World of Warplanes: P-80A Shooting Star 6 Kills 3610 Base XP


Here is the P-80A Shooting Star, the special premium tier 8 American fighter. It’s a solid money maker if you can get it through the special Christmas mission for 2016. I highly recommend it! It shoots very accurate because of the gun placement in the nose.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

It is amazing to me that a studio would be releasing an MMO at all in this day and age. We live in a time period where the fickle masses are buying games on a whim and usually own more games than they have time to play thanks to services like Steam. We live in an age where microtransactions are becoming standard and the masses have demonstrated that they will pay FAR more than a couple bucks a month to obtain that special look or feel they’ve been after for soo long.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

Yet here we are. Square has decided to bestow us with a reboot we didn’t ask for of their attempt at an MMO set in the Final Fantasy universe. While the game might be OK for the phony hardcore and awesome for the Brazilian huehue crew, it just doesn’t meet the expectations that the MMO enthusiasts and the hardcore have for these types of games nowadays. The pink elephant will not be caught here.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

On the positive side, the game has a very easy-to-digest questing and leveling system. Quest hubs are spaced out in such a way where you feel like there is a logical progression from one spot to the next. Scattered across each area are these random mini-events called “fates” which are pretty fun and provide an alternative means by which one can obtain experience as well as a special currency to interact with the NPC factions of the game. The commendation system implemented in patch 2.1 is a smart way to promote a positive culture in an environment that has the potential to be extremely toxic.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

A paragraph had to be specifically set aside to properly express the level of detail that went into the graphics of the game because they are THAT good … for a MMO. This game is one of the few which actually gave me a moment of pause when looking from a vista because of how beautiful it was. After obtaining a quest piece at the very top of this peak that took me a good 5 min to figure out how to climb, I couldn’t help but understand the feeling Ethan Hunt must’ve had at the beginning of Mission Impossible 2. From character modeling to shading to particle effects to terrain and flora, the guys at Square really made one of the prettiest MMO’s I’ve ever played.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

Too bad anything good I have to say of FFXIV:AAR stops there. The matchmaking and instancing is reminiscent of WoW’s very first implementation of the LFG tool. The level of grinding involved in attempting to raise more than 1 class or trade skill at the same time on the same character would make a Korean LAN cafe operator sick to his stomach. The inconsistency in voice acting on the main scenario quest is laughable. The tiered approach to gearing for end-game past darklight seems like an afterthought and not consistent with the level of polish that went into other parts of the game.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

Class balance is absolutely broken in the game and this has never been more apparent than in the newly released PvP system in patch 2.1. The housing system is hilariously expensive and simply out of reach for most. I could probably go on forever. It makes me sad that a game with so much potential and an excellent intellectual property couldn’t do better the 2nd time around with the same MMO.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

However, in all my years of playing MMO’s, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion. The quality of the player in relation to the general community will usually dictate my appreciation of the game itself. Let’s put this into perspective, shall we? We can all acknowledge that there are some bad MMO players in the World of Warcraft. By bad, I mean like those people that play a healer and spend their whole time casting the same spell over and over again till they run out of juice. Or how about the melee DPS player who literally stands in everything he can and ignores mechanics.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn

The second I drop into a virtual world – my assessment of the inhabitants of this world begins. Since I’ve always hated questing, I always try to be chatty and cool with my group mates while we endlessly grind instances to max level. Using my MMO gaming barometer, I can confidently say that FFXIV:ARR has one of the worst communities when it comes to MMO gaming skill in the history of the genre. Worse than DCUO, worse than EQ1 or 2, worse than WoW, worse than Rift, worse than CoH and worse than ToR. Thinking back, I feel like FFXIV is full of those tryhards from that WoW guild that people would use as a stepping stone to get into a real guild – yeah this game is full of people like that. While I’m sure this is due to the fact that the game exists on both PlayStation and PC and the clients can cross-play within the same realm … it doesn’t make the situation any more bearable.

