impressions

WoW Factor: First impressions of allied race leveling in World of Warcraft

Last week, I wrote about the addition of allied races without having actually gotten to play around with them much. You have to understand that at some point in the past I angered an elder deity of some sort, a fact which I myself was not previously aware of, but which remains the only real way to explain World of Warcraft releasing its pre-orders on the same day that my other game of choice released a major update which demanded my attention.

Or it was just bad luck, but “angered the gods” feels like a more all-encompassing explanation of same.

The bright side, though, is that it meant I finally had a chance to experience both big new things at the same time, enjoying the worldwide level scaling at the same time as I was enjoying my new allied race characters. So now that we’ve talked a little bit about the conceptual side of things, let’s talk about the actual leveling experience beyond the first unlocks.

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Global Chat: To RIFT or not to RIFT?

Everyone’s talking about RIFT’s new Prime server idea — and whether or not it will get us playing Trion Worlds’ fantasy MMO once again. Naturally, the blogosphere had a few thoughts about this.

Stargrace said that it was “highly unlikely” that she’d return for this: “While I am drawn into progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II due to a heavy nostalgia factor, I don’t get those same warm fuzzy feelings about RIFT.”

“If anything induces me to give RIFT Prime a try it will be the extent to which the experience doesn’t accurately replicate the original,” Bhagpuss said. And Endgame Variable takes a look at it from the perspective of a former player: “Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in RIFT — a game I’ve already played to death — or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW?”

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Monster Hunter World offers $70K for proof of real-world monsters

Not too shabby there, Capcom: Monster Hunter World has already sold five million copies of the console edition of the game. (The PC version, you’ll recall, won’t launch until later this year.)

In conjunction with the launch, Capcom has apparently partnered with a “real-life monster hunter and Cryptozoologist,” which for some reason merits capitalization, to offer a £50,000 reward (about $70K US) to anyone who can submit “clear new evidence” of specific “monsters.” Sorry, you can’t just submit a particularly monstrous politician; your choices are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Mongolian death worms, mermaids, the flying snake of Namibia, chupacabras, yeti, earth hounds, Yowie, and the Cornish owlman.

The good news for Capcom is that at least it won’t have to pay out that chunk of change. Let this serve as another reminder of the sort of cognitive deficiencies with which gaming studios believe gamers are saddled.

We delivered a guide to the game as well as our first impressions last week, so don’t miss those if you’re still considering trying the game on console!

Source: Press release, GIbiz

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Monster Hunter World hands-on: Our first impressions of the PS4 launch

Hey fellow hunter! Did you also enjoy the Monster Hunter World weekend betas as I did? Wondering if the full version is the same? Well here’s the short answer: Nope! Article finished, time to go back to hunting.

Just kidding! While the release version of the game isn’t the same as what you played, it’s still recognizably a Monster Hunter game. We’ll talk more about the online experience once the game’s been released to the masses for awhile, but a few hours in with a review copy of the launch product have answered some questions and concerns that came up during my beta experience.

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Global Chat: Jumping on board the Warframe train

Are you playing Warframe these days? If not, you might be missing out on the growing party of people who seem to be flocking to Digital Extremes’ free-to-play shooter. Plenty of bloggers continue to discover and extol the virtues of this game, even years after it first hit the scene.

“The game’s been around for several years now,” said Nomadic Gamer, “so there’s a lot of maturity in the advice community and when people ask for ‘best builds’ they can be referred to builds created years ago.”

In An Age considers Warframe to be his “‘I don’t know what I feel like doing’ and ‘I only have 30 minutes to play’ game.” And while Superior Realities felt like the game was only “meh,” he did recognize the powerful effect of that word-of-mouth is having with this title.

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Perfect Ten: 20 multiplayer games to watch in 2018

A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.

There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: A Guild Wars 2 2017 column retrospective

Welcome along to a rather festive retrospective in which I sum up 2017 for both Guild Wars 2 and Flameseeker Chronicles! A large glass of buck’s fizz and a good helping of homemade Christmas cake have fuelled the writing of this article, though I didn’t need cheery holiday snacks to brighten my Boxing Day morning when I had so many articles to look back on and a huge amount of excellent gaming memories to reflect on. Once the festive season is over, I’ll write up my predictions for 2018 and will revisit my 2016 crop to see if I was in any way accurate, but for now I wanted to reflect back on a year well done.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll revisit the milestones that made it a great year for GW2 and the content spawned from them, hopefully finishing my reminiscing with a solid picture of how the year refined the game and what direction ArenaNet might take in 2018. This will be a useful rundown for those of you who might have missed some entries along the way and wish to get to the good bits while enjoying any festive time off you have. Enjoy my musings and have a very happy holiday season!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2’s Hall of Chains raid wing first impressions

I promised you at the end of last week’s rundown of Guild Wars 2‘s fourth Living World season’s launch episode that I’d return this week with a first look at the new raid Hall of Chains and I never want to disappoint! While I haven’t stood toe to toe with each of the raid bosses yet, I’ve been glued to boss kill videos and have been gaining a feel for the fights I’m due to face. I’m delighted to explain my take on the new endgame content and I’m hoping that some of you are joining me in trying it out!

