Last week we were off to a great start as we listened to the first batch of player-voted favorite MMO themes. As I said then, the results of the voting, in which I asked players to nominate up to 10 of their favorite main themes from online games, were both predictable and surprising. Nostalgia and familiarity obviously play a strong role in many of these votes, but no one was asking for objectivity here!
Today we're going to continue our countdown to the top spot by looking at numbers 18 through 13 of your favorite MMO themes. I think there's a good mix here, perhaps with tunes that I would have placed a little higher, but overall it's gratifying to see each one of these make the list.
Enough jibber-jabber, let's get to it!
Ever been playing Guild Wars 2 and thought to yourself, wouldn't I rather be playing a card game? UK-based designer and developer Luke Dowding has just the game for you. He's put together Guild Wars 2: Heroes of the Mists, a 200-card collectible card game.
"The objective of the card game is to defeat the opponent’s Hero. Each Hero will start with 80 Health and the first person to receive 80 Damage to their Hero loses," Dowding explains. "Players will build a deck of 40 cards each, 10 of those cards will be predetermined by the Profession you chose called Skill cards. The remaining 30 cards will be Minion cards and it will be up to the players to select and build a deck they think will bring them victory. Every turn players will use Endurance to summon Minion or Skill cards to damage the enemy Minions or the Hero."
Let me start this article by answering my own headline: It's partly because I'm an idiot and cannot let go of this IP.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has been a part of my life for over six years, and not having it there to fall back on would be difficult. But I could still play SWTOR without a subscription. Many of my friends still do! The truth of the matter is that I'm still having fun in the game, just not playing the game. I still have a guild of about 50 people who log in regularly to participate in activities. I have friends whom I've grown close to. And as much as I hate to say it, there is no other game that can give me my Star Wars fix.
I guess it's possible that I could still log into the game and not pay a dime for it, but hopefully, if I tell you what happens during my typical game day, you will understand why I still hold a subscription for the game, despite not playing a single bit of the content BioWare has given and sold me.
When I add news to our newsroom for our reporters to pick up, I often add links that just say "such-and-such a game exists" -- because just existing is what's new, or at least new to us. Today, we had three of those, and I'm combining them all for this quick look at three MMOs and orbiting games that you've probably never heard of: Age of Rivals, Lothgar Online, and Little War Online.
Lothgar Online (Asylumsoft) launched yesterday. Let me warn you upfront: If you aren't into retro pixel graphics and hardcore gameplay, you probably won't like this MMO. The devs, who are also the folks behind the similarly styled Elderlands, call it an "Online RPG built in a classic style, paying homage to 1980s RPGs," and yes, that means PvP, corpse looting, and attunement in addition to a giant world, guilds, skills, and questing. On the other hand? There's no cash shop either. Old school isn't always a bad thing! (via Reddit)
Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week's show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
One of the major concerns aired by the Guild Wars 2
playerbase regarding raid content is the risk of juicy raid-only story details being gated away from the bulk of players. In comments found on part one of my breakdown of Bastion of the Penitent
, the most recent raid wing, many of you again discussed this problem and brought up other issues with how ArenaNet presents raiding to players in the game. Although I had planned to run my second installment in the Bastion of the Penitent series to cover the lore found in the raid, after seeing the content of your comments, I thought that I should give space to some of these complaints to see if we can perhaps come up with some suggestions for improvement in future.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I'll take a look at the most pressing gripes players have about how raiding has been implemented in GW2 while examining how this could be built upon to create larger appeal for the content that's being created without alienating diverse sects of the game's community.
If players or guilds are going to put the effort in purchasing and building up a castle in Gloria Victis, they are going to be rewarded with one fine-looking structure. Thanks to this past week's alpha patch, the biggest building in each of the six main settlements has received new and improved models for the keep's final form.
The patch contains an additional hodge-podge of changes, including the ability to interact with non-dialogue NPCs, bigger buffs for countries being dominated by others, and smiths that sell better wares than before.
The team also reported that it is continuing to work on making combat look and feel better: "We know, that combat/animations overhaul is long overdue and community is getting impatient, to say the least. So, just a quick heads up for you guys: we are polishing. It’s a long, yet rewarding process, as we are tweaking little details over and over again to exterminate bugs and make sure it feels great to roam and fight."
There's a new entry on the block for online game guild organization and recruiting: Guilded. This site purports to be your one-stop shopping experience for players looking for guilds and leaders looking for a home for their groups.
Guilded officially launched on March 17th and offers free tools to any player organization that wants to make a home on its site. These tools include online calendars, shared documents, discussion boards, custom applications, guild chat, profiles, and integration with gaming networks and Discord. It's also a useful place for free agent players who are guild shopping and looking for particular specifications.
