user interface

Impressions of Project Gorgon from an Asheron’s Call player

It’s finally time for me talk about Project Gorgon as a released product. As you might have guessed, I was avoiding the game prior to launch. I’ve spoken out against early access a lot and have realized that, at this point in my gaming/career, playing games I’m passionate too early can be a threat to both work and play. I wanted a relationship with PG, but I didn’t want to rush into anything pre-release. I wanted it as complete as possible.

MJ’s streamed it a bunch of times, including the day before launch. Eliot’s comments from his pre-release CMA feel spot on still post-release. However, as the resident old-man Asheron’s Call fan with a review copy, I think I can add a few comments about how Project Gorgon compares to AC1&2, plus how developer Eric Heimburg’s infused PG in AC-esque ways.

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Sea of Thieves ends sky ships, teases new cosmetics and customization

Sea of Thieves set sail with a brand-new patch this morning with better ammo crate positioning, UI tweaks, and new ship scuttling tips, plus tons of bug fixes, including the demise of “sky ships” – that fun bug where ships floated up to the sky when sinking. Also? No more earworms! “Players will no longer play the same shanty twice in a row.”

Do note that Rare says it’s still aware of bugs with not being able to view your character customization, the grey screen at launch, delayed achievements and commendations (stilL!) and missing DLC.

What’s on the horizon? “There’s rumour that a new shipment of clothing, items, weapons and ship customisations are on the horizon and heading for the Sea of Thieves!” Rare hints. “If you are saving yer coin for a pair of trousers, you might want to keep a weathered eye out for this arriving soon!”

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H1Z1 is finally coming to PlayStation 4

Did you think slipping player numbers were going to do in the battle royale grand-daddy? Nope. Free-to-play must have been a big boost, as Daybreak announced today that it’s porting H1Z1 to PS4. Open beta is set to begin on May 22nd, with both signups and a preorder bundle ($29.99) available presumably as soon as the landing page starts working.

H1Z1 on PS4 is designed specifically for the console and focuses exclusively on the core elements that make battle royale exciting,” Daybreak’s PR says. “The game features a new weapon progression system, fully reworked UI, and new weapons and gear.” The company is touting a “tailor-made” control scheme for PS4, a “grab-and-go” equipment system, and new progression mechanics.

And lest you forget that this is the game Star Wars Galaxies fans can come home to,

“The crafting system has also been removed from the game.”

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Here’s what’s in Shroud of the Avatar’s R53, launching this Thursday

The dust may be settling after Shroud of the Avatar’s final launch, but that doesn’t mean the game is done. On the contrary, Portalarium clearly means to keep right on its strict monthly update schedule.

As the title’s latest dev update explains, R53 – due out this Thursday – includes the rebuild of multiple scenes and locations (like Tenebris Harbor and Penmawr Island shown in the gallery below), plus the looking-for-group system, better loot, offline drop rate tweaks, additional side quests, heraldry, and new “plunderer NPCs,” plus the promised UI polishing pass.

The planned stress test on the QA server kicks off as this post goes live; as previously noted, a quorum of participants will ensure a double experience event come the launch of the update.

Meanwhile, if you’re into world exploration, swing by the Twitter feed of Portalarium’s Richard Garriott; he’s been chronicling a well-earned trip to the Arctic.

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Camelot Unchained works on trading, the UI, and building code ahead of July’s beta

July 4th is getting closer, which means the Camelot Unchained team is in high gear polishing up the build for the beta that’s finally set to launch come Independence Day. Last week’s dev update was relatively short for the longwinded CSE; there were no player tests this weekend, but the studio discusses its asset decluttering rules, building code, a big UI update, class animations, chat UI, character creation, the trading system, and the trait system. Maybe the most interesting bit (for regular players) is actually the screenshots at the very end of the update on the Dragon Fang scenario.

“The hill we are currently climbing in the assembly of this map, is the creation and placement of these large, SPIKY, rock walls, growing outward from the Place of Power which resides in the center of the map,” explains CSE’s Tyler Rockwell. “All these rocks also need to be very performant so we can have hundreds of players fighting it out in this zone. Next week we’ll try and finish up placing the majority of these assets to show off more of the map in the update!”

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VR-based ARK Park has patched in free locomotion and better tutorials

How’s virtual reality dino land ARK Park doing since its early access launch one month ago? Magic 8 Ball says reply hazy. Steam’s aggregated review score is currently “mixed,” with even even positive reviews admitting the game lacks content and scope, which lines up neatly with our own impressions of the game.

Snail (apparently rightly) believes one of the game’s major problems is the movement system, and it’s just addressed that with what it’s calling a “major update,” which is already being received well by the community.

“One of the biggest issues is locomotion. You wanted free movement so here it is! Our dev team has been working hard on the movement system and now you have the option to choose between teleportation and free locomotion.”

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The Survivalist: Four hopes for the future of ARK Survival Evolved

As we explored last week, game development isn’t always an upward trajectory. Some things soar, and some things crash. Our last Survivalist conversation was about four ways that the ARK: Survival Evolved that launched was better than the early early access build and four ways that it was worse. Since launch, development has continued, some on the base game and quite a bit on expansions. Whether the overall game as it stands right now is better or worse depends in part on what aspects are more important to you and likely which expansion you play. (Let’s hear it for Aberration!)

