player housing

Legion: The Eternal War’s evil magic pits Elves against Humans

Here’s an indie MMORPG that you may not have known about before this week. Legion: The Eternal War is a small title that’s been in development for a while by Nexus Division, but as of late the project seems to have picked up pace.

The setting of the game involves a world where formerly united Elves and humans have become bitter enemies thanks to the introduction of magic by some sinister crystals into the world. “The game will be filled with entertaining stories, rewarding progression systems, and refined mechanics,” the team wrote. “All of this is presented to produce a memorable experience highlighted by social interaction and nail-biting tension.”

The dev team is staking the game’s future on systems such as player housing, an expansive fantasy world, PvP, character customization, a wide array of magic, wars with guilds, and alliances. Last December, the team showed off a few prototypes of the different biomes that players might find in the game.

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WildStar’s residential renovation event returns

WildStar’s residential renovation event, first introduced back in summer 2017, is making a return for another short-lived run. Considering how many players feel that the housing system is WildStar’s greatest strength, there are sure to be quite a few people interested in participating.

The gist of the event is that players are given certain tasks to complete in their housing instances. Successful tasks earn tokens, which can then be turned in for limited-time rewards.

This time around, there are new rewards to chase: “Do your part to aid in the production of Sara’s broadcast by completing a series of home improvement tasks and she’ll reward you with Home Renovation Guides which you can turn in for the Exo-Lab and Shrine décor sets — two bundles of fantastic collectibles previously offered as part of the Sim Chase collection.”

The event is scheduled from May 18th through the 25th.

Source: WildStar

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Villagers and Heroes throws an open house with its Wellspring content update

A year or so ago, Villagers and Heroes actually didn’t have player housing that you could enter and enjoy. That changed, and with this week’s Wellspring content update, the ability to customize one’s village has grown even further.

“Wellspring isn’t just a little build with a couple of pretty new plants added, or a few minor tweaks made here and there to the otherwise routine gameplay,” the devs wrote. “It is a dynamic expansion to Villagers and Heroes which has transformed the weighty and elaborate crafting and gathering elements of the game into a lean, tight system, one which, though now much simplified, still retains the richness and complexity as it ever did before.”

Patch 4.14 added seven new village projects to customize the looks, direct-to-house transport, more mayoral campaign options, a streamlined village management UI, the elimination of rent, improved gathering, and several new options for the mobile edition of the MMO.

Source: Patch notes

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Chaos Theory: A changing of the guard in the Secret World Legends

As a fan of the wonderful world that Secret World brought us, do you cringe or grin with excitement when Secret World Legends news pops up? Do you waffle between tell me more and no news is good news? I’ve been on both sides. Who can blame us? We’ve weathered everything from financial woes and the corresponding closure concerns to a complete reboot. And now, we’re experiencing yet another changing of the guard. The Creative Director position that has migrated from Ragnar Tornquist to Joel Bylos to Romain Amiel has been vacated, and a new lead designer is taking over; Amiel left Funcom last month to pursue different endeavors, leaving Chris “Nirvelle” Meredith in charge.

You can’t have a big change like this without people worrying that something will happen to their favorite conspiracy-laden game; it’s inevitable, like the sass of Kirsten Geary. The big question is, will this latest development in the structure of developers ultimately fall on the fear or cheer side of the fence? Will the recent momentum be lost? Is this just one step on the continued track of new content, or will the train be totally derailed?

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Returning to Conan Exiles: Praise for Funcom’s progress on PvE and PvP

As some of you may remember, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Conan Exiles when it first went into Early Access last year. It wasn’t exactly that the game was rough, but just more of the same: free-for-all PvP with people constantly zerg killing each other, now with slavery and some dragons!

But Funcom has done a lot to flesh out the game since then. My GDC look at the game gave me hope, and although the PvE conflict switcharoo is really upsetting, I actually have to say that, mechanically, Funcom has won me over. While I normally track my playtime, I have to admit that I spent far too much time playing Exiles. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience clans, god summoning, purges, teleportation, massive battles, or slavery, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. In fact, Conan Exiles should give all of us, PvE players included, a reason to pay more attention to the survival genre.

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You can invite people into your house with Closers’ Renovation update next week

Renovation sounds like what I’m currently doing to my basement, but it’s also the name of Closers‘ upcoming patch, due out next week, and I promise it’s nothing to do with basements. The word basement isn’t even in the brand-new patch notes.

What is? Housing multiplay (invite peeps into your pad), a big questing overhaul, the new attendance reward system, gear comparisons, item tweaks, outfit tweaks, even PvP tweaks.

“Our next Closers update introduces numerous improvements to all aspects of the game, including (but not limited to) leveling curve tweaks designed to get you to max level faster, changes to achievement and crafting, shorter load times, and more. The Renovation Update will release early next week (the week of May 7).”

When the patch goes live, you can also expect a “welcome back” event with “free stuff” for new and returning players.

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Wisdom of Nym: Little boosts for Final Fantasy XIV

When I talk about games that provide a whole lot of quality-of-life fixes, I generally point to Final Fantasy XIV as a perfect example. Heck, when I want to talk about games that give a lot to roleplayers, the game still tops the list; it still impresses me that the game offers context-sensistive /sit commands and the ability to choose between multiple poses while sitting in chairs or on the ground, and you can even aim for the ground if the context would enforce a chair or bench nearby. That offers no gameplay advantage, it’s just nice.

