The Daily Grind: How do you define ‘hardcore’ gaming?

Quantic Foundry’s latest report from its gamer motivation study is well worth your time to read, but for this morning’s Daily Grind, I want to focus on one specific takeaway: the apparent gender divide over what constitutes hardcore gamer. As Nick Yee explains,

“For men, playing a game seriously means being able to beat other players at it. For women, playing a game seriously is more likely to mean having completed and done everything there is to do in a game, and to leave traces of your personal flair in the game while doing it. For Hardcore female gamers, playing a game seriously is more akin to patiently creating and curating a work of art. And it’s a powerfully evocative alternative to how we typically conceptualize what a ‘hardcore gamer’ is. [… ]This gender comparison between Hardcore and Casual gamers also highlights the difference in coverage of different motivations: Male Hardcore gamers are below average in Fantasy (being someone else, somewhere else) and Story (elaborate plot and interesting characters), whereas female Hardcore gamers are consistently above average across all gaming motivations.”

How do you personally define “hardcore” in the gaming context? Are you hardcore if you’re into blowing shit up with “guns and explosives” and “specializing into competitive gaming”? Or are you hardcore if you’re into “developing a broad interest in all aspects of gaming”?

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The Flower of Knighthood plucks a medieval hardcore MMO

When you hear the word “hardcore MMO,” immediately your mind must go to floral arrangements, no? Well it will now, thanks to the debut of The Flower of Knighthood on the MMORPG scene.

Aiming to be the most accurate medieval MMO on the market, The Flower of Knighthood (FK for short) offers fans “a deeply engaging and exciting taste of the late-medieval world, allowing them to explore its landscapes, settlements and everyday activities. Reconstructions of buildings, objects and materials are based on extensive research in archaeological reports and historical documents and illustrations.”

While nominally an MMORPG, FK won’t use hit points, random computations, magic, or teleports. There will be, however, massive battles, photorealistic graphics, and a period-perfect crafting system. Right now the game is in a pre-alpha state.

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Tale of Toast activates Steam early access

Looking for something to spice up your weekend? In the mood to try out a different MMO experience? The somewhat hardcore Tale of Toast is ready and waiting, now that the game just went into early access on Steam.

There are two servers (US and EU) handling the test right now, although apparently both are being slammed. So, you know, patience and all that. The game is currently level capped at 30 and has seen multiple patches over the past few weeks in preparation for this day.

During early access, the game will allow players to earn premium currency (cheekily called Crumbs) by promoting the game on social media and in videos. By the time that the game leaves the bounds of early access, the team would like to patch in player housing, localization, controller support, additional races, extended world, and guild castles.

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Tale of Toast is entering early access next month

Tale of Toast is an insidious title that sucks the unwary player in with colorful and innocent graphics… then kicks his or her butt with its tough game design. But if that’s the kind of experience you’re seeking, then prepare to have your tushie handed to you next month when the MMO goes into Steam early access.

The studio laid out its testing schedule over the next month. This weekend is a regular alpha test for anyone with an appropriate key. Then from February 2nd through the 16th, there will be a round of balance testing. Finally, the game will enter early access on February 23rd.

“This is the date you’ve been waiting for,” the team said, “the date when Tale of Toast will be playable each and every day! All databases (including character data) will be wiped so everyone starts with empty accounts. There will be servers in EU and USA. Will you be the first one to max out your character on the live servers?”

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EVE Evolved: Alpha Clone economics, bragging rights, and restrictions

Yesterday at EVE Vegas 2016, developer CCP Rise held us spellbound with tales of his recent misadventures in EVE Online recently when pretending to be a newbie. With free alpha clone accounts on the way, the devs wanted to prove that a well-informed player in an alpha clone could engage in a wide range of activities and even see success in PvP, and CCP Rise naturally rose to the challenge. Starting with only the skills trainable by an alpha clone character and no ISK or assets, he quickly got on his feet and made enough ISK to start engaging in frigate and cruiser PvP and net some very nice solo kills against veterans.

Rise’s success came as no surprise to me, as I’ve done similar experiments with small group PvP and I know just how effective cheap tech 1 cruisers can be. I recently showed how free users could be nearly as effective as well-trained subscribers in the same ships, and yet the myth that they will be simply cannon fodder for the elite pervades the comments sections in articles throughout the web. Developers have said that they intend for free play to be a viable long-term play style, and it should be possible to extend the system in the future. We may even some day get specific challenge clone states for those who want bragging rights or hardcore clones with permadeath.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I debunk the myth the alpha clone system is an endless trial, examine the potential impact of alphas on both EVE community culture and CCP’s financials, and look at a few ways the clone state system could be expanded on.

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Guild Chat: Trying out for a hardcore MMORPG guild

Welcome along to another advice-filled edition of Guild Chat, the column dedicated to helping readers solve their guild-related dilemmas with both my help and that of the comment section. Together we’ve dealt with issues ranging from setting up a strong guild roster to how to use VOIP without causing your guildmates to head-plant their keyboards in frustration, but today’s issue is quite unique in that our reader-in-need is in a desirable guild, and said guild is welcoming, well-organised, active — and hardcore.

The reason for Jay’s submission is that he has managed to get himself into this “hardcore,” well-managed guild because a close friend vouched for his ability and natural aptitude for high-end MMO play, but Jay is now starting to feel the pressure as he gets closer to the level cap and will soon be expected to prove his worth to his new guild. His friend might have overstated Jay’s experience level in his excitement at Jay actually joining him in an MMO, and in actuality, this will be the first time Jay has ever reached an MMO level cap and he has never experienced endgame content himself.  Jay is wondering whether to be honest with his guild before he reaches the cap and is expected to step up to the plate but must consider how that would impact on his friend who recommended him in the first place.See below for Jay’s full submission and don’t forget to pop your thoughts on the matter in a comment.

