Watching Project Gorgon’s development is almost as fun as actually playing the game, and with the game’s next patch meant to feature gambling heavily, that’s very prominent with the latest story from the game on Twitter. The developers were working hard on implementing a craps table into the game to serve as one of the gambling centerpieces, but they ran into a problem when it turns out that craps is only fun in real life and doesn’t involve much skill. But they already had the dice-rolling NPCs! What do you do with this work?
If you said that you create a version of Dungeons & Dragons with gambling which should take about 1-2 minutes to play a session, that is absolutely insane and also exactly what happened. Monsters and Mantises places you in the role of a Mantis explorer fighting monsters, leveling up, and gambling for money while you strategize about your approach. It’s coming with the next patch, and it’s as much about skill as luck. It’s also a symptom of why Project Gorgon remains so wonderfully, wonderfully weird.
One of the elements of Final Fantasy XIV
that has remained remarkably uniform throughout the game’s history is how Allagan Tomestones work. Aside from a bump in the weekly cap from 300 to 450, it’s pretty consistently been handled the same; every other patch introduces a new sort that means trading up your old stuff, the high-end ones have a solid weekly cap, and you can get oodles of them from doing quick runs for a couple of days. At this point it’s almost stupidly easy to cap out; you could do so in a day or two if you ran everything and really wanted to do so, and that’s with minimal repeated content.
This isn’t just about the weekly tomes, though; it’s also about custom deliveries. And beast tribe quests. And the many, many elements of FFXIV that are gated in how much you can do per day and per week. No matter how many dungeons you run, you will never get more than 450 of the newest tomestone in a given week. If you already have that, you are strongly discouraged from doing any more dungeoneering until the limit resets on Tuesday.
As I worked my way up in levels and through more of the zone stories in World of Warcraft over the weekend, I realized something odd that summarizes just how different Battle for Azeroth feels from Legion. For some reason, I actively did not want any Azerite.
This struck me as wrong immediately. Azerite is quite literally powering the heart of this expansion. It grants you artifact power, which feeds directly into the Heart of Azeroth, which is also the actual leveling mechanic for this expansion (just like how your artifact was the real key to leveling in Legion). Why would I not want it? Why was I annoyed when a quest rewarded me a chunk of Azerite?
Then it struck me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want Artifact Power; it was that whenever that was my reward, it meant I was getting only that power, and it was boring. I would much rather have a piece of gear, or a new reputation unlock, or almost anything aside from a chunk of artifact power. It didn’t feel like a reward; it felt like a replacement for an actual reward. And if your main mechanic feels like it’s not actually a reward… boy, that’s an issue.
For those of you who missed it over the past year or so, the path of Boss Key Productions was one of being founded by well-known talent, releasing LawBreakers with some buzz, then crashing and burning hard. Founder and face of the company Cliff Bleszinski promises that the circumstances around the studio will be one of the matters discussed in his upcoming autobiography, as he states that he has avoided interviews due to a need to tell this story in his own words and on his own terms.
Bleszinski has not yet shared any of the details about this section beyond the chapter introduction, which emphasizes the stress experienced working in the game industry. It’s unsure how much of it will involve information which was heretofore unavailable and how much will be Bleszinski’s personal reactions to the situation, but you’ll have to wait until more is shared about the book to find out.
Every year, the residents of Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV
gather up to think back to the end of the world as part of The Rising. It might sound a bit macabre, but it’s also an important landmark for players as the anniversary celebration of the game, and this year’s event
promises to bring the usual moments of reliving the Calamity. It’s perhaps the most somber anniversary event possible.
Of course, from a purely player perspective it’s your chance to get new earrings (replicas of earrings otherwise obtainable only during the original version of the game), a new Orchestrion roll, and a new minion of fan favorite Au Ra Cirina. The game is also celebrating its anniversaries in Korea and China, while over in Final Fantasy XI players can spend a month with a chance to pick up the Shadowlord’s sword by fighting him. Celebrating little pieces of history all over.
How long is a fresh start server really about a fresh start? You could argue at this point that it’s more of a fresh continuation
players. But perhaps that’s picking unnecessary nits; it just seems relevant as new content arrives on the aforementioned fresh start server
, and you probably aren’t going to be visiting Reedwind as the first thing you do when you make a new character. But it’s there now, definitely.
The addition of Reedwind also brings with it the Thunderwing Titan, who can be fought in both Normal and Hard variants depending on gear and skill levels. Delphinad Ghost Ships will also be showing up on the high seas, which give players a chance to earn some new rewards while at the same time pitting them against difficult new opponents. If you’ve been enjoying your time on the game’s fresh start server thus far, you’ve got a bit more content to explore now; if you haven’t started because you were waiting for these additions, well, now is the time.
The old expression is that character is who you are in the dark. I think that’s true, but I also think character is who you are in EVE Online when you see someone in a dinky mining ship while you fly along in your decked-out warship. You could destroy that other person’s ship in a blink of an eye and face no consequences if you want to.
So what happens to that mining ship?