The game does have some quality-of-life features that are conspicuously missing, though, and many of them are missing for no real reason at all. More housing wards with larger space, for example, would be a phenomenal quality-of-life boost… but it’s also demanding on the system and on finances, thus making it a more complex issue. But there are quality features that could be implemented with minimal effort that also still aren’t there, and it seems only fair to bring those up for the future.

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Final Fantasy XIV previews the Ridorana Lighthouse of patch 4.3

South of Rabanastre, there is a lighthouse. It’s not a very good lighthouse, because it’s surrounded by a yawning chasm that gets worse every year and the best option for boats is to just get nowhere near it at all. But that’s where you’re going for the next raid dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV, and the preview site for the next patch has a brief discussion of why you’re going to this awful tower. Aside from the long tradition of Alliance Raids in towers, that is. (It’s sort of a thing.)

The preview page also gives us our first look at the upcoming guestbook decoration for housing, allowing players to leave you feedback and let you know that they visited and liked your home. You can also try the new cross-world linkshell feature and the expansions to the glamour dresser, although the latter is a bit harder to display in graphical form. Check out some screenshots for the update just below.

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Project Gorgon explains why its appeal isn’t merely nostalgia-related

Project Gorgon, the scrappy indie MMO that recently went into Steam early access, hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit to talk about the game yesterday. Gorgon is a somewhat popular subject on MMO boards, and the AMA garnered a lot of questions and responses.

The devs said that they had not posted a roadmap for the fantasy MMO because “we don’t really work that way,” but they did tease major projects including “several new areas, a new animation system, horse mounts, playable fae race, a new dungeon, and (starting soon) player housing.”

There was also an explanation of how Gorgon veers off from the mainstream MMO design and appeals to players looking for that classic MMO feel: “Project Gorgon was designed around the idea of letting you explore deep game systems. The game’s complexity opens up like an onion — and it’s not pointless complexity, because that’s dumb. There’s real complexity that models interesting things, to let you create interesting custom combat builds, or solve problems in interesting ways. You have to learn how to play, but doing so is really rewarding.”

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The Daily Grind: What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

Earlier this month, Pantheon’s community team tweeted out a question that keeps coming back to me: “What motivates you to play an MMORPG for long periods of time, as in months, sometimes, years?” My first reaction was a pretty common one I bed and was true for me for a long time: friends and guildies! I certainly played some games far longer than I would have otherwise because I wanted to hang out with friends (EverQuest in particular is coming to mind).

But in recent years, when I already “see” my friends and guildies every day in external chats, I’d found games need some other draw too. Housing is probably the biggest one. I don’t usually get sucked in for dailies or anything like that, but give me a house that I love and want to keep up – that I’ll not only log in for but pay for, as my continuing Ultima Online fees prove.

What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

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Massively Overthinking: What we really mean when we talk about ‘difficulty’ in MMORPGs

Massively OP reader Steve wants us to revisit the Daily Grind on making death more meaningful without making it more annoying. His letter was long, so let me paraphrase a bit:

“It feels to me like underlying point was, ‘MMOs are too easy, so how do we make them harder?’ The question of video game difficulty is something that is seldom ever tackled head-on, as it tends to draw out a somewhat vocal minority. There are so many worthy topics about how people define difficulty, twitch skills vs. depth, easy vs. hard, difficulty vs. accessibility, easy vs. engaging, shallowness vs. depth, and so on. These are things I’d love to really see discussed more online, and very few sites will actually touch it. But I think that MOP’s community is overall mature enough to actually have some discussions about this without it devolving into a fist fight.”

I’m sure you’ll prove him right! Right, guys? Guys? So let’s talk about MMO difficulty in this week’s Massively Overthinking. What do we really mean when we talk about “difficulty” in MMORPGs? Are games easier than they used to be, and if so, is there something studios should do to change that?
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Villagers & Heroes adds in new village options with the Wellspring expansion on May 14

The heart of gameplay in cross-platform MMORPG Villagers & Heroes is all about villages, so anything that expands your options for villages is going to be welcome. The game’s upcoming Wellspring expansion for May 14th does just that by adding in new environmental customization, letting you place your village in anything from a lovely fall vista to an arid wasteland. Why you would want to live in an arid wasteland is somewhat unclear, but it takes all types.

The expansion also brings in more governing options for mobile players and several new village projects, along with more involved crafting and gathering. There are also new daily login rewards to help motivate everyone into jumping in-game on a regular basis, if the game itself wasn’t motivation enough. So that’s a whole lot of good stuff on its way, and you’ll have to wait less than a month to see it all in the game proper.

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Lord of the Rings Online talks Update 23, Mordor’s difficulty, lag, and more

Now that Lord of the Rings Online has emerged from Mordor, it’s preparing to go back in the future. SSG’s Rob Ciccolini and Jerry Snook opened up about next couple of updates with MMO Central, teasing an epic confrontation with the giant spider Shelob. Before this takes place, however, Update 23 is going to deliver what sounds like a new region and lots of new instances.

“Our next update will move towards the Grey Mountains, but as we expand we expect to have some reference or maybe even a short appearance because that will be the beginning of [Shelob’s] storyline,” said Ciccolini.

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