wardrobe

Perfect Ten: RIFT features that deserve praise

Maybe it will be short-lived, but it is exciting to see attention and excitement return to the sphere of RIFT following the announcement of the upcoming Prime server ruleset. I’ve gone from not thinking much of this title in my absence to somewhat missing it to absolutely craving it within the span of a week, and I’m sure that’s only going to get worse.

Seeing friends and commenters talk about RIFT has reminded me of just how many incredible features and qualities this MMO has. Sure, it’s made a lot of missteps and just about nobody really loves the business model, but there is a genuinely good game here that has a feature set that most MMOs could only dream about having on the back of the box.

So whether you’re thinking about returning to RIFT this spring or perhaps taking it up for the first time, here are 10 features from the game that I feel deserve public kudos.

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Neverwinter has a free fashion bag heading your way

While it’s not one of the greatest examples of such a system, Neverwinter’s wardrobe does allow players to swap out their characters’ armor visuals for a different ensemble. The small problem with this is that any outfits took up inventory space.

Well, no longer.

Cryptic announced this past week that a new fashion bag is on its way to the game for the upcoming Lost City of Omu module. The fashion bag will be added to the inventory window and will start out with 24 slots for outfits. This limit can be expanded for Zen, of course. And it should go without saying, but only fashion items can be thrown into this bag. No trying to stuff a horse into it; he will just say, “Neighh.”

Source: Neverwinter

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EverQuesting: EverQuest II is a packrat’s paradise

While some consider the acquisition of stuff to be distracting to gameplay, others of us know that it is actually a vital part of of the experience. Everyone needs a friend who is a go-to for whatever you need, their bags bursting with everything you can imagine, from obscure stuff collected forever ago to bushels of crafting materials. And I am that friend.

Hi, I’m MJ — I am a packrat, and I am proud of it!

And with all the talk lately about hoarding, I’ve come to better appreciate just how nearly perfect EverQuest II is for someone like me. EQII is truly a packrat’s paradise! Here, you are free to stock up on all the essentials (and you can decide what is essential) and non-essentials alike. And all this without having to resort to any microtransactions! Sure, there are a couple things that would make it even better, but I hold this MMORPG up as a model of item management. If only more games aspired to this.

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Wisdom of Nym: Reacting to the Final Fantasy XIV patch 4.2 notes

My initial plan for this particular column was just to write “woo patch notes woo” but I was informed that this plan had certain problems. For one thing, usually my weekly columns about Final Fantasy XIV clock in around 1200-1400 words; this one was four. Also, none of them were actually commentary or analysis of any sort. Thus appropriately defeated (for now), I suppose I’ll spend this column actually talking about the patch notes while we all wait for the servers to come back online tomorrow.

Some of what’s on display is actually not all that surprising; we could have ascertained long ago that the dungeon would be tied to the MSQ, for example, because that’s exactly what has happened with every single brand-new dungeon added to the game at the level cap since patch 3.2 (and it was surprising when that wasn’t the case in 3.1). But there are still some surprises in the mix, and some things that are well worth considering as we wait for servers to come back up once more.

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Let’s play dress-up: Elder Scrolls Online explores its upcoming outfit customization system

Virtual fashionistas of the world have a lot to anticipate with Elder Scrolls Online’s February update, as it contains the MMO’s brand-new outfit system. Through this, player characters can whip up a customized ensemble for adventuring, roleplay, or that future modeling career.

The fun starts with the new outfit stations, which are upgraded versions of the old dye stations. Here, players can customize any visible piece of armor and gear, including his or her secondary weapon set. Options can be chosen from any outfit styles that the player has unlocked up to that point. And in case you were wondering, yes, you can mix-and-match different armor types and even swap weapon appearances.

Players get one outfit slot to begin with and can purchase more from the store. There is a gold cost to both equipping and dyeing gear, which the studio said can “range between hundreds or thousands of gold.” All outfit styles are shared across a player’s account, meaning that anything that is unlocked on one character is unlocked for all.

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One Shots: Poppin’ some bubbly

We are going to kick off this week’s exhibition of player screenshots with a few email submissions (yes, some of you still email them in, and bless you for it!).

It doesn’t take much of an excuse for a celebration to break out in Final Fantasy XIV, as Souseiseki notes: “A certain Miqo’te had a little too much fun celebrating Heavensturn (and too much to drink!). Although, I think she had more fun opening the bottles than actually drinking them! Fortunately, I had the foresight to hide the good stuff. Don’t worry, her chocobo was parked safe in the stables and we confiscated her saddle.”

Postscript: That chocobo was later seen perched high on top of a temple summit, wrapped in toilet paper and spray painted with an incomprehensible slogan.

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LOTRO Legendarium: My LOTRO wish list for 2018

Ever since I’ve been writing this Lord of the Rings Online column — which spans back to 2010, if you can believe it — I’ve started out every year with a little tradition of making a wish list that I’d like to see happen for the game. This year, I actually debated whether or not to do it, because Standing Stone Games has already sort of laid out its big plans for 2018 (or at least some of them) and I know that the studio’s smaller stature means that we probably can’t expect as much as we once did.

But then I thought, hey, it’s tradition. And why is it a bad thing to aspire to greater things and encourage the studio to reach for those? Should we just roll over and give up on this title that we love? Far be it! So I’m dusting off some old ideas and tossing in a few new ones to give to you my list of 11 things (for 11 years) I want to see happen in 2018 for LOTRO. Let me know what some of your wish list items in the comments too!

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Mobile MMO roundup: Pokemon Go, Like A Boss, Arena of Valor, Wargaming, Mu Origin, and mobile demographics

Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, maybe possibly giving you something fun to do on your phones while you’re stuck at various holiday events this season!

