Culture & Community Category

The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

WildStar fan vid offers housing flythroughs

If you’re curious about WildStar’s player housing, or if you’re curious about why you should be curious, a recent video published by fansite WildStar Core might be worth your time.

The clip explains how the game’s in-depth housing system is a playstyle rather than a throwaway feature. It also mentions that a portion of the game’s community embraced player housing to such a degree that Carbine was compelled to continue developing housing-related features and additions. While the video avoids specifics, it does serve as a sort of visual guide to some of the more elaborate player creations. You can view them after the break.

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Final Fantasy XIV launches in Korea on August 14th

Whether you’re playing Final Fantasy XIV in Europe, the US, or Japan, there are no delays for content. Everything comes out at the same time. Korean players, however, have been waiting for the game to come out locally for quite some time. No longer, though; the game is releasing in Korean markets on August 14th, and it’s apparently retaining its subscription model rather than adapting for the free-to-play-heavy Korean market.

Players on the Korean servers will be starting with patch 2.2 of the game, with a promise that further updates will come at an accelerated pace. Various physical doodads are also being offered for the local launch, ranging from branded USB drives to collector’s edition art books. Time will tell how well the game performs in a new market with a new publisher.

Source: MMO Culture

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Massively Opinionated: Which MMO dev handles offensive people the best?

MMO communities, like all online communities, have some bad eggs. Each MMO handles these people in different ways. We tackle some of these community-related questions in this week’s debate. Larry asked Jason Winter of MMOBomb and The Cosmic Engine to debate which MMO developer handles these issues the best.

The rules of the debate are simple: The panelists are given four questions before the show, and they defend their position to the host. Our host then gives a point to the best argument for each question, and the panelist with the most points at the end wins.

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Choose My Adventure: Three games enter, one game leaves

Hello again, friends, and welcome to a new cycle of Choose My Adventure. You may remember that last time around, I bypassed the whole game-voting process and jumped straight into Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, but this time around, I figured I’d take a step back and give you folks a bit more say in the matter.

Mind you, I’m not quite so masochistic as to give y’all complete free rein over the game selection; I’m sure you’re kind, caring, lovely people, but I’m not so sure that you’d be able to resist the opportunity to force me into the most mind-numbingly terrible game you could find just so that you could watch my slow-but-inevitable spiral into insanity. So with that in mind, I’ve created a little round-up of games that are currently topical in one way or another, and it’s up to y’all to choose my destiny. I’ve done my best to pick out a diverse group of titles that I hope will offer a little something for fans of all tastes and preferences, so without further preamble, allow me to introduce the contenders.

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A new Diablo project is in the works; so is season 4

Let’s kick off your day with a big cup of Diablo news, shall we? Our first sip involves an art director job posting on Blizzard that indicates that the studio is working on a new, unannounced Diablo project. According to the posting, “a passion for games with a deep understanding of the Diablo franchise” is a plus for any applicant.

Take another sip with a first look at the upcoming season 4 for Diablo III. Season 4 will be coming with Patch 2.3.0 and will contain a season journey interface and plenty of new legendary items, achievements, conquests, and rewards. The new season will kick off on August 28th.

Finally, blow on the cup to cool off this news: A fan project is underway to recreate the first Diablo as a cross-platform title. Called Freeablo, the game is still in a very rough state and requires the original Diablo files to function.

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Global Chat: Guild Wars 2 needs to get its act together

Hunter’s Insight is a long-time fan and player of Guild Wars 2, but recently he had some pretty harsh words to say regarding the development team’s approach to the game, which he called “consistently inconsistent.”

ArenaNet is consistent in its inconsistency,” he wrote. “That is to say that they repeatedly and frustratingly introduce things and then never touch them again, never adjust them, never support them, never standardize how to acquire an item or worst of all they only briefly make them available and they’re never seen again. They set the groundwork for something, make a show of it, and then don’t follow through. It’s a combination of neglect and lack of foresight.”

His essay on the state of the game is only the tip of the iceberg of great MMO community blog posts this week. Keep on reading for Elder Scrolls Online first impressions, how MMO silliness is hurting the industry, and the great hotbar shrinkage of 2015.

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Player falsely accuses Trion Worlds of censorship

Another day, another cautionary tale in trying to wield lies in the face of a game studio with access to factual records. In this case, it was the recent attempt by a player to accuse Trion Worlds of delivering an in-game suspension in ArcheAge for daring to criticize the studio in chat.

