Siege Breakers Sessions #2: Black Friday Madness

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The Siege Breakers Sessions podcast returns post-Thanksgiving with our round up of what the gang did during our holiday including all the Black Friday purchases we made from all the choices from Steam to Greenman Gaming.

We got derailed for a moment as J.A. was asked to talk about some of the horrible tech support experiences he had during his time working in phone support.

From there we moved into more League of Legend talk were the discussion quickly turned to the need or lack of need for a surrender button and that far too many games have been turned around after someone has called for the team to give up.

The EA hate returned in some form as J.A. admitted to purchasing the premium edition of Battlefield 4 during Black Friday while Magnolia has sword off all EA purchases even the next Mass Effect to Mighty D’s surprise.

Guild Wars 2 make a topic appearance due to Mighty D’s mentioning missing out on the beginning of World of Warcraft.

Finally Magnolia filled us in on the changes we can expect with DirectX 12 and how we will get better performance from out CPU’s which will mean better gameplay and longevity for newer and older systems using the Windows 10 platform.

Warning: The Siege Breakers Sessions Podcast is NSFW and and contains adult language, seriously if you get easily offended stay out.

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Guild Wars 2: The Begining – PC Gameplay


We play through the first 15 minutes of Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft. Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instanced environments.

What’s next with Everquest Next

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Everquest Next

You might not know it, but Everquest and Everquest 2 still has a thriving community and fan base. Even those of us who have moved on from EQ often remember it with fond memories (yes, even camping for rare spawns). With so many MMO’s that have promised to be the next big thing, but ended up falling on their face many of us wondered if Everquest Next would bring something new to the table or at least take us back to the days of gaming we loved.

At the most recent SOE Live convention SOE president, John Smedley talked about Everquest Next briefly in his keynote address:

“I have to be honest with you. We have completely blown up the design of EverQuest Next. For the last year and a half we have been working on something we are not ready to show. Why did we blow up the design? The design was evolutionary. It was EverQuest III. It was something that was slightly better that what had come before it. IT was slightly better. What we are building is something that we will be very proud to call EverQuest.

It will be the largest sandbox style MMO ever designed. The same exciting content delivered in a new way. Something you’ve never seen before. The MMO world has never seen before. We didn’t want more Kill 10 Rats quests. We didn’t want more of the same. If you look at the MMOs out there, they’re delivering the same content over and over again. So are we. We need to change that. When we released EverQuest, we changed the world. We want to do that again with a different type of game.

What I will commit to is, at the next Fan Faire, not only will you get to see it but you will get to touch it. Most of the EQNext devs are in this room. If you get them drunk enough they might tell you. They’re led by Dave Georgeson. Terry Michaels. Vets from EQ and EQ2. We are remaking Norrath unlike anything you’ve ever seen, but you’ll recognize it. I’m sorry we don’t have anything to show for it, but I wanted to be honest with you and tell you a little bit about it. Keep the faith.”

Now there is obviously the joke about SOE getting something right or bringing us something new that is good, but there is also a slight worry that a project was blown up and redesigned. Just think of when you hear that about a movie or television show, it doesn’t bode well does it?

I guess we will see. As far as the sandbox MMO idea, that is not really new, but it at least gives us an idea of the gameplay style. For those that don’t know or fully understand what a Sandbox mmo is, here is a pretty good explanation I stole from somewhere.

“A sandbox MMO is a game that drops you into a player driven world.  Players are given tools, and sand, and they get to make whatever they want with it.  Just like when you were a kid in your sandbox with a shovel and pail.  You didn’t have much fancy stuff, but you had fun.

A non-sandbox MMO has already made all the fun for you, there is no sand, it’s a playground or a “themepark”.  it’s not about you creating content, it’s about having fun with what the devs made.  Like when you used to climb around on the monkey bars or whatever.

Simple eh? Player driven vs dev driven.”

Now we are not 100% sure if EQ Next will be modeled exactly like this, but you get the idea. Also we can almost guess that it will go free to play from launch. Our best guess is that you will need to pay for the game and then not have a monthly subscription, but you can purchase items from a store in-game like Guild Wars 2.

So we will see what SOE shows us next year. We do know that Planetside 2 is set to launch on November 20th so that will keep us busy until we hear more EQ Next news.

The Gamers of Origin PC

Team Origin

The Gamers of Origin PC

One of the questions I was often asked during my time at Alienware was, are you guys really gamers and do you play games at work. I can tell you originally pretty much everyone at Alienware were gamers, just check out our interview with co-founder Alex Aguila and our gamer profile for Nelson Gonzalez., you can also check out our interview with Arthur Lewis. When I started back in 2001 most of us were avid gamers and would often have Lan parties at HQ or meet up to play games.