Players are either happy or grumpy with Pokemon Go, as apparently the game is scheduling random raids (which are hard enough to come by generally) for Christmas day. Because it needs to be said again: This is literally the worst raiding system in any MMO ever and I can’t believe there isn’t more rage.

Like A Boss isn’t an MMORPG, but like Little Healer, it does mock MMORPGs with a Dungeon Keeper twist, and it’s available on mobile now. “Now it’s time to become the Boss in the role-playing fantasy world you know from MMOs, but this time it’s your territory that is being invaded, your riches, and your minions that are being ransacked!”

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Blade & Soul’s Dawn of the Lost Continent revamps the wardrobe, adds personal damage meters

Arrrrr you ready for Blade & Soul’s “largest update” ever? NCsoft’s been teasing next week’s Dawn of the Lost Continent since the beginning of November, and the studio’s adding to the previews today with a peek into the retooled wardrobe system.

For a start, the wardrobe will be rebranded into the “showroom” as it’ll now display weapons and pets in additions to costumes. “An active Premium Membership is still required to deposit items in the Showroom,” mind you, but anybody can pull stuff out. The former may not always be the case, as NCsoft says it’s “looking into allowing full Showroom access for all players (with or without Premium Membership) in the near future.”

The devs are also recapping the new loot notifications for chat, time-based login rewards, batch-processing in crafting, new soul badges, and a personal damage meter, which’ll begin displaying in normal mode heroics. “The existing damage meter in Mushin’s Tower, raids, etc. will continue to show up normally as it has been,” clarifies NCsoft.

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WoW Factor: Speculating about World of Warcraft’s next expansion

It’s really, really weird to me to think that we’re getting an announcement about a new World of Warcraft expansion next week. Admittedly, we haven’t been told the details yet, but let’s be real here: The only conclusion if we don’t get an expansion announcement is that the game is shutting down. Everything has been set up to pull that trigger, everyone’s expecting it, we all know it. And we’ve even seen rumors, datamining, and hoaxes flying about faster than you can say “someone photoshop up a Murloc in Tier 2 Warrior gear.”

Some of the speculation is, of course, complete hogwash. “The next expansion will bring back talent trees!” “The next expansion is about Jaina as a dreadlord!” “The next expansion will have Blue Mage!” But some of it is, at least, stuff that’s been hinted at. So with a week or so to go, let’s take a look at what we know is on the table as being possible, being plausible, and being reasonable.

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The Game Archaeologist: The Chronicles of Spellborn

Hey! Hey you! Yeah, you the I’m-so-bored-with-all-of-these-MMOs gamer! You’ve been grousing about for years how MMOs never take risks, never innovate, and are merely content to rehash the same-old fantasy tropes that were stale even back when World of Warcraft launched, right? Yes, we at Massively OP saw your poorly spelled Reddit post on that subject, thank you.

Well, what if I were to tell you that there’s an MMO that bucks the clichés? It’s true! Imagine an MMO that exists in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. Imagine that combat isn’t merely hotbar button mashing but tactics mixed with positioning. Imagine that you can create your character to look any way you want from the onset instead of having to collect certain pieces of gear. Imagine an immersive world that is a delight to the eyes and ears.

Got all that? Want to play it? Well, you can’t. That game was The Chronicles of Spellborn, and since you and pretty much everyone else on the planet ignored it, it tanked in 2010 after less than a year of operation. Yet for its lackluster run, Spellborn has been strongly mourned by those who saw tremendous potential in it and who keep creating internet petitions to bring it back. Because petitions change everything. Today we’re going to take a look back at an MMO that took the path less traveled.

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Guild Wars 2 has begun doling out anniversary presents; here’s what to expect

ArenaNet is rolling out birthday and anniversary gifts in honor of Guild Wars 2’s fifth year of life.

In the mail, fifth-year characters will nab an experience scroll granting any toon an instant boost to level 50 (following the annual pattern), two birthday booster buffs, five teleport-to-friend tokens, one dye kit (exuberant), one card granting 5000 karma, and the “Relentless” title. That’s a per-character bonus, so if you’re sitting on a bunch of old toons, hooray for you.

Once per account, you’ll get a separate anniversary chest that bequeaths your choice of anniversary backpack (same as last year), a guaranteed wardrobe unlock (I got a dye, sigh), two anniversary weapon packs (they’re the gorgeous glowly Luminous weapons), and the “Anniversary Lounge Choosy Box,” which grants you your choice of a two-week pass to the Captain’s Airship, Royal Terrace, or Mistlock Sanctuary.

Happy birthday, Guild Wars 2!

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The Daily Grind: Do you want to see a Guild Wars 3?

At this point, everybody who cares even a little about Guild Wars 2 knows that it’s getting an expansion later this year; even most of the details have leaked out. But every time we talk about Guild Wars 2 — and indeed, earlier this year when I commemorated Guild Wars 1 — people come out of the woodwork to talk about the franchise in a way most games will never know. Most MMORPGs never get a sequel, after all, and a sequel is often seen as a way for a good game to become even better, a chance to start over and fix mistakes.

I think Guild Wars 2 did that, truthfully — the auction hall, the wardrobe UI, the dye system, and the open world are all huge improvements over classic Guild Wars. But there will always be areas where I think Guild Wars 2 dropped the ball, like cosmetics, heroes, guilds, and endgame. There’s room for improvement, the kind an expansion may or may not ever tackle.

So that leaves me dreaming about a possible Guild Wars 3. Do you think the franchise deserves it? What would you want to see in a third installment?

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