Even with improvements made to the game since launch, there are areas that could really use some attention. Today, I’d like to focus on four things that I really want for the future of ARK!

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Crowfall improves its time-based skill leveling

Similar to how skill training works in EVE Online, Crowfall uses a time-based skill-up system that accrues points whether or not the player is online. The dev team took some time recently to evaluate how the system was working out in testing and decided that it could benefit from some improvements.

While a dev blog goes into depth on the minutiae of the tweaks, the gist is that the entire system will accrue points in a “time bank” for players to spend on skill nodes when they log in each session. Many of the skill trees have been streamlined as well.

VIP players are going to have an advantage over regular players with this system, as they will get a much larger time bank (30 days vs. three days) and the ability to train two types of skill trees at once instead of one.

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Choose My Adventure: And now, Ultima Online, sooner or later

Oh boy.

So, yes, I did actually play some Ultima Online. Or I tried to play some Ultima Online, at least. I’m not sure that most of what I did was actually something that I would call “playing,” although it involved me being in the game and ostensibly interacting with it. And it’s times like this that I particularly dislike my job, because this puts me in something less than a comfortable position.

I don’t know how many of you reading this right now are fans of UO, and as I established in my first column, I don’t really feel as if I’m equipped to critique the game as a whole because this is where everything started. This is the original of the species. It’s like that gag in Dr. McNinja wherein Ben Franklin is mentioning that inventing things during his original lifespan was easy because all you had to do was pay the slightest bit of attention.

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Path of Exile gives its cosmetic shop a facelift

It’s safe to say that Path of Exile will live or die based on its cosmetic shop, as the title famously does not charge for any content. Grinding Gear Games has decided to give the shop a visual facelift in an upcoming patch that will also allow for easier changes down the road.

Players will notice a “larger, clearer” user interface for the shop that also includes better navigation and categories for searches. They’ll also be able to search for certain items by key words.

“We have more plans for future improvements, which we will roll out as they are ready,” GGG said. “One of our most impactful plans is a tagging system that allows you to refine your searches by theme and use tags to cross reference themes or microtransaction type. We would also like to add a setting that allows you to hide microtransactions that you already own.”

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EVE Fanfest 2018: EVE Online’s upcoming ‘Into the Abyss’ expansion sounds incredible

While player capsuleers are undoubtedly the most powerful force in EVE Online, there are some pretty scary NPCs lurking in the depths of space. One of those threats has just been unearthed throughout New Eden with the discovery of The Triglavian Collective, an ancient and twisted offshoot of the human race found in tiny pockets of space cut off from the rest of the universe. EVE Online players will soon be able to invade these pockets of Abyssal Deadspace and face the collective in the upcoming “Into the Abyss” expansion coming on May 29th.

At EVE Fanfest 2018, CCP revealed a huge set of interconnected new features revolving around ancient Triglavian ships and Abyssal Deadspace pockets. Players will hunt through these bizarre new environments filled with unpredictable dangers that get more challenging the further you go, and with increased challenge comes some incredible rewards. You’ll find blueprints for powerful Triglavian ships, an incredible new weapon system ominously named the Entropic Disintegrator, and organic mutaplasmids that can transform your existing modules into powerful Abyssal versions.

Read on to find out who the Triglavian Collective are, what the deal is with Abyssal Deadspace, and why the “Into The Abyss” expansion could be incredible for solo PvE players.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire is adding daily quests with its next patch

Look, readers, we’re a little pressed for time, so perhaps you can do us a favor and just add “like daily quests” mentally at the end of every subsequent sentence of this particular post? You see, Citadel: Forged With Fire is adding new daily quests to give players something to do on a regular basis. You can locate them via a special exclamation mark over their heads that will then prompt you to do something for relatively vague purposes, like killing a group of elk.

Accepting the quest pops up a little UI notification telling you your objectives and how close you are to completion. Once you’ve done the deed, head back to the questgiver and pick up your reward, then come back around tomorrow to do the same or a similar thing tomorrow for more rewards. It’s a time-honored system, but it should give fans of the game something to do on a regular basis other than just building and wandering around.

Source: Steam page

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PAX East 2018: Catching up on Legends of Aria’s improvements since the last PAX

When I saw Legends of Aria last year, right after it had dropped the Shards Online name and expanded to be a full-fledged MMORPG, it looked pretty good. Not spectacular, perhaps, but it definitely looked like something you could point to and agree that it was ready for the prime time. I was reasonably impressed with what the team had on display in terms of graphics, especially considering the size of the team behind the game.

This year, though, the game is looking significantly better than it did before. Where before I thought it looked good for an indie title, now it’s looking pretty nice for a title, period. And it’s still just as indie as it’s ever been.

Obviously, there isn’t a long stretch of time between what the team discussed at this year’s GDC and PAX East, so most of the talk that MOP’s Andrew had with the team still applies and I won’t rehash that here. The centerpiece of the team’s presence at PAX East was about showing off the game’s improved demo, by which I of course mean “the actual game running on live servers,” because the stuff that was there for the demo stations was also on the live version of the game. Which is, again, to the team’s credit.

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