While this claim initially riled players against Trion, new CM Celestrata came on the scene to clear up the issue. It turns out that the suspension happened in Trove, not ArcheAge, and because the player was flinging about gay slurs, not because of any studio criticism.

“CS was able to pull the chat logs, and we can say that this ban was carried out appropriately,” Celestrata wrote. “While the user did criticize Trion, it wasn’t the criticism that caught the ban. It’s the fact that he used a gay slur in said criticisms. The slur in question seems to have been removed from the screenshot provided […] All in all, he had 10 more violations of our rules that lead to his ban, all of them using hate speech or descriptions of sex acts. By the way, all of this happened in Trove, a game that possesses an ESRB rating of E 10+. None of this took place in ArcheAge.”

Source: Imgur, Reddit

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‘Twas Hollywood, not Bungie, that pulled Peter Dinklage from Destiny

Peter Dinklage’s voice work in the Destiny alpha is one of those gaming memes that transcends knowledge of the game in question. We leave it to readers whether or not that’s deserved. But that’s not why Dinklage is being replaced by Nolan North as a voice actor; according to Bungie, Dinklage’s Hollywood schedule simply means that he’s not readily available to record voiceovers on short notice.

As reported previously, North will record all of the lines for the player’s AI companion in both the base game and The Taken King. If you’re worried about the length of the latter, you can rest assured that this expansion is going to be substantially larger than the game’s previous DLC offerings, so purchasers can expect more than snazzy new Nolan North lines (which may or may not include discussions of wizards and their descent from planetary satellites).

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H1Z1 announces its first live Battle Royale invitational

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be the king of H1Z1’s Battle Royale hill? Daybreak is giving you a chance to prove it! One lone survivor will walk away from the post-apocalyptic game’s first live invitational this September with all the glory of being the last man/woman standing as well as a cash prize. Sound like something you want to be apart of? Producer Steve George and Senior Game Designer Adam Clegg shared with us the details on how to get in on the action of the event, which will take place at TwitchCon in San Francisco on Saturday, September 26th, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. to noon PDT).

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Hyperspace Beacon: Eight misconceptions about SWTOR’s Knights of the Fallen Empire

The actual information coming from BioWare‘s camp about Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s next expansion has thus far been more sparse than fans might have wanted, which unfortunately leads to some wild speculation and misinformation. That’s why today I’ve put together a list of the most common misconceptions that I’ve heard about Knights of the Fallen Empire. There are many more, I’m sure. And if you can think of others, drop them in the comments after reading this list.

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Trove patches in measurably large fish

It’s not really fishing if you can’t brag about the size of the fish, which is why Trove‘s newest patch is adding in all the details you could desire about the size of the fish you just caught. The new system measures your catches by weight and also allows you to turn particularly large fish into trophies, thus letting the world know that you caught a pretend fish that was extremely large.

Not in the mood for fish? The patch also contains new visual effects for radiant weapons, some control rearrangement for Build Mode, and the usual onslaught of new items in the store. The game’s maintenance is expected to last until 2:00 p.m. EDT, so you’ll have to wait until the afternoon to start catching weighty fish.

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The Daily Grind: Which F2P MMO has the best community?

Some of our commenters — and maybe other gamers who’ve been part of the MMO genre for a long time — are convinced that free-to-play and community don’t mix. Free-to-play games encourage gamehoppers, they say, those MMO “locusts,” cheapskates, antisocial types, guild hobos, and people who wander in and wander back out with nary a care, leaving no footprint and contributing nothing to the community in the game.

For my part, I was never all that impressed with the bulk of MMO communities back in the day, either, when everyone paid some sort of entry fee, so I’m unconvinced that things were all that better back then for most people playing — maybe for every server’s top few guilds, things were great, but for everyone else? Eh, people always came and went and got left in the dust. Besides, I’ve played F2P games with good communities and sub games with horrible ones, so I know they exist.

But for today’s Daily Grind, let’s judge them all. Which F2P MMO has the very best community and why?

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Das Tal blog details overhauls of skills, enemies, and further blogs

Development on Das Tal is moving right along, but from here on out fans will be hearing about it every other week rather than every week. The most recent development blog states that the development updates are moving to the new schedule both to accommodate the developer streams every other week and to provide lengthier updates when the blogs do go live.

Rather than just being a development blog about development blogs, though, this entry also covers the game’s development on enemy spawns and patrols as well as the skill system. The former is being designed with an eye toward unpredictability and keeping players unsure of where their enemies lay, while the latter is an overhaul of the skill and crafting systems to have more depth and complexity. Take a look at the full entry for more details.

Source: Weekly blog

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