It’s now been almost one year to the day
that EVE Online
officially got a limited free-to-play option, and it’s certainly been a boon for the almost 15-year-old MMO. There’s been a significant increase in new players asking for advice on the forums and in-game channels, and activity levels have been bolstered
by the increased numbers. Some of the game’s largest corporations have opened their doors to hundreds of newbros this year, and the best is yet to come. Next month CCP will be lifting some of the restrictions
free players are currently placed under and allowing them to access to larger ships, helping to close the power gap between free and paid users.
While the expanded free tier will open up a lot more gameplay to free users, there are some tricks new players should know to maximise the effectiveness of that tier. There’s even a way for returning veteran players who find themselves constrained by the free tier’s limitations to get a full Omega level subscription absolutely free and even to make a profit in the process. Whether you’re on a free Alpha account or an Omega subscription, there are also a few sources of easy ISK that will take relatively little time each week to manage.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give a few tips new players can use to squeeze more out of the free tier and look at a way for returning veterans to get Omega subscriptions for free.
There are no medical exams to pass when you start a new character in the next patch of The Black Death. You get to start off right away as a plague doctor near what appears to be the epicenter of the plague ravaging the area, and there’s even a set of quests introducing the many skills available to you. Once you’ve gotten through those quests – or just struck off on your own if you’re experienced with the game – the new profession system should allow you to mix-and-match your choice of skills to create whatever sort of profession you like.
The new system has eight professions with a grand total of 117 skills to unlock, and players can mix and match as desired. If you want to become the best plague doctor around, you can; if you want to split off and focus on farming, you can. And if you want to build a profession that’s a bizarre hybrid of farmer, hunter, and plague doctor? That’s totally all right as well. Our own MJ will be streaming the game after the patch drops on Thursday, so if you want to see it all in action, keep your eyes peeled.
Do you like dragging yourself out of bed at three in the morning because something has finished in a game and you need to immediately address it? Probably not. That would be insane. But Crowfall recognizes that it’s a possibility with its skill training system, which is why the game has time banks. If a skill finishes training and you’re offline, time starts to fill up in the bank, and you can immediately spend it on whatever you want to train next, with VIP players able to bank up to 30 days of accumulated time. Players will also be able to use skill tomes to transfer banked time, thus ensuring that newer players can catch up with veterans.
VIP players will have the edge in terms of how many things can be trained at once, but they won’t be able to progress faster than other players while training; a VIP player can train two separate skills at once, but not the same skill twice as fast. You can catch the full overview on the official site so you know exactly how the game will help you train up your skills over time and how you can be sure to balance the demands of your time.
is a new skill coming to Path of Exile
, and when you read about how it works it probably seems a little counter-intuitive. See, when you use it, you don’t actually dash; you project a mirage of yourself forward for as long as you channel the ability. The mirage movement is based on your movement speed, only slightly faster, but you still only actually dash when you stop channeling. Then you deal damage to everything along your path and explode in electricity.
Of course, when you see it in action, it all makes perfect sense, and the designers helpfully point out how the skill can be used as both a movement tool and a damage skill with varying aspects. Check out the video just below to see it in action. It’s a bit like watching a lightning bolt find its destination, which seems appropriate.
Meanwhile, in the deep void of space, a fire has broken out on a starship. Jets of flame and a rain of red-hot meteors scour the deck, sending people running for safety. It’s OK, however, it’s just a superhero putting his powers to practice.
Ship of Heroes released a video today showing two interesting elements of the game, starting with the Fiery Blast powerset. It’s a pretty straight-forward pyro build, with lots of fireballs and flame buffs to satisfy even the most hardcore Human Torch fan. This is the first of eight powersets that the team has vowed to show off this year, and the devs stress that the animations and effects are not final.
The team also showed off its signature Justice Corp building, where Bat-person, Superdude, Amazing Woman, Ocean King, Bird Sidekick, Lightning McGuy, Verdant Lampshade, and Venusian Hitchhiker presumably meet to combat evil. On the rooftop is an area where players can test out their powers without worrying about pesky aliens dying or fighting back.
Ship of Heroes is hoping to start alpha testing by the end of the year. Take a trip to the Justice Corps HQ and roast a few marshmallows with the fire powerset after the break!
One of the worst teases in a game for me is to see a place and not be able to go and explore it. RuneScape players have experienced that to the 12th degree! Not only were the walls and gate of the city of Menaphos erected 12 years ago with no way for players to get inside but different quests in the game would hint at the story that existed behind those unbreachable walls. And as of today, fans can finally get through those gates and experience the city.
But before the city gates opened up permanently, Jagex slipped me in for a guided tour of Menaphos, the Golden City. While I wasn’t able to play the game myself, I got see the sights and learn many things about the game’s first ever expansion from Jon Wilcox (senior communications manager), Dave Osbourne (lead designer), Joseph Redstall (product manager for the Menaphos expansion), and Benjamin Luff (gameplay development graduate.
The changes to PLEX for EVE Online
make it easier to buy small chunks, sell small chunks, and not have all of it get blown up when you stuff a cargo hold full of your money. Of course, part of what has made PLEX so vital is the need for newer players to be able to catch up with veterans, which ties into use of skill injectors… which are currently very expensive. So the game is introducing a cheaper way to get those
, as well.