I'm closing in on "done" -- my own peculiar version of done, anyway -- on my ninth character in Guild Wars 2. I've rolled one of each class and put off actually leveling and learning my least favorite classes to the very end. As I've been playing my unloved Thief and Revenant upward, I can't help but think about characters and classes I prefer and wonder whether my time wouldn't be better spent on them... or maybe even on another version of the same class with a different race.
I seldom do this in MMORPGs, but in Guild Wars 2, leveling is easy and options are many, so why not? I'm apparently not alone in considering this; here's one thread from a few years ago where people are admitting to rolling dozens of characters -- some for different regions, some for cultural armor, some for different builds and armor setups, some for roleplaying, and some just because they love the leveling process. Plus: Buying a new character slot is the most efficient way to expand an account's storage.
Do you roll multiple MMO characters of the same class in the same game?
On October 24th, World of Warcraft launched patch 7.1, which contained a lot of not-quite-ready-for-launch Legion features and a bit of content. Since then, the game hasn't really launched any content. Sure, patch 7.1.5 launched in early January, but that just added the Brawler's Guild back to the game for content (which, admittedly, has a lot of new boss fights). We're looking at a content gap that's starting to spread out a fair bit already, and patch 7.2 is coming out... well, eventually?
Of course, MOP's Bree and I are in pretty close agreement about when it's coming out: June. Because that's when a new Final Fantasy XIV expansion and The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind both launch, so they're going to want to try to kneecap both of those launches.
At least from this side of the fence, that's a pretty dumb plan. It's the same plan that was in place for patch 6.2 of Warlords of Draenor, which wound up with lots of complaints about the delays, and it doesn't seem to have really crippled the launch it wanted to "intercept" there, either. Still, it's the sort of plan that Blizzard has used in the patch, and with two big competing releases in the same month it seems almost absurd to think it wouldn't be tried. So what do you think, dear readers? What do you think the odds are of WoW holding its next patch until June? And how much grousing do you expect if people are waiting that long for more content?
While I am generally for quick and fun group dungeon runs in MMORPGs, what I dread are those runs that end up going sour and "trapping" me in the experience.
Let me explain. When you start a dungeon run, either with a PUG or a group of friends, you enter into a social contract of sorts to stick it out and get the job done. At least, that's how I see it. And that's fine for when things are going well, but there are always those runs that result in wipe after wipe, or slow down to an eye-twitching crawl, or have you waiting on one member who went AFK to apparently do his taxes, or what have you.
And when this happens, I start screaming inside because I feel trapped and locked into this dungeon run of the damned without an easy way out. Do I stick it out to the bitter end? Do I bail with or without an excuse? Will I ever get to know the comforts of my bed as the hours tick on?
What do you do when an MMO dungeon run goes bad? Do you have some sort of criteria for determining when it's OK to ditch your group? Do you feel more compelled to stay in a bad run if it's your guild?
Blogger Tobold recently wrote a provocative piece on social play in MMOs, as pointed out to us by our dear tipster Sally. In a piece cheekily titled "Why I can live without other players in my games," he writes that far from being the foundation or glue of MMOs, guilds are actually one of the worst bits of the genre, being platforms for selfishness and drama.
"Guilds were never designed for positive social interaction, they were always a means to an end of individual character progress. You needed those other people to get the most powerful gear in the game. And the way there wasn't exactly a constant stream of friendship and happiness. Look at what MMORPG blog posts have been mostly about when talking about their guilds: First people complain if others aren't investing as much as they do and become a hindrance to killing raid bosses, and then when the raid boss is finally dead they complain that somebody else got the loot."
"The people most loudly complaining about the lack of other players being forced to play with them," he finishes with a zinger that resonated most for me, "are the kind of people with the most predatory play styles."
I've presented Tobold's piece to our writers for this week's Overthinking. Do they -- and you -- agree with his thesis? Let's Overthink it.
Wakfu players should be advised that Ankama is undergoing a purge of inactive Wakfu accounts. If you haven't logged into the website or the game in the past two years, have never subbed, and have never spent anything in the cash shop, your account (and its characters) will be subject to the purge. You can log into the website to keep your account within the next 30 days.
Meanwhile, the studio says it will be postponing its planned server merges until the end of the year to "give the team more time to find the very best solutions."
"The decision to postpone the merge is based on the concerns you expressed in our forums: What will happen to our Haven World? Our guilds? The server economy? Our equipment? We have gathered all of your questions and requests and passed them on to the team. We also know about the abusive player killing (PK) issue and we will work to find solutions. We are aware that problems exist and we realize how important they are."