Last week’s poll on Warframe
was a nail-biter, but it ultimately came down in favor of me not
buying a new frame for my explorations this week. So I didn’t. But I did heed the numerous people telling me to go run those anniversary missions.
I also, belatedly, realized that my access to Amazon Prime meant that I also had access to that Twitch Prime promotion from a while back, which would have been really useful if I had realized this before now. Of course, I didn’t know that I’d be playing Warframe at the time, so perhaps my lack of precognition doesn’t qualify as a character flaw.
Regardless, my first goal this week was to get in those anniversary missions and the rewards which went along with them. Of course, that also meant that I’d be largely useless in those missions, but that would also serve the purpose of giving a sense for how the game plays in a group instead of just running solo.
Massively OP’s Larry and MJ made it off of Iokath, but the adventure is far from over; just because they survived doesn’t mean they are safe. Vaylin is hatching a plan that could lead to trouble, and you know this pair aims to stop her. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as the duo starts chapter VI — we hear there might even be a vote flirt in there!
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been enjoying the journey through RIFT Prime, the game’s first progression server. Trion Worlds surprised and delighted many of us when it announced that it would be creating a slightly more difficult, vastly more cash shop-free shard that would take players through the entirety of the RIFT experience from vanilla through the latest expansion.
As I’ve reset the clock on my RIFT adventures, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the benefits of progression servers. With a lot of World of Warcraft fans wondering if Classic will eventually morph into a progression shard (which I certainly hope it does), and with games like EverQuest and EverQuest II repeatedly embracing the alternative ruleset, I think we could be moving into an era where older MMOs experience new life with this relatively simple move.
So why are MMO progression servers a brilliant idea? Here are 10 thoughts on the matter.
Last month, Ship of Heroes ran its first alpha combat test with backers, and it was a blast (literally). With enough time to process the test, the studio put together a dev blog that shared what it has learned from the combat alpha to use in development going forward.
There are many critical notes that the devs provide, such as this one: “Enemies should attack relentlessly. We have already begun an enemy AI upgrade. This upgrade will be affected by the poll results you’ve given us on this subject. Our goal to is to add a new level of challenge to the AI.”
Heroic Games said that it will be polling the community for several decisions that need to be made about adjusting the combat. There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself, so check out February’s combat alpha highlights after the superjump!
fans are being kept busy today thanks to En Masse’s
latest endeavor. The latest patch is called the Pandimensional Update
, and it’s got everything: buffs, new cosmetics, rocket wings, a level cap bump to 75, more potion crafting, a small plum (!), and alternative versions of all the classes.
“The alternate, pandimensional Closers have come over to our world! After a brief (but heated) debate, the Closers are turning to their peers to settle the score! Players will be able to put in a vote every two days in two different polls, culminating in the announcement of the best boy and girl. Once voting has ended, every player will receive a code for a free in-game poster, featuring the winners, that they can place in their housing areas.”
Do note that the Pandimensional skins are free; you just have to manually change your character skin to grab them. They’re available only through April 2nd.
Is Call of Duty the next Activision franchise to migrate to Battlenet? Very likely. As Eurogamer broke earlier this month, players are now able to link their Call of Duty accounts to Battle.net – no doubt in anticipation for Black Ops 4.
I bring this up to MMO players because of the potential impact on World of Warcraft – specifically, token prices – as WoW players buy and sell their tokens to spend down their Blizzard balance to buy up the new CoD title (or cash in on the flurry). Redditors are current speculating about the incoming speculation, arguing that tokens prices have been relatively stable over the past few months, spiking for the Battle for Azeroth hoopla but ultimately settling back down. In fact, just covering the potential for a spike can cause a spike, one poster points out. Gamers will recall a similar situation last year when Destiny 2 landed on Battlenet, sending the token to record heights.
And that leads us to some Leaderboard fun. Do you speculate on WoW Tokens or other legal MMO RMT currency (like PLEX, C.R.E.D.D, etc.), or do you stay the heck away from that noise? Multiple responses are allowed!
There are MMOs that have been around a while, and then there is EverQuest. It’s so old school it is old enough to be out of school! Yup, EQ turned 19 years old yesterday. That’s 19 years of the iconic music, 19 years of Qeynos, and 19 years of Fippy trying to storm that gate! So much has happened in Norrath between March 16th, 1999, and March 16th, 2018 – more than one single restrospective could cover. So we’ll just look at a single year!
