It was back in February when Mojang’s – you surely remember it from Minecraft – online card game Scrolls was pronounced dead, but it was apparently just pining for the fjords. It’s back right now, and more to the point it’s completely free now. With the new title Caller’s Bane, you can download the game and play it right now… well, as long as someone has set up a server to play on. Yes, all of the servers now are going to be hosted by the community rather than officially.
The new version of the game also doesn’t feature a friend list or any progress transfer for veterans, so you’ll have to start that all over again. Fortunately, server administrators can also choose to just give you a full collection right away if they so desire. So while it’s not a grand new dawn for the game, it means that the whole thing can be downloaded and played once more. Isn’t that pretty good by itself?
Server merges happen. You may not want them to happen for a game that you’re playing, but they’re sometimes just a simple necessity. Of course, if a game is doing well, you’d rather see new servers cropping up rather than merges. So how do you feel about both happening at the same time, which is exactly what’s taking place in Lineage 2: Revolution? (It’s fine if your answer is “confused.”)
Yes, the game is merging down several of its lower-population servers into new servers to help bulk up the game’s population and improve matchmaking, while also preparing for a new server for everyone who wants to start fresh at the same time. It’s just a little bit unusual. The good news is that characters will be deleted during the merge only if a player hasn’t played in 30 days, has no transaction history, and has no characters over level 10; otherwise, characters will possibly need renaming but nothing more.
The game is also preparing for castle sieges and new dungeons with its May patch, so there’s a good reason to get server populations up now rather than later. And considering that the game is apparently boasting about being a top-grossing mobile title, it’s clearly doing something right despite server merge oddities.
Gosh, isn’t it nice to have a fresh server to start on? No old connections, no old animosities, no problems to worry about. It’s like a fresh playground to just enjoy the game before you go back to making the exact same mistakes that made you long for a fresh start in the first place. Now you too can experience that when Revelation Online
launches an EU fresh start server on March 22nd – today. Which just so happens to be launch day for the game’s latest update, First Contact
, which chiefly focuses on PvP upgrades and modes.
As always, the draw for the new server is that everyone starts new on a level playing field, with no existing characters to come in and muck things up. So, depending on how many people are willing to sacrifice sleep and careers for relentless leveling, there will be only a handful of max-level characters for the first week or so. If this is the sort of server you’re looking for, keep your eyes peeled for Emollion (the new server) when it opens up.
Whether you are personally playing it or not, there are a lot of ambitious pirates trying to cram their way into Sea of Thieves with this week’s launch. Unfortunately for Rare, the studio has seen its servers struggle to keep up with the influx of players and perform as expected.
In fact, Sea of Thieves even disabled the ability for new players to join the game yesterday. “For those playing and those joining we are continuing to work on improvements to the game in order to ensure the playing experience will be optimal,” Rare said. “Please be patient as we are working on updates.”
For those who can get in, there’s a rush to be among the first to encounter the kraken and mysterious stranger. Have you been playing over the past day or two? What’s your take so far?
It’s not exactly a secret that one of my first loves in any MMORPG is roleplaying. The whole reason I have multiple alts in Final Fantasy XIV (a game where no one ever needs any alts) is for roleplaying, I’ve spent more time roleplaying over the years than I care to admit, and one of the things that basically caused me to write off Star Wars: The Old Republic for future play options is the server merge eliminating roleplaying servers. That’s one of the things I’m here for.
At the same time, I also don’t think that it’s something that everyone is obligated to take part in. I would prefer that you be into that if you’re on a roleplaying server, but even there you have your own reasons, and as long as you’re not disrupting people it doesn’t seem like something you should be at all obligated to do. Some people don’t want to spend hours carefully crafting character backstories; that’s fine. We all enjoy our hobbies differently.
For something that is right in the name of the genre, roleplaying tends to attract a lot of passionate opinions about how important it is to the genre’s identity. Heck, there are even people debating what, precisely, qualifies as roleplaying compared to not roleplaying. So what do you think, readers? How important is roleplaying to MMORPGs?
If there’s one thing that EVE Online
does better than any other MMO on the market today, it’s persistent gameplay on massive scales. The now-famous Bloodbath of B-R5RB
in 2014 involved 7,548 players over the course of almost 24 hours, and the Siege of M-OEE8
at the end of 2016 peaked at 5,300 separate players all piled into the same star system at the same time. Hundreds of thousands of players live and fight in the same single-shard universe, and EVE
‘s largest corporations have more members than the total population on some other MMOs’ shards.
But what about the smaller end of the scale? MMOs aren’t just populated by monolithic organisations bent on galactic domination, and a growing proportion of today’s gamers play online games solo or in smaller groups. Features such as Upwell structures and the new PvE gameplay have clearly been designed with a wide range of gameplay scales in mind, but EVE has never really got past the problem that bigger groups are almost always better. Could the solution to this problem be found in small-scale asymmetric and asynchronous warfare opportunities?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why EVE‘s massive scale makes it so compelling, the problem that massive scale introduces, and the case for more asymmetric and asynchronous warfare.