In our editorial where we asked, do you have to be a gamer to be in the industry? My opinion was that you do not need everyone in the company to be a gamer, but it does matter to have key people who at least understand the culture. When we talked with Origin PC not long after their launch it was clear the management understood games and gaming culture. It is also clear they are all gamers check out the gamer profile for CEO, Kevin Wasielewski and COO, Hector Penton. If you need more proof perhaps we can show a picture of their arcade games cabinets and Mr. Penton’s wall of PC game boxes.

In the meantime, here are some gamer profiles from Origin PC team members and if you want to game with Origin PC you can find them on Raptr and on Steam.

final fantasy 7

Name: Erika Mckinster

Gaming background: Final Fantasy series, Goldeneye, DOOM, Quake, Halo, Mass effect Trilogy, World of Warcraft, Diablo trilogy; too many to name!

Favorite classic game: Final Fantasy 7

Favorite modern game: Mass Effect

What are you playing now? Torchlight 2 & Borderlands 2

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Name: Fabian Santiesteban

Gaming background: As a child I was an avid gamer from the Atari 2600 while working my way up to the Sega Genesis to the PC’s of today.

Favorite classic game: Quake – Quake may be the most influential game of all time. Not the best game, not the most innovative, but the most influential. Nothing beats a god old fashion First Person Shooter.

Favorite modern game: MMORPG – My gaming preference roles have changed. Today I am a big fan of EVE Online – Age of Conan and The Secret World.

What are you playing now? I am currently playing Diablo 3 and looking to level up my toon to 60 so I can start my paragon levels. I am looking forward to the incoming patch that will give you the opportunity to group up to 8 players which will make it much more interesting.

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Name: Daniel Ovalle

Gaming background: I’ve built my own computers since I was 18 and was immersed into hardcore gaming while working at Alienware.

Favorite classic game: Quake

Favorite modern game: Too many to name.

What are you playing now? World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, SWTOR, Civ5, Guild Wars 2, Diablo3

counter-strike

Name: Jorge Percival

Gaming background: First ever encounter with gaming was an Atari 2600 that my parents had, though I was very young they tell me I wouldn’t let go of it. After that I can happily say I owned most consoles to date mostly for exclusive tittles. The fall of 1993 was when I really began paying attention to PC games when my uncle purchased DOOM for his PC, I was completely hooked on that game. Consoles introduced me to gaming the PC has kept me here.

Favorite classic game: My favorite classic game will always be Counter strike (pre source days) this was my real introduction to competitive gaming and the first game I truly took serious. I followed all the pro’s and tournaments I would fully engulf myself in the scene and what was going on during those days. Quake comes a close second.

Favorite modern game: My favorite modern game……….. would definitely have to be League of Legends, this game shows how great gameplay is still at the heart of a good game. We all love graphics but the game needs to have good mechanics and gameplay to continue to grow past its release. I am also a huge fan of RIOT as a developer they do great job of interacting with their community and are supporting the e-sports push here in the states.

What are you playing now? Right now I have lowered the amount of games that I play at a time (mostly due to League of Legends lol). League of Legends, Torchlight II, Borderlands 2. Those would be my top 3 in that order.

Quake 2 - Rocket Arena 2

Name: Tony Berry AKA Miztic1

Gaming background: Started gaming on C64/Atari 800XL then moved to the NES and all other consoles where I got hooked on gaming and once I got my first PC I discovered Wolfenstein 3D then eventually Doom and Quake 1 and those sent me over the edge of the gaming abyss.

Favorite classic game: Tossup between Quake 2: Rocket Arena 2 and Ultima Online. Consoles would be Legend of Zelda on NES.

Favorite modern game: This is a tough one, I would have to say WoW

What are you playing now? WoW, Diablo 3, torchlight and league of legends.

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Name: Alvaro Masis in game (Propane)

Gaming background: Have been playing games since Lode Runner and have played on multiple platforms favorite PC by far

Favorite classic game: Favorite classic game would be destruction derby for the Commodore 64

Favorite modern game: Eve Online

What are you playing now? Guild Wars 2, Eve Online, Torch Light 2

You’re not special for reaching max level anymore

You might get your name mentioned on a gaming website if you are truly the first, but does reaching max level in a game that is not hard to level really an achievement? Does it compare to getting the kill screen in Pac-Man or a high score in Donkey Kong? I don’t think so…~J.A. Laraque

You’re not special for reaching max level anymore

Normally I would leave the rants to Obsolete Gamer’s infamous write Umar Khan, but I had to do this after reading an article about a Borderlands 2 player who played for 43 hours straight to reach max level. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are out for setting records because it is your thing for a world record we understand, after all that’s what Twin Galaxies is all about, but there is a difference between going for a world record and just rushing to max level, especially in an MMO.

