My time with Neverwinter
is done, and it’s a game I find myself in an odd relationship with. It’d be fair to say that despite what some members of the audience expected, I never went into disliking the game; even when I was getting a little bit bored, I didn’t find myself desperately wanting to play something else just to be free of the scourge of the game itself. But at the same time… it never really got its hooks in me, either.
And some of that, I think, is that I’ve played it before.
I’m reluctant to say that every game Cryptic Studios makes is the same because every single one has very clear pieces that stand apart. Star Trek Online’s space combat, Neverwinter’s action combat, and Champions Online’s status as the last relic of a forgotten time. (Probably other things, too.) They’re not the same game. But they do all share the same gameplay loop, which is different… and despite my best efforts, there’s a certain point when all of that just winds up getting a wee bit tedious.
How do youbneat the heat of the summer solstice? In space! Massively OP’s MJ is celebrating the start of summer by dipping into Star Trek Online
. There’s a special summer festival going on right now called Lohlunat that MJ may or may not have a captain experienced enough to partake in, but she’s willing to try and crash said party! She also has presents to give away: Some Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lances
(for Xbox One only). Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to beat the heat and for your chance to win.
What: Star Trek Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:
In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online
‘s season 13 Escalation for console, PWE
has granted Massively OP a stack of Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lances, a rare ground weapon, to raffle to our readers!
“Undine weaponry utilizes cohesive antiproton streams to damage foes. These streams are known to sometimes knock their opponents away while dealing additional physical damage. The primary fire of this particular wrist-mounted antiproton lance is similar to those adapted into Assault weapons that use this same energy technology. The secondary fire is radically different however, incorporating something akin to the ‘focused beam’ technology sometimes seen in use on Undine starships. It can charge up a massive blast that will scar the surface of whatever the foe is standing on, sending out antiproton energy ripples that cause additional damage to anything they cross paths with.”
Read on to enter to win!
If you haven’t yet played the most recent Star Trek Online
update on consoles, you might not be aware that you’re going to be doing a fair amount of work alongside Lukari explorer and pioneer Captain Kuumaarke. (There’s your minor spoiler for the day.) We had a chance to sit down and talk with Kipleigh Brown, the actress who voices Kuumaarke, about the experience of voicing the character and about working within the existing continuity as both a performer and a fan.
And make no mistake, Ms. Brown is a fan; she loves talking about doing her best not to fangirl out when being directed by LeVar Burton in her on-screen appearance on Enterprise and her overall enthusiasm for the franchise as a whole. For her, what got her really invested in the universe was during the original run of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when she was lucky enough to catch “The Measure of a Man” and become fascinated by the central premise of the episode.
At this point, Cryptic Studios has a stable of games based off of existing IPs, most notably Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and the upcoming game based on Magic: the Gathering. A new interview on GamesIndustry.biz with CEO Stephen D’Angelo discusses working with the IP and making a successful game out of it, noting that first and foremost it’s a matter of finding the core element of the IP that makes it interesting and designing the game around that.
D’Angelo explains that the studio’s core goal is to expand beyond the existing audience for the IP by exploring new directions, rather than trying to solely cover the same material as the original; he notes that the expansion into Magic: the Gathering made sense due to a strong working relationship with Wizards of the Coast and the desire to not simply make an online version of the same card game. The studio wants to explore the world from another angle, just like Neverwinter doesn’t simply plug the stats of the tabletop game into digital form. If you’re interested in the mechanisms of making an IP-based MMO work, the full interview is worth a read.
If you thought I was enjoying my time with Neverwinter
as a whole, you would be right. I am
enjoying my time with the game as a whole, and while there are bits and pieces which don’t totally sell me, my initial impressions have been positive. Heck, even my impressions from the last week or so of play have been mostly
positive, with a lot of good experiences and a few which are…
Yeah, I could say “less good,” but I’m going to go with just plain “rage-inducing.”
Here’s the weird thing: At least one of the things which inspired a rage-spike from me was something I had been waiting for from the moment I started playing the game, and people who have read my work long enough probably know what that means. So join me as I find the item I dread more than any other in games by Cryptic, an item that appears in both of the other titles run by the studio that makes me start shuddering with rage every time I see it.