This isn’t just about other players, it’s about opposing players. If you have War Mode on in World of Warcraft and happen to be flitting through a low-level area, you can no doubt smash in the face of any players you stumble across. Do you do so? If you see someone struggling in a Notorious Monster fight in Final Fantasy XI when you can heal, do you cast a heal or wait until the player is dead to claim the monster for yourself? How kind are you not just to other players, but to opposing players in an MMO?
As we near the end of the year, it’s time for us to start figuring out which characters to include in next year’s cast lineup. Obviously, this year we had a wonderful lineup, aside from Too-Much-Drinking Franklin, but we can only include a few of our cast members in next year’s arrangement. So please, peruse this list of characters from the past year:
- John “The Dwayne” Rockson, former amateur wrestler and current wrestler of people who are not exactly amateurs but still need more experience, you know?
- Noisy Pete, sometimes called “the guy what makes the shrill sound whenever he touches water and wants to live inside a shower for some reason.”
- Quiet Patricia, who actually makes the same sound but only does so when she thinks about clams.
- Bilbo Baggins, the bravest little hobbit of them all, who is not at all related to the character owned by the Tolkien estate but by complete coincidence had identical adventures.
- Too-Much-Drinking Franklin, who has a very good contact and thus gets to be listed here.
- Alternate Universe Lady Abraham Lincoln, who is a rapper in addition to being a female version of legendary president Abraham Lincoln, except she shifted dimensions rather than being shot in a theater.
Please let us know in the comments to this week’s What Are You Playing which of these characters you would like to see next year and which ones you want locked in the Forgetting Closet. Also, let us know what you’re playing. Just for giggles.
There’s still stuff happening with Fallout 76, even though players aren’t testing it yet. You can at least test things out in your mind now that you know about the game’s progression and PvP plans. Perhaps “testing games in your mind” could be a Perk. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you have the game on the same platform as your friends, as a lack of crossplay has been confirmed at this point.
But let’s not stop there; let’s catch a few other beta stories, yes?
So this is all rather shady, but we promise you that our list below is properly illuminated and trustworthy. We have it all vetted by you fine people! Notice something on there that shouldn’t be? Let us know so we can fix that! And that includes if something skipped phases without us noticing or just went quiet for an extended period of time. We appreciate your notifications.
The Foundry in Star Trek Online
allows you to make almost any sort of mission you can conceive of, but most of those missions have a pretty specific set of assumptions. After all, the players writing these tales are probably going to assume that the players are taking the role of a standard Starfleet captain rather than assuming that the mission will be experienced by a Jem’Hadar warrior. But why not flip that on its ear? And why not do so when being bribed by the promise of a free tier 6 ship
Yes, the developers are teaming up with the Foundry Roundtable podcast, and for this month’s competition players are being tasked with making a mission based around either a Cardassian captain or a Jem’Hadar captain. The winner gets a free pick of several tier 6 ships, so there’s plenty of motivation to think about what it would be like to make an adventure just for these two races. And if you already play one of them, hey, there’s some extra reward in it for you.
All right. Strap yourselves in, folks, because this is when we have to start talking about narratives and story and intended emotional reactions. In short, this is where World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth becomes a seriously messy piece of work, because this is an expansion in which the game posits that maybe colonialism is super great and native peoples are evil villains in league with dark powers.
Yes, that’s a thing that happens. No, we’re not going to leave it there, but I’m trying to minimize spoilers before the cut.
I’ve said on Twitter before today that the game feels like a $500 million movie with $50 spent on the script, and that still rings true. A ton of effort has been put into the presentation of this expansion, and there’s nothing to do but praise all of that; there’s honestly very little to fault in any part of the presentation of the story. The faults all arrive once you start examining the actual text of that story. And boy-howdy, that’s a mess.
Fair warning, people, there will be spoilers below.
How much is your house worth in The Sims 4? Obviously, the game attaches a value to it, but that’s just game terms and doesn’t really match what we think of as the value of these things. This is why the UK-based mortgage company L&C Mortgages looked at the housing market in eight separate games to compare the costs and availability of a house in all of them, including the exceedingly market-limited houses in Final Fantasy XIV.
The comparisons are not perfect, since games like Fallout 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are single-player titles without players competing for a house. Still, if you’d like to see how the cost of virtual real estate stacks up, it should be at least mildly amusing. And hey, it also means you can mention your home is worth millions of dollars before muttering that it only applies in Eorzea. (Or Othard, if you want to be really pedantic. At this point you might as well be.)
The progression of equipment and power level in Aion
may be a bit overly ornate at the moment, which is why the game’s next major patch for the NA version is overhauling the whole experience. Of course, the flip side to that task is that it also
means a whole lot of changes to gear, and that means there’s a whole list of how your current gear can be exchanged for new gear when the update goes live
. It’s large enough that it requires a separate spreadsheet, even.
To assuage one major fear, the game’s community team has reminded players that this is not an automatic replacement but an additional compensation; players will still have their old gear, they’ll just receive new pieces. Of course, the debate is running about the forums over whether or not the exchanges are fair or balanced for the community, which is always going to be a problem with this degree of gear change.