You’re not special for reaching max level anymore

Perhaps back in the early days of MMO’s like Ultima and Everquest reaching max level could earn you some props. Mainly because back then it was incredibly hard to level and no tricks, strats and early access to the game beforehand. Since then games have become incredibly easy to level in and yet there are always people trying to reach max level first.

Most are not going for an official record, it is just to say you did it, but what did you do. In World of Warcraft there would be guilds who would work in shifts to get one character to max level. In newer games like Guild Wars 2 people reached max level during early access and what do they win, nothing. Most likely someone else beat them too it and they missed out on the point of the game which is the journey not the destination.

You might get your name mentioned on a gaming website if you are truly the first, but does reaching max level in a game that is not hard to level really an achievement? Does it compare to getting the kill screen in Pac-Man or a high score in Donkey Kong? I don’t think so and for those who blew through the game and went without proper sunlight and hygiene and didn’t even become the first to reach max level are the true losers.

We have had enough people die from playing games and thousands more that really need to take a break and walk away from the keyboard. These pursuits might give one person some form of gamer rep, but overall it makes all gamers look bad. I almost wish for easy to level games we would not even recognize these people as those not officially going for records are often the first to complain about lack of endgame content or asking when the next expansion will come out 48 hours into the latest one.

Oh did I mention that Panda expansion is out, can’t wait to see who reaching level 90 first.

First Steps: Guild Wars 2

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Just coming off of the third and final beta for Guild Wars 2 we wanted to give everyone a glimpse into the first few moments of the upcoming MMO. Guild Wars 2 is the free to play mmo sequel to the original Guild Wars. The game, developed by ArenaNet features quite a few interesting changes to mmo including the action oriented combat and effect your character has on the world.

Let us start with the character creation. In GW2 you can select from five different races, the Sylvari, Norn, Charr, Asura and Human. Each race has its own unique abilities and backstory that you can read about when you create you character.

On the next screen you select what your classic will be. Some of the classics will be familiar like warrior or Necromancer. Some of the classics you will need to read to understand what your skills will be, but know that for the most part all classes can deal enough DPS (damage per second) and do enough personal healing for you to be effective, at least in the beginning.

Once you have selected your class you can configure how you character will look. There are a number of changes you can make from body size to hair, eye and armor color. Overall, you can make your character pretty unique dependent on how much time you wish to spend customizing your character.

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Another unique feature to GW2 is after you customize your character you have a list of choices you make that determine the type of character you are. For instance a question might ask, what are the most important teachings you have learned and you have three choices to select from and your choices will affect how NPC’s (non-playable characters) treat you and your various skills and quests.

Each race has their own opening story which deals with how they entered the world. The opening story is in the full world meaning you will see other new players with you right off the bat. The beginning story allows you to get used to the controls and the gameplay and though it is easy for anyone who has played mmo’s before, if you are completely new it can be challenging.

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Once you finish the beginning story you are placed in your starting area. From the starting area you have your main story which you can follow or you can begin exploring the world and encountering the random and dynamic events and quests within it, which we will cover in a moment.

Graphically the game was designed to run well on many different systems and to that end on lower end systems the game might not seem as graphically stunning, but on higher settings the world looks beautiful. Guild Wars 2 uses an “art style” for its graphics giving you that painters look, but it is done well where the world and environment changes depending on where you are. There are also day and night sequences in the game which not only effects how the world looks, but what events and monsters will be in the world. There are also cut scenes used for boss battles and important story events and a simple discussion cut scene when talking to some NPC’s.

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As far as quests go, unlike many mmo’s where you see an exclamation point over the head of an NPC, in GW2 quests are more dynamic. An example is an NPC will approach you and offer a quest or tell you something is happening and that your help is needed. Since this occurs mainly in the open world you have the option to go to the location and help or not. Say there are bandits attacking a farm, a farmer may run out onto the road you are walking down and ask for help. At this point the farm is already under attack and if you walk away the bandits will burn down the farm and may even camp out there. If you choose to fight you might kill off the bandits and attack their camp meaning you might see them rebuilding it later. Sometimes events will overlap and while you are fighting said bandits something else appears like a monster which will attack everyone.

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The idea with this questing system is to keep things fresh and new. The events will change from time to time and what you and other players do will have a real effect on the game. In the main story mode you are mostly in instanced areas, but the random quests still apply there as well. As for dungeons, you first encounter a dungeon in story mode meaning there will be less monsters and difficulty as it is for only you. However, once you finish a dungeon you unlock the “explorer” mode where there are much more monsters, loot and even path choices to make giving the dungeon replayability.

Turning to combat, Guild Wars 2 focuses on action and interaction so you are not standing around watching your character, you are interacting. An example of this is the action bars which are the numbered 1 thru 10 keys on your keyboard. You begin the game with only one or two spells and as you fight and level more will unlock. More to this the action bars or spells change dependent on what weapon you are using.

