character creation

The Game Archaeologist: City of Heroes’ launch history and the Marvel lawsuit

In our first part of this series looking back at the stupendous history of City of Heroes, we saw how the idea for this superhero MMORPG germinated from a tech millionaire who took his love for RPGs and comic books into the online world. Cryptic Studios was founded in 2000 with the intent of developing a new type of MMORPG, one with a superhero bent set in an original IP.

While the development period was fraught with difficulty, including a messy design, delays, and the departure of the studio’s co-founder, City of Heroes took shape by 2004 and finally entered into live operation that April to the delight of thousands of fledgling superheroes.

Today we’ll be walking through the next few years of this game’s lifecyle, including its launch, the initial issues, and a serious lawsuit that threatened to kill the game dead.

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The Stream Team: Revisiting Citadel for Reignited

It has been a long time since Massively OP’s MJ visited Citadel: Forged with Fire. But with the big Reignited update, now is the perfect time to jump back in. She’s going to begin with all the changes and additions in character creation and before venturing into the world. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to discover the changes with her and see how development is going.

What: Citadel: Reignited
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 10th, 2018

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Hands-on with mobile Old School Runescape, plus a chat with the Jagex devs

I experienced a couple firsts recently that you may not have expected from me, and they can both be summed up in two words: Old School RuneScape mobile. Why so unexpected? Well for one, you might not have expected me to try OSRS (can I call it that?) because I started playing RuneScape only recently; I had no nostalgic draw to the game back in that iteration. Two, I am not a mobile player. I just don’t play any games on mobile, preferring my gaming time to be at my PC. But hey, doing the unexpected can be fun, and I am all for new experiences! This experience included sitting down with Jagex’s Senior Communications Manager Jon Wilcox and Product Manager John Colgrave, who shared info and answered questions as we worked our way through the tutorial together.

Now the question is, how was the experience? Would I continue to play on mobile even though the full cross-platform play allows me to move my game seamlessly back to the PC whenever I want? That’s what we are here to answer.

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Perfect Ten: 10 MMO features that deserve widespread adaptation

You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?

No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”

It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.

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Chronicles of Elyria on character family influences and playable instruments

The latest production update from Chronicles of Elyria is going to make those of you who are super into detailed and meaningful character creation perk right on up. Elyria is a bit unusual in that characters can be linked to other characters through biological families, and those families influence where you’re “born” as well as what characteristics, appearances, and even religions you “grow up” with.

“Even if [you’re] wearing a disguise, the Child Contract records who you really are because your true genetics are used (your physical body is involved in baby-making). While the child created with the contract would only be aware of the identities their parents were using when they made the contract, their genetics will be based off of the True Identity. If you want to create secret children, you totally can, but they’ll still resemble you and not your disguise.”

There’s more to the dev blog, including a chunk on interaction with the world (like using tools to craft the elements of survival). That might someday include playable instruments too, though Soulbound says they “may not be playable at launch.”

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Dungeons and Dragons Online announces Sharn: City of Towers expansion and Tiefling race

At GenCon this weekend, Standing Stone Game announced a special surprise for Dungeons and Dragons Online fans: a brand-new expansion.

Sharn: City of Towers is coming to the game sometime in 2019, bringing with it the much-requested Tiefling race as a character creation option (including animated tails!). Players will get “the opportunity to hobnob with high society in Sharn” while also heading down into the Cogs to seek adventure.

SSG said that it wanted to do a new urban exploration setting, and Sharn was perfect with its floating towers and the dichotomy between high and low classes. Some of these adventures will even be “James Bond-like” due to stealth and spy approaches. Players should expect far more in the way of explorable areas with mini-dungeons and other discoveries.

Get the full scoop directly from the game’s producer after the break!

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PvP-centric sub MMO/MOBA hybrid EverFeud has launched its $105K Kickstarter

As we foretold yesterday, the PvP-focused MOBA/MMO hybrid EverFeud has officially launched its Kickstarter today. Developer PSB Entertainment has described the title as a hyper-competitive “arena and battleground-styled multiplayer PVP game set in a fantasy world where might and magic hold sway,” a game “built by PvPers for PvPers.” It eshews the levels and grinds of most MMOs, but it’s set in an MMO world with battleground factions rather than FPS-style lobbies with gobs of customization, classes, and races. It’s adamantly anti-pay-to-win and is expected to run a $5 monthly sub and $20 box fee, with no fees for future content.

“Are you looking for a pure PvP fantasy combat game without all the leveling and grinding? Think playing video games should be fun and not a chore? Maybe you do like questing and raiding but don’t want to spend time grinding your PvP character and just want to compete? Then this game is for you. […] EverFeud is a cross between an MMO and a MOBA. It’s pure PvP combat in a fantasy setting. […] All class weapons and gear types are available at the time of character creation. You then choose from an assortment of runes and imbuements to further specialize your weapons and gear. Character classes can be specialized by choosing from multiple ability trees.”

