering players to level 250 to level 232. Community manager Eric Musco has taken to the forums to explain that this isn’t a glitch; it’s an intended change made with an eye toward long-term progression that the developers just communicated poorly.

As it stands, the best gear available is at level 242. The developers realized belatedly that having bolster bring everyone up to 250 changed bolstering from “put players on an even starting plane with room for improvement” to “progression doesn’t matter,” which doesn’t exactly help matters. There’s a similar gap between the top end gear and the bolster effect as there was for the game’s previous expansion, but Musco apologizes for the poor communication; whether or not the change improves the sense of progression will require a bit of time to test.

Source: Official Site via Dulfy; thanks to Brandon for the tip!


Star Wars: The Old Republic crafting is meant to gear up alts in Knights of the Eternal Throne

When Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne launches, we will all be very tired of typing out that lengthy title every time we want to talk about the game. We’ll also have an entirely new endgame, and that means a new process of gearing up and getting ready for difficult content or just getting better equipment to still progress at the level cap. But how will crafting fit into this? A recent post on the official forums goes into more detail about crafting, which is meant to serve as both a catch-up mechanism for alts and for players who fall behind.

Players will be able to craft gear equivalent to the first tier of endgame gear and slightly below each subsequent tier, but that gear will have no set bonus and not be modifiable. Crafters can, however, craft mods on par with that level of gear from plans received in Command Crates or by reverse-engineering existing mods. The crafted gear will never offer a set bonus, but it’s well within an acceptable boundary of performance with other gear, thus ensuring that crafters can help other players catch up with each new endgame goalpost.


DC Universe Online shows off the new gear of Episode 27

Gear is important, even in DC Universe Online. Sure, the idea of collecting stat upgrades with equipment doesn’t exactly mesh with the fiction, but you can always look at that as the purely game-oriented side of things. What’s more important is that it allows characters to develop their own iconic styles befitting of proper superheroes. That’s part of why the game’s Episode 27 update will have the best gear available on vendors, allowing players who work toward vendor gear the assurance that they will eventually get all of the good stuff. Meanwhile, dropped gear will serve as upgrades while you earn the vendor gear.

The two options will also offer you two charming new looks. The Fallen God gear is a heavily stylized Superman-inspired set of gear, complete with glowing areas on the costume pieces. Meanwhile, the Gorgon Slayer style features snakeskin motifs and a more Grecian look for players aiming more toward the lore of the Greek deities bookending the Amazon Fury storyline. Both styles will be available when the next patch drops, although you can check out a few screenshots just below.

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Revelation Online delivers the skinny on gear

If it’s an MMO, it’s going to have gear. And if there’s gear, then it’s going to have stats. And if there are stats, then you are going to want the very best of them in the most pleasing of colors.

Revelation Online isn’t out to break the mold when it comes to armor and weapons in online games, that’s for sure. In a new dev post, potential players are given the low-down on what carrots they will be chasing in the game.

Each class will share an armor category with one other class while having its own unique (and dedicated) weapon type. The interesting twist here is that gear stats aren’t static; gear can be improved by dumping resources into them or even rerolling stats on crafted items.

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Allods Online adjusts endgame gearing in patch 7.0.1

If you’re big on endgame content in Allods Online, you probably have strong feelings about how you get geared up. You might be frustrated by the lack of clarity when it comes to your gear score, or you might just be frustrated at the difficulty in finding other like-minded players. Both of these things are changing in patch 7.0.1. Gear score should be more transparent, with each item more clearly displaying its importance and crafted items becoming more relevant.

Players using the group search window will also be directed toward a sector designed to make the best use of their abilities, with high-end allods removed from queue functionalities due to the small number of players using that function. A new mini-season will also kick off with an equipment level of 73, allowing players to start earning level 73 gear and stand on equal footing. The overall effect should make endgame gearing at least a little bit easier, meaning that you might lose a fight based on mechanics, but you won’t lose based solely on gear.


Star Wars: The Old Republic will add weapon tunings outside of the cash shop

Cosmetic options are a very big part of Star Wars: The Old Republic, so adding a new cosmetic option to the game is going to turn some heads. The introduction of Weapon Tuning almost seemed like an afterthought, but the fact that it offered players a new cosmetic slot on a limited number of items that could only be gotten from the Cartel Market rankled some players. Community manager Eric Musco took to the forums to address some of the most pressing questions regarding the tunings.

While the first tuning is in the Cartel Market, there are plans to add more tunings to the game available from a variety of sources, including straight gameplay. The tuning is also not any more rare than other items within a given pack. There are also plans to add slots to more items that don’t currently have the tuning option, so if your preferred weapon lacks the option, that may not be forever. The answers may not mollify everyone, but they do at least address concerns.


How MMORPG character gear is made in APB: Reloaded

APB: Reloaded has posted a new dev blog this week all about how character wearables are designed and inserted into the game.

“The character and clothing pipeline for APB Reloaded is very convoluted and can get very restrictive at times due to the nature of the game’s customization systems,” says GamersFirst. The artist begins with a concept and prototype mockup, then a mockup that follows the rules of what’s possible in the game, then high- and low-poly meshes, then morph sets, then texture mapping and templates, and then color masks for end-user customization. Oh, and don’t forget actually porting it into the game with the proper specs and icons!

Even if you don’t play APB, it’s a good look at how gear is made for all MMORPG players who’ve ever been tempted to think slapping together a cosmetic suit is easy.


Allods Online explains gearing changes for the New Order update

The New Order hitting Allods Online is going to be changing how players acquire gear in a big way, and it’s going to be all about keys and boxes. Surreal Keys are going away altogether, replaced with Astral Keys that get automatically rewarded to player every day in batches of 14 once the appropriate quest is completed. Every character can store up to 196 of these keys, and subsequently can use them on unlocking loot boxes to contain valuable high-end gear.

Boxes can be obtained through a variety of endgame activities and automatically unlock for players who have a key to unlock said box. Each box contains parts for a certain equipment slot, a piece of equipment that’s slightly less powerful than the parts for that equipment, gold, and various other small rewards. Epic and legendary boxes consume two keys at a stretch, making their powerful contents slower to acquire. It’s going to make for a different experience when you’re gearing up your next character once the patch goes live, but then, the patch is promising a new order after all.


The Daily Grind: Is an MMORPG still an MMORPG without gear progression?

A Massively OP commenter recently opined that “without gear progression, [a game] is a MOBA not an MMORPG,” and I would really love to talk about that because I’ve seen similar sentiments crop up a lot in the last year.

Many of my personal favorite MMORPGs are usually those that do away with gear progression or render it unimportant. Classic Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars, City of Heroes — never mind sandboxes like pre-Trammel Ultima Online or Glitch — all had minimal gear progression if they had any at all. Detractors might crow that Guild Wars 2 went back on plans to avoid gear progression, but I think most of us would still agree it’s relatively tame compared to the gear-grinds of themeparks like World of Warcraft. Are those not MMORPGs?

I agree that without some form of character customization or advancement, either vertical or horizontal, something that goes beyond swapping in a cash-shop skin for your avatar between matches, a game tips away from being an MMORPG. But I don’t think it needs to be gear. In fact, I think gear-based progression is cheap and lazy choice for an MMORPG to begin with.

What do you folks think? What’s the true deciding line between whether something’s an MMORPG or mere MOBA or online shooter? Is an MMORPG still an MMORPG without gear progression?

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