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Say you have a sword in your main hand. The action keys 1 thru 3 will be abilities specific to that weapon. The next few buttons will deal with what is in your off hand like a shield or another weapon. Every class also has a personal heal spell and then special abilities based on the class. Finally you have your special attack which can be devastating, but has a long cool down. So back to the sword, if you then decide to pick up a hammer the first three button skills will change to reflect the new weapon. This opens up a ton of new combinations and abilities each class can access.

There are also defensive moves in the game such as dodging incoming attacks. Your main vitality bars are your normal health, mana and stamina bars. When you double tap one of your movement keys (W,A,S,D) you will perform a defensive move like diving forward or jumping back. When you do this you can avoid damage so unlike many other mmo’s you do not just sit there going hit by hit. As you uses the defensive abilities your stamina runs down so you have to conserve it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtMwGqndNYU[/youtube]

There are also many items in the game which when picked up change your action keys. Sometimes items are for a quest like a water bucket to put out a fire. You can also find items like tree branches or a pipe and these can be used for specific means or as a weapon, each having its own set of action keys. Most of these items tie into events that occur in the open world or are used for questing purposes.

Overall, the game is incredibly fun for anyone who likes sword, shield and magic adventures. The fact that the world is persistent and you only pay once for the game is a welcome sight compared to games that launch with a subscription and then go free to play. There is a lot to do in GW2 from the main story quests to thousands of open world events, dungeons and bosses to fight of all shapes and sizes.

You also will not have to worry about loot since all drops are specific to you. Even if you are in a dungeon with others everyone gets their own loot which solves a lot of problems. As said the graphics as well done and scale well with higher end systems. The music flows with the game and gets you into the mood when in dungeons or while fighting and the combat system brings excitement, keeping you from feeling bored or not engaged.

There is much more to Guild Wars 2 and we will be bringing you more information in the weeks to come. For now you can preorder Guild Wars 2 and receive some cool in game items. Guild Wars 2 officially launches on August 28th.

Guild Wars 2 Release Date: August 28, 2012

Get ready fans Guild Wars 2 release date is only a few months away. We have had a lot of fun in the beta and soon you will be able to play the long awaited MMO. Here is the official press release.

SEATTLE – June 28, 2012:NCsoft®, the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), and ArenaNet™, developer of the renowned Guild Wars franchise, today announce that Guild Wars 2, the most anticipated game of 2012, will launch in both Europe and North America on August 28, 2012.

Building on sales of more than seven million units of the original game, Guild Wars 2 redefines massively multiplayer online roleplaying games with visceral, action-oriented combat; a gorgeous, living world full of constantly evolving dynamic events; customizable personal storylines that are unique to each player; intense Player vs. Player combat between small teams or massive armies; and most importantly, a shared online world where players work together as allies instead of as rivals — all with no monthly subscription fee.

“We’re offering gamers an experience that delivers on the promise of online gaming with a truly social experience in an immense, shared world,” said Mike O’Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet. “After five years of creation, development, and polish, announcing the launch date of Guild Wars 2 is a huge milestone for us, but the thing we’re most looking forward to is seeing gamers from all over the globe explore this world and begin creating their own stories.”

As they prepare for launch, ArenaNet will focus on polishing Guild Wars 2 to ensure the highest quality experience on launch day, which includes hosting a final Beta Weekend Event July 20-22, 2012.

For more information about the Beta Weekend Event and how to pre-purchase Guild Wars 2, visit www.guildwars2.com.

 

Check out the launch trailer:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-CB0hheQRg[/youtube]

Guild Wars 2: Call for Beta Testers

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Looking to get into the beta for Guild Wars 2? Check this out!

For the next 48 hours, ArenaNet is putting out the call for play testers to participate in upcoming Guild Wars 2 beta events. While not everyone may be chosen to participate, the time to sign up for your chance to play Guild Wars 2 is right now!

Hurry over to the Guild Wars 2 Beta Page for more info, and then follow the directions to sign up for your chance to play Guild Wars 2.

 

 

Guild Wars 2 @ PAX East: Videos and Commentary

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At PAX East 2011, Kayhynn got her first look at Guild Wars 2, complete with live gameplay, at the AlienWare Arena and at the NCSoft Meet and Greet Friday night.

Check out some of the videos here.

 

Article Source: http://www.eogamer.com/content/guild-wars-2-pax-east-videos-and-commentary

Lincoln Davis: NCsoft

NCSoft logo
NCSoft logo

Name: Lincoln Davis

Company: NCsoft

Profession: Senior Public Relations Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Contra on NES

Quote: Contra was the first game I was able to complete without dying once. Super Spreads rocks!

Current Event: I’m currently driving the PR surrounding the upcoming launch of Guild Wars 2, sustained PR for Aion and City of Heroes while preparing for other projects we have yet to announce.