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City of Titans shows off villain costuming and body parts

Not every villainous group you will fight in City of Titans is exactly human. But the latest art development entry from the team shows off that just because the enemy is nonhuman doesn’t mean players shouldn’t be able to use the costume parts. Indeed, the villainous Apkallu simply provide a good foundation to show off some of the features which will be added to character creation like asymmetric outfits, nonhuman heads, and the ever-important armpit wings.

Those are super important to superhero costumes. Spider-man has them.

Of course, the team acknowledges certain limitations, such as how tattoo placement is not nearly as organic as the designers would like it to be (you can’t place them freely anywhere you’d like). Still, it’s an impressive look at what you can do with the game’s costume tools, and it’s worth a look for the hints of lore behind one of the game’s enemy groups. Good stuff all around.

Source: Official Site; thanks to MagmaFist for the tip!

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MMORPG sandbox Fractured’s Kickstarter has just fully funded at over $130,000

Phew! A few weeks ago, I was not confident that Fractured’s Kickstarter was going to make it, but it cleared its goal with just a few days to go, and now the Kickstarter has ended, having successfully funded at over $130,000 US (well past its $116,817 goal) with 1050 backers.

The SpatialOS game caught our attention when it surfaced a year ago thanks to its anti-grind sentiment, its focus on opt-in PvP, its detailed lore, and of course, its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city systems. Fractured’s isometric view might make it look more like Albion Online, a game with which it will likely be competing, but its lack of forced PvP will hopefully endear it to a wider playerbase.

“Funding of Fractured will continue on our website, fracturedmmo.com, once the Kickstarter campaign is over,” Dynamight Studios says. “You’ll be able to buy a pledge pack or upgrade to a higher one (if available) once Kickstarter pledges have been integrated with Fractured accounts.” Note that it’ll include funding for future stretch goals too, so things like the Labyrinth levels, enhanced character creation, and animal taming aren’t entirely out of the question.

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Wizard101’s main city gets a magical makeover

When you’ve got magic on your side, renovation on a grand scale should be a snap, right? It was probably a little more difficult than waving a wand, but Wizard101 managed to pull a major city revamp out of its hat this week with the July update.

The patch delivered a graphical overhaul for much of Wizard City, character creation, character selection, and the tutorial. Visuals aren’t the only improvements for the newbie experience; music and sound got some major love. Oh, and there’s a carousel that you can ride now!

Hate the changes? KingsIsle is giving players the option to revert to a “classic mode” to bring back the old look and sound of the city hub.

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Fractured’s Kickstarter stretch goals include a dungeon crawler inside an asteroid

Sitting at about 80% funded with under a week to go, Fractured’s Kickstarter campaign may come down to the wire in the end. Even so, the studio has unveiled its stretch goals that include both backer and monetary-based benefits.

The first stretch goal, which will be achieved at $127,581, will take players off of the fantasy worlds and into… asteroids? Indeed, the dev team has plans for a procedurally-generated dungeon set inside asteroids that contains monsters, riddles, stealth challenges, and crafting materials.

“The biggest reward of the Labyrinth?” the team posted. “Unique tokens that can be exchanged for weapon skins, armor skins, mount skins, pet companions and other cosmetic rewards — or used to boost the next Labyrinth challenge!”

Other stretch goals for the campaign toss in a Lich transformation, a baby dragon hatchling pet, a free month of VIP access for all backers, more character creation options, fishing, and animal taming.

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Citadel Forged With Fire is revamping character creation, PvP, and mana tomorrow

It’s been a hot minute since we checked in with Citadel Forged With Fire, but Blue Isle Studios is pushing through the negative early access reviews to deliver a hefty patch tomorrowday. Character creation is getting the biggest punch-up.

“As many players noted during our first year of Early Access, our character customization options were quite limited: Players were historically only able to modify two physical components (ie: head type and hairstyle). With this update we’ve upgraded this with a total of thirteen new customization options, all of which (aside from head and hair) can be precisely tweaked and modified with full slider support!”

The company does note that hitboxes/jump height won’t be affected by the character changes, so it shouldn’t affect PvP. That said, PvP is getting rebalance of its own, raid spells will be harder to craft, damaged structures will appear on the map, spawn rates should be “dramatically” sped up, resource yields will go up, mana management should be less irritating, weapon trees will revert to their old layout, and you can finally delete your old toons.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO would benefit from a character creator upgrade the most?

It’s a pity that World of Warcraft hasn’t really updated its character creation in a long time, because the game direly needs it. The fact that every single Night Elf has the same height and build is kind of shameful, and the only thing that makes it slightly better is the fact that it used to be even worse. But it’s still bad, especially when you consider that this is a wildly popular game with plenty of money to improve this.

Of course, it’s hardly alone in having a not-great character creator; Star Trek Online has long suffered from having only a couple of hairstyles that look good on any given race, while I’ve never been able to make a character I’m totally happy with in RIFT. So what do you think, dear readers? Which MMO would benefit from a character creator update the most? Is it an older game with a sadly out-of-date creation tool, or is it a newer game that could just offer more or better options?

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