Existing skill injectors will be marked as large injectors, while the new smaller skill injectors will hold a maximum of 100,000 points and offer smaller and smaller rewards to players with more skill points. The hope is that newer players can buy the bite-sized injector and start to catch up before moving on to larger purchases, thus ensuring that everyone can more quickly take part in the sprawling wars of backstabbing that make the game tick along.
Thanks to a new update, Crowfall is giving its players more freedom than before in customizing their own playstyle. The focus here is on an adjustable user interface that allows a player to drag whichever skill they prefer into the hotbar slot of choice.
The discussion of this new UI feature involves a look at Crowfall’s three types of skills: active, passive, and retaliatory. These can be mapped to the number keys, letter keys, and mouse buttons as desired.
“It may seem a pretty mundane thing to talk about, but the arrival of this system portents so many things coming on the horizon (like Disciplines),” said Design Lead Thomas Blair. “No one has really needed to think about loading out their character’s powers in the past as each archetype was built to have a very specific loadout of powers, but now it will be vital to ensure you have the powers loaded out into their proper slots.”
Your normal skills in Revelation Online
are what you use for 90% of the game, obviously. That’s why they’re normal skills, after all. You rely upon them and they serve as stalwart workhorses. But then there are the Special Skills, detailed in the most recent post on the official site
. You can earn a few of them almost automatically through tutorial quests and consecutive logins, but most of the others must be earned through raising reputation.
The skills themselves have large effects that can turn the tide of a battle in your favor, so it only makes sense that they’d also have entirely independent advancement options for players. You can level up several aspects of your special skills including cooldowns, duration, damage, and cost; higher-ranked skills will obviously take more time to improve than lower-ranked skills. The Special Skills are your big guns that allow you to do things your class otherwise would be unable to do, so it’s worth understanding just how big the guns can be. You can try them out yourself when the game hits open beta on March 6th.
Wanna feel old? Three years ago, I wrote a Second Wind piece for Massively-that-was on Ultima Online, which had recently been turned over to Broadsword and was celebrating its 16th birthday. “The ‘old things suck’ snobs can scoff all they want,” I concluded, “but feature for feature, UO surpasses far too many modern games to be ignored.”
Now the game has just turned 19, and I’m back in the grand-daddy of MMORPGs poking around for the readers who’ve requested another look and listen. I’d call it a third wind, but for me, it’s probably more like my 103rd wind, as I’ve gone back so many times I’ve lost count. This round, I’m going to give a little tour of some of my favorite features, like housing, runebooks, boats, and combat, plus talk about some basic mechanics and highlight cool community hot spots on Atlantic, then wind down with some opinions on UO’s place in the genre and the lessons we can learn from its long and glorious sandbox development history even here in 2016. Enjoy!
Will Guild Wars 2
ever attain perfect balance with all of its classes and skills? Probably not, but such is the way of all MMOs. The GW2
skill team posted a note on the forum
giving players a heads up about incoming balance changes.
Revenant and Mesmers will a mix of buffs and debuffs to some of their boons. Likewise, Druids will see some pretty big adjustments to one of their core healing spells: “One of the most notable changes being made is to the healing values of the Druid as a primary healer. Base values for the Celestial Avatar heals will be reduced, while the healing power contribution will be enhanced significantly. The reasoning for these changes is that while we are excited about the Druid being an incredibly strong healer, we would also like to see that role as one of many choices in your attribute build.”
There was no time frame given for the changes, but the tone of the post indicated that they would be coming soon. The skills team said that it wanted to warn players of these adjustments to prepare for their arrival.
Who doesn’t like free? Because I certainly do! And today is all about getting stuff for free in EverQuest II. Sadly, I don’t mean from the cash shop (although that would be cool). I am talking about skill upgrades and recipes that you don’t have to loot, barter for, or buy. No in-game coin or real life cash is involved in acquiring these.
Did you know you could upgrade skills for free? Not everyone does. I even have friends who didn’t know this feature existed for the longest time. And it doesn’t matter that I have played EQII for over decade — this tidbit continues to slip my mind as well! How do you get these skill upgrades? By researching them. Don’t worry, it’s actually the easiest thing ever: no actual study is involved. All you need is time, be it online or off, and a couple mouse clicks and you have stronger, better skills. Well, you need the memory to actually do it, of course.
Every MMO has character classes. Every single one. You might rail against this by pointing out that there are several games out there with open skill systems, and this is undeniably true, but it’s the rare MMORPG that allows you to really mix and match from totally opposite ends of the skill spectrum. You might have plenty of freedom in building your character, but in most MMOs, you’re not wielding Ranged Spell of Doom alongside the Great Armor and Smashy Hammer of Destiny.
Unless you’re playing Darkfall, at least, and then everyone is playing “teleporting death wizard” anyhow, so who cares?
The point is that there are certain character types that show up again and again in almost every game, no matter how far off the beaten path its advancement system might be. Skill-based, class-based, whatever – if you’ve got combat, you’ve got some familiar character types. And you probably have some types that you play over and over again, which says something about you, in the same way that always ordering the same thing at Starbucks but debating over it for half an hour every time says something about you.