One of the largest and longest-running collectible card games is about to become a brand-new role-playing video game, courtesy of Cryptic Studios. Cryptic and Perfect World Entertainment announced today that it is ramping up development on a Magic: The Gathering MMORPG in partnership with Wizards of the Coast.
The untitled game is being made “from the ground up” for both PC and console as a top-tier release and is part of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic Digital Next initiative. According to the press release, the RPG will allow players to “fully immerse themselves in the Multiverse.”
“Everything from the graphics to the gameplay is being targeted for a truly unique AAA game,” said Cryptic CEO Stephen D’Angelo. “We’re thrilled to provide Magic fans with an opportunity to explore the game’s worlds and characters through an entirely new lens. Get ready to embark on a brand new journey.”
Over the years, Star Trek Online
has featured a number of ships and enemy factions from one-off episodes, including an entire group of enemies (the Tzenkethi) whom we never actually see on-screen. But the latest lockbox for the game
takes things even further with the Husnock Warship, a ship that we never even properly
see during the one episode where it would
have shown up. (Explaining would spoil the episode.) The whole point of the Privateer lockbox is that it’s not beholden to limited factions, instead just featuring a collection of various bits and bobs from several series.
Players can also get a new Privateer outfit, pilot the new Miradorn Raider piloting vessel, and pick up new weapons and kit modules. Console players will have to wait for a bit longer to pick up the box themselves, but the bright side is that the console versions of the game are getting a nice big patch today, which should help take the edge off. It contains new featured episode, new War Games, and quality of life improvements, so that’s all good.
When it comes to public transportation, I can think of no better way to get from point A to point B than by climbing up seven stories and latching myself onto the back of a giant flea who may or may not have my best intentions at heart. Oh wait. I can totally think of a zillion better ways.
But that’s just how it is in Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind. Zulika Mi-Nam revisited his old stomping grounds and had this to share: “I spent a lot of time in it about 15 years ago, so the whole place is full of memories. Balmora here is where I spent the most time. I think this is a good interpretation so far — and the best part is the cliff racers aren’t as big of a PITA.”
Console players for Star Trek Online
will have a few more options when it comes to war games once Season 13 launches. The latest preview on the official site details two new skirmishes coming to the game’s console versions
. Binary Circuit has both teams racing against one another to solve puzzles and make it through a Borg Cooperative Cube, while Core Assault has both teams attempting to defend a core from assault while simultaneously seeking to destroy the other team’s core.
There’s more to the game than friendly skirmishes with allies, though; there’s also the economy to think about. The developers have noted that the existing energy credit cap has been hit too frequently, and thus it’s being raised for all sorts of players on console and on PC. This coincides with an increase to the maximum price an item may be listed for on the auction block, so if you find yourself with more credits than you know what to do with and nothing to spend them on, you can count on other players to provide answers.
“Sun’s out, guns out,” a PWE press blast quipped today — all because the MMO studio is kicking off a ton of summer events across its range of games, including some of the more relatively obscure ones.
, for example, the titular city will be festooned in glitter for the 4th anniversary Protector’s Jubilee. Jubilee unicorns were mentioned
. That’s June 20-27, while July will see the summer festival with feasts, contests, and snail mounts.
There are games that simply do not hold up past the demo, and frankly I’ve played a lot of those in Boston. Usually those are non-MMOs that promise big but don’t wind up delivering; I was excited about Rock Band Blitz
, but it didn’t really pan out as being as fun as a standalone game compared to a quick demo station. So I was aware that however much I liked Neverwinter
from demo kiosks, it was entirely possible that sitting down to play the actual game would be something of a disappointment.
But it wasn’t. Made you look.
Far from being less than it had seemed when I tried out the demos, I quite enjoyed my first week of time spent in Neverwinter. Not that it’s going to tear me away from all other games forever, but it’s a fun experience with plenty of things to hook you into the gameplay quickly without forcing you to dive headfirst into lore in order to find your commitment to the story.