As is tradition, I’ve sat back and looked over the previous year, remembering the highlights and goings on of the game. How did the 19th year play out for one of the oldest MMOs? Sadly, this year was of the leaner variety; not much happened across Norrath. You wouldn’t know that by all the anniversary offerings, though! Take a stroll down the cobbled lane of memories, but don’t get lost in the nostalgia; there are oodles of anniversary quests to fill your schedule with during the celebration, going on now through Thursday, May 10th, 2018.
After my second week in, I have to admit that I’m kind of bothered by Warframe
. Or, more accurately, the fact that I like the game’s overall mechanics doesn’t fix the fact that it has some seriously irritating bits of work running through the whole experience.
None of this is to say that the game is bad, mind you. In fact, the second week, if anything, reaffirmed the fact that this is in fact a well-polished game with a clear picture of what it wants to be. All of that is commendable. The issues that it has are entirely down to issues of choice and the investment needed to make those choices, and the fact that it frequently prevents you from getting information that might be entirely valuable.
But then, the game also still does a good job of letting you enjoy running around while shooting stuff. So it’s a mixed bag that’s going to hit everyone a little bit differently, in other words.
At long last, players of ECO will no longer be stuck having to walk from place to place like an animal, but will be free to tear across the landscape of this ecologically focused game in a smoke-belching SUV. Sure, the first vehicles previewed don’t fall under that header, but we’re certain it’s only a matter of time. Show the game what “player vs. environment” can really mean!
Jokes aside, the addition of a universal steam engine (previewed in a video below) and a variety of different vehicle types will allow players to explore more options for living in harmony with the environment or exploiting it for short-term gain. The initial lineup should give you the farming and transportation tools you’ll need. Players are also encouraged to vote on the next major development goals for the title; the vehicles are expected to be up for testing on April 6th, with a main Steam release not long thereafter.
For those who have forgotten, ECO is an environmental-themed sandbox title that’s been in early access since February. You can check that out for a look at the world and the game with the developers.
A few months ago, we ran a Leaderboard poll asking players what kind of live studio-led events they want out of MMORPGs. By way of example, I compared the types of GM-run live events I saw in Ultima Online and EverQuest. In Ultima Online, we often saw long-running plotlines, mysterious NPCs, decorated special locations, dungeon crawls, and weddings galore. In EverQuest, I saw weddings, yes, but also GMs running around massacring newbies to get the highbies to come take them out (which wasn’t such a grand time as you lost experience on death). In Asheron’s Call, well, don’t take my word for it – just listen to Andrew talk about some of the biggest MMO events that ever took place in the genre.
Such GM events – the good ones, at least – are the subject of Saga of Lucimia’s weekly dev blog, which ought to make the majority of you who voted for plot, roleplaying, and activities other than endless murder in your event happy.
“Over the years, that type of interaction faded away as it became too ‘cost prohibitive’ for companies to maintain the type of staff required to create such unique events, and these days you are hard-pressed to find a GM logged into any game, much less get customer support to answer your emails in a timely fashion,” Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson maintains. “Cash shops and loot boxes are the name of the game these days. Game masters? What are those?”
Nexon’s adorable and frankly underrated free-to-play sandbox Mabinogi is preparing to celebrate a decade of life come March 27th, and that means events galore – in fact, some have already begun, including the Festia anniversary zone and miniquests, the Cave of Trials challenge, and the Sneaky Developer quest.
Coming up later in the month are daily and weekly giveaways and handouts, the Festival Troublemakers Event. My favorites, however, are the Popularity Contest and the crafting quest known only as The Fattening. Don’t forget to grab your 10th anny gift box too!
, Trion Worlds
opened up Vigil, the RIFT Prime
server that offers a unique progression pace for subbers as well as an environment relatively free of cash shop annoyances. Like most studios that give alternative or progression servers a go, Trion is surely hoping to attract old school players as well as those feeling a bit of nostalgia or just sick of modern business model contrivances.
But did it work? I’ve seen a lot of buzz on Twitter, but buzz is buzz, not players. Did the new server get you back in Telara – are you playing RIFT Prime? To the pollmobile!
Are you Team Tina or Team Harpy? By the blank stares that you are giving us, we are guessing that you’re not playing Closers are the moment. But you could be — and then you might become invested in the next playable character to be added to the game.
Right now, En Masse is running an in-game event through which players will be able to influence the choice of a new character. Through March 14th, players can craft either a Tina or Harpy token by accomplishing various in-game tasks, and then use that token to cast their vote. If this isn’t enough election thrills, players can also craft 8-bit masks to wear because this is how it’s done in video game politics.
The two characters won’t merely be cosmetic variants of each other but will feature different playstyles. Tina is a gun-toting marksman while Harpy uses kinetic playing cards. The winner will be revealed on April 3rd.