In this week’s Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll discuss each of the new raid bosses briefly and will outline the premise of the encounter mechanics. I won’t spend long outlining very detailed tips and tactics at this stage since I haven’t been hands-on with everything myself yet, though I will furnish you with some tactics guides as I get more experience post-holidays if there’s demand for them. Note that there will be spoilers for those who haven’t tried the content themselves yet, so bear that in mind before reading on. I’ll avoid totally spoilerific images and will hide big lore points behind tags.

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Hands-on with Monster Hunter World’s weekend beta – and how it compares to Dauntless

I won’t lie: The Monster Hunter World beta on console last weekend isn’t going to give you the best sense of the full monster hunting experience. It won’t let you explore the world like Link in Breath of the Wild. And it won’t scratch the full MMO-experience itch.

That being said, as someone who’s played multiple iterations of the series and deeply exploring the gaming genre as a whole, I found that MHW still surprised me with its freshness.

Old dog, new tricks

When I first heard about Dauntless, MH’s closest cognate, I was impressed. Simplifying certain parts of the MH experience for a broader audience sounded like a great idea. The game’s execution experienced at E3 and on my own made me feel like it has a potential audience. However, post-E3 MHW leaks had me geeking out hard. While Dauntless has its own weapon combos, art style, and direction, a lot of the more palatable and streamlined design is going into MHW instead – and it’s launching sooner.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Deep-diving Guild Wars 2’s living world S4 Daybreak

I’m back with an earlier-than-anticipated special edition of Flameseeker Chronicles to share my impressions of the opening episode of Guild Wars 2‘s fourth Living World season. I am blown away by ArenaNet‘s commitment to the content cadence we’ve come to expect and am thoroughly impressed that the new season is upon us so swiftly after Path of Fire‘s launch, and the direction in which the season seems to be travelling is very promising indeed. The content feels more dynamic than previous offerings, relying heavily on panoramic details, mechanically rich scenarios, and strong dialogue to give us a narrative that feels more alive than ever before.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share with you the main story points of the episode and will discuss my highs and lows throughout. Please note that, although major spoilers will be hidden by tags where possible, this article is best enjoyed after you’ve played the content for yourself due to significant spoilers throughout.

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EverQuesting: First impressions of EverQuest II’s Planes of Prophecy

November: A month of colorful, falling leaves, Thanksgiving… and an EverQuest II expansion! That’s right, the 11th month isn’t allowed to finish up until we have our next serving of Norrathian goodness, and Daybreak delivered it to us on the 28th. Regardless of not yet finishing up the content in previous expansions, I couldn’t not immediately dive in and explore this new piece of EQII! I mean, me, not explore a favorite world? That’s crazy talk! With only two days (and interrupted ones at that!) to peek into and poke around, what did I find in Planes of Prophecy? Here are my first impressions.

Hop on the Plane

Luckily for me, you don’t need to complete the Signature Quest line (or in my case, even start it) in Kunark Ascending to be able to access the new zone, the Plane of Magic. If you are level 100 and own the expansion, all you need to now is how to get there. For that, you could do like I first did and hop from world bell to druid portal to wizard spire to find the way. Alternately, you could read the in-game mail that is delivered to every level 100 that tells you to visit any wizard spire. It makes sense: Travel to a Plane of Magic through a magical wizard portal! Obviously, I immediately jumped in a portal.

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Hyperspace Beacon: First impressions of SWTOR’s Chiss flashpoint

Yesterday, Star Wars: The Old Republic launched update 5.6, which gave us many new quality-of-life changes to the game as well as our first trip into the Chiss Ascendency via the “A traitor among us” storyline. I am in love with many of the additions like the legacy credit storage and the activities window. But I think the casual player would be most interested in the story on Copero. It’s also the part that I’m most unopinionated about. It’s all right and a good addition to the game, but it’s also just kind of average. It’s better than bad – but it’s not excellent BioWare storytelling.

Let’s take a few moments to talk about SWTOR Update 5.6 and all the things in it, then dive into why I think the Copero flashpoint could have used a little bit more polish.

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Slay-to-win: Massively OP’s hands-on with the Dauntless closed beta

The end of September marked a major milestone for Dauntless, the upcoming monster-slaying action-MMORPG from indie developer Phoenix Labs, as it officially concluded its Founder’s Alpha event and made the jump into closed beta. Since then, legions of would-be Slayers have stormed the Shattered Isles, taking up arms to defend the last bastions of human civilization from destruction at the hands (and talons, fangs, or similarly sinister appendages) of the marauding monstrous beasts known as Behemoths.

And as it so happens, I was one of them. As a long-time fan of Capcom’s venerable Monster Hunter series, which pioneered the “kill-carve-and-craft” action-RPG subgenre upon which Dauntless aims to build, I’ve been eager to check it out for some time now. So when closed beta rolled around, I shelled out for a Founder’s Pack and joined my fellow prospects in the frontier settlement of Ramsgate, where I hoped to prove worthy of the Slayer mantle, or failing that, then at least to avoid dying horribly.

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