When I saw Star Wars: The Old Republic’s whole promotion for Knights of the Old Republic, I was momentarily tempted to log back in and make sure I got a promotional item. Hey, promotional speeders are cool, and I can use it for… wait, they merged servers right into not having an RP server, right? Never mind, I’m not going back anyway, what do I care? Just like that, the server merge killed any and all desire I might have had to go back to the game.
Our own MJ has written recently about how the horrid handling for Aion’s server merges basically killed that game for her. I know there are people who are unwilling to go back to ArcheAge due to merges requiring new land rushes that just aren’t worth the effort. And hey, I can understand deciding that you don’t want to go back just because a merge made you lose your long-time character name. So what about you, dear readers? Have MMO server merges ever driven you away from a game for good?
Good news, European Blade & Soul fans! Your server maintenance today is going to take twice as long as the North American server maintenance! You might say that this sounds like bad news, but it actually is good news. European servers have been consistently stuck with longer maintenance times and more issues, and the developers are taking advantage of this longer cycle to do some server migration.
This maintenance will see the EU servers moved to the AWS cloud virtual servers, along with other unspecified behind-the-scenes changes that will hopefully result in shorter maintenance periods for EU players and more reliability in the future. Obviously, the proof will be in how things shake out from the future, but the intent is still there. And hopefully this will be the last time (for a while) that European B&S players have to just wait for a longer maintenance cycle.
Earlier this week, Star Wars: The Old Republic moved all of its game servers to the same location on the east coast
. This made a lot of people angry and a whole lot more people just outright confused, since it happened with no prior notice or explanation. The up side is that the community team has taken to the forums to explain this sudden move
; the down side is that the explanations may or may not actually explain anything.
For example, the reason that no one was told ahead of time? The developers wanted you to log in immediately and see how your gameplay was impacted. If you’re unclear as to how that would have been tainted by knowing this was happening ahead of time, join the club. (Yes, blind trials, but customers aren’t test subjects and it arguably wouldn’t affect your overall course of action.)
Players who are experiencing particularly bad ping rates are encouraged to still send in reports about it, although how this will be addressed remains to be seen. You can read through the full answers on the official site.
If the PvP of Dark and Light feels too regimented and orderly for you, you’ll be happy to take part in the game’s upcoming Chaos servers to mix things up more thoroughly. Chaos servers will allow you to gain experience faster, fight stronger monsters, declare war faster, and more easily demolish structures. Players who do well can also look forward to permanent reward options, and the developers will generally use the server type as a litmus test for PvP balance.
Meanwhile, the game is also altering decay rates for structures on PvP servers across the board; PvP structures will generally stand longer, while PvE ones will keep the existing decay rates to ensure that the land isn’t covered in abandoned buildings. Check out the exact timer changes on the official site, along with more details on the Chaos servers.
Ahead of the game’s large-scale server merge, the Star Wars: The Old Republic
servers have had their physical locations merged into one
. It turns out all of the game’s servers were moved to a location on the east coast after the game’s most recent maintenance, albeit without any prior notification to players. This has some players (particularly those on the west coast) a bit miffed, seeing as how this will immediately affect ping, latency, and how far you have to drive to manually wipe characters off of your server in a fit of rage.
The good news is that the developers are aware that this change will affect performance and are hoping to be able to smooth things out over the next two weeks. That’s when the server consolidation is taking place, so that’s all the more reason to hope that all of the kinks are worked out by then. Hopefully your ping rate hasn’t significantly worsened with the move!
Starting on Tuesday, October 24th, ArcheAge
is getting into the spirit of Halloween. As we all know, the real meaning of Halloween is dressing up in costumes and enjoying bits of ghoulish glee, and you can rest assured that exactly that will arrive with the game’s many seasonal events
. Honor the souls of the dead for festival tokens, or go about smashing pumpkins and picking up costumes and event crates. There’s also a special trade pack delivery route starting on October 18th, and it won’t bring you through festival areas, so you’ll be in greater danger the whole time.
You know what’s really scary as an ArcheAge player, though? Discussing servers. No, it’s not another merge, thankfully, it’s just opening up transfers to and from the game’s Evolution servers. Fresh Start servers remain sectioned off for the moment, but it wouldn’t be a proper Halloween season without a shiver of terror running down your spine. Even if it’s less terror at the thought of monsters and more at the thought of another land rush.
The economy for ArcheAge
servers is getting a little more unified. During the game’s next weekly maintenance window, the auction houses for the game’s fresh start and legacy servers will be getting merged into one overall server
. Legacy auctions are going to remain unaffected, but fresh start server auctions will be expired automatically, meaning that players on the fresh servers will have to adjust to the existing standards across the larger server community.
If no bids have been placed on an item on a fresh start auction house, the full posting price and the item will be returned to the player; otherwise, the highest bidder will receive the item. It’s another step toward bringing the fresh start servers in line with the rest of the game, although whether or not that’s a good thing probably depends on whether or not you have something up for auction that’s about to become more valuable or less so in the near future.