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Saga of Lucimia shines a light on its darkness mechanics

Upcoming hardcore fantasy MMORPG Saga of Lucimia has two videos up this week, both on darkness. The first covers the basic mechanics around the dark, and in the second, the developer himself nearly becomes lost trying to escape a dark dungeon.

“You can’t hit what you can’t see, and you can’t navigate if you can’t see landmarks or the path in front of you. While the stars can help you get around, if you’re in a forest or dungeon, or it’s overcast, what do you do?”

SoL Executive Producer T.W. Anderson says the team is gearing up for a “huge reveal” at the end of April.

Looking for a job? The Lucimia team happens to be seeking an unpaid community manager and social media manager. The hiring post says the company will consider all applicants but prefers a “photogenic” woman who’s comfortable on video. Lucimia says it hopes to expand the role of women on its team and in its community but warns applicants that the “easily offended” needn’t apply as the work environment and internal humor are NSFW.

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Saga of Lucimia emerges from ‘the dark ages’ of development

Wondering why you haven’t heard much about Saga of Lucimia over the past several months? That’s been intentional, as the team had gone silent to focus hard on a new build. Now, that silence is over and the good times are about to begin.

“Patience is a virtue, and for those of you who have been long-time followers of our game, you are about to be rewarded,” the team promised. “The Dark Ages that were the holidays of 2015/16 came and went, and our team has been hard at work putting together a variety of finishing touches on the next build, which will be available to our early access subscribers shortly.”

Saga of Lucimia will be conducting an internal build test on March 19th with another build to come after that. Even though players can’t partake quite yet in this upcoming fantasy title, they certainly can sit back and drink in five new videos posted by the team. Check them out after the break!

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RuneScape’s DarkScape will sunset in March

Jagex is retiring RuneScape’s DarkScape “experiment” at the end of March.

“DarkScape offered an intriguing twist on the traditional RuneScape gameplay, and the experimental mode caught some players’ attention when we launched it in September last year. The majority of players came to it out from regular RuneScape or Old School, but soon returned to those games to resume their main adventures. Today, there’s a small, hardcore community that continues to play DarkScape. Unfortunately, it’s just not big enough to warrant ongoing development. The updates made along the way allowed us to experiment with RuneScape’s PvP gameplay systems, play around with changes to the game economy, and test out major changes to combat and equipment behaviour.”

The game mode will close on March 28th; expect events and surprises until the sunset. Hardcore DarkScape players will be compensated with a month of free time in RuneScape and a cape to boot. Jagex suggests former DarkScape players may also like the Deadman mode playable in Old School RuneScape.

RuneScape itself has just patched in a new update aimed at F2P players; it includes new bosses, new combat abilities, dual-wielding, and dungeoneering weapons.


Indie MMORPG Sacrament releases landscape flyover video

Remember Sacrament, the ultra-difficult, jack-of-all-trades MMORPG by indie dev Ferocity Unbound Core Studios? In apparent cooperation with the studio, YouTube channel OP Game (no relation to us) has released a flyover teaser video of the game.

“Here is the FIRST EVER VIDEO LOOK AT THE INSIDE OF OUR GAME!!!” Co-Founder and CEO Layenem has written on the game’s official forums. “As we push to build this we want to keep you in the loop. This is a LONG process and we don’t EVER want anyone to feel like we’re not communicating enough (every single day probably won’t happen too often lol). So tell us ways we can keep you involved and make you feel like you’re a part of this overall team!”

The video, which is primarily in-engine landscapes (though there are a few unfinished character models and shadows poking in on occasion), is embedded below.

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Lineage II: ‘Classic hardcore is back’

Lineage II formally launched on Steam this week, complete with a fresh-start server, Zaken. There are even server firsts rewards, mostly pirate-themed goodies, for those who zip their way through content on Zaken, both in PvE and PvP.

More intriguingly, at least if you play Lineage II in Europe, is the fact that the game’s EU handlers are finally launching the classic Lineage II server players voted for last spring, lining themselves up to compete with some of the illegal emulators floating around the internet. “Lineage 2 Classic” will cost 10 euros a month — yes, it’s a subscription-funded service — and feature a hardcore ruleset. “Intense and hardcore levelling in Lineage 2 Classic will make every level a real achievement,” declares the website. “Incomparable fun for all the fans of classic hardcore!”

Pre-orders are open now; we’ve included info on the two pre-order packs below.

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Saga of Lucimia prides itself on group-based teamplay

Soloers, you are not welcome in Saga of Lucimia. At least that’s the tone of developer diaries for the upcoming sandbox in which the team boldly asserts that group-based gameplay is the focus of the MMO.

“There are already dozens of solo-friendly MMORPGs out there offering players the instant gratification that the entitled hipster generation of ADD players need in order to stay subscribed,” the team posted a year ago by way of explaining the game’s motivations. “Instead, we are building a group-based game, one that focuses on the epic battles, challenges and rewards that come about as a direct result of being part of something epic in scope… not a single-player storyline where every player gets to become The Hero.”

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EverQuest’s popular progression servers face content competition challenges

Daybreak says that it is tweaking raid targets and high-end zones for EverQuest’s new progression servers. “There are more active players on Ragefire and Lockjaw than there ever were on our launch servers, and right now there’s too much competition for some very limited resources,” the company explains in a new forum post.

The challenge is increasing accessibility without resorting to private instances, and Daybreak says that it will increase the chances of seeing the content as well as its difficulty. It will also vary the spawn timers so that knowledge of the last kill time is less of an advantage.

“We’re hoping that the combination of these changes will both relieve some of the competition for experience and item content at the top end of the server but keep the integrity and uniqueness of the race for raid targets,” Daybreak concludes.

Source: Forums


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