So, for the hardcore and the enthusiasts that will always spend their time and money chasing that pink elephant of gaming; you will find no such joy here. Remember that inexplicable rush you got when you and your squad beat that other group to the Efreeti boots spawn even though they were there first? Maybe it happened on your first Ragnaros kill in vanilla. Wherever it was, that feeling will NOT be found in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

Breaking down Everquest Next: The Rallying Call

What if a successful settlement opens an awesome dungeon and within that dungeon is incredible loot. What do you think will happen when some servers have it and others do not?~J.A. Laraque

Everquest Next: The Rallying Call

There is going to be a ton of news about Everquest Next and by now most people even slightly interested in it has read what they game is going to consist of. In all the reading and questioning I have done the one thing I hear the most is how it is supposed to change everything. I guess I could just roll my eyes especially considering the failures Sony has put together over the last several years, but then again Everquest did originally change everything as far as MMO’s. So perhaps the better question is who are they changing it for?

The way I read it, it seems almost as if the aim is to bring back people who loved the original Everquest. You continually hear them talk about the groundbreaking changes in the original and how people enjoyed EQ2. Obviously they are going after disenfranchised World of Warcraft players as well, but is that the right move?

When I asked, are we what is wrong with MMO’s, I talked about the changes within us and how we are different than we were during EQ’s days. Now, even more time has passed by and the question is, how many of us are really looking for something so new and different we will feel like it is 1999 again?

Everquest Next

The Rallying Call

Right away critics broke down all the new ideas that EN is to offer. Now the idea around the rallying call is that a call will go out across the server and everyone can come together to build and defend a new location. So while this new settlement is being built there will be quests and attacks from various monsters and crafting that will need to be done. Now the idea is obviously taken from world events where something big happens and everyone is involved.

Let’s stop there and look at the original EQ. Many will have fond memories of the world events in EQ, but then again many people look back on EQ like they do their early 20’s often making it sound better than it was. I remember a baby dragon event where people disrupted it so badly that the GM stopped the even and left. I also remember another dragon event where one guy stole all the loot and nothing was done about it. If you were that one person or small group that got to be part of the event or got the loot it was fun. For everyone else it was a waste of time and a zone of lag.

Now in games like Guild Wars 2, you have various events where you take down a big monster with everyone in the area. Once the monster dies you get your own points for the encounter and loot to go with it. I found it could be fun, but you also could just run in there and hit the boss once or twice and get the points and loot and still, even with a ton of players there it still did not feel as epic as you expected it to be.

Will the rallying call change this? So when a rallying call goes out it lasts for two months so right away that is different from the world or zone events you are used to. When everything is said and done your world will be changed and from what we here there are many different outcomes based on what happens during those two months. As an example, if you allow too many attacks and there are delays your settlement will be permanently impacted and on a different sever it could be completely different.

So with Cataclysm much of World of Warcraft changed, but every server changed the same way. With EN, sever A should not look like sever B, at least in theory. Now right away the question is asked, how many possible outcomes could Sony put into a specific rallying call? Well, we don’t know and this goes to another point.

I remember after Saturday morning cartoons on WGN in Chicago there was a chance they would show either Soul Train or a G.I. Joe block of cartoons. Now full disclaimer I’m in my 30’s so back then I did not have any guide or knew what was coming up next. I just sat there waiting with anticipation and when a G.I. Joe cartoon came on I was in heaven, it was an awesome feeling.

That is what Sony is going for, that feeling of not knowing that keeps you playing. Also, since the world is permanently changed if you miss it then to bad, you were not there and cannot share in the stories. Now will this make you want to play more and be part of the change? Could it make people feel they missed out like when you opened the doors to AQ in WOW?

Obviously if we are talking about new gamers then it may not matter. New gamers tear up content even faster than we did back in the day and they have a much more robust internet to rely on for it. If they are looking at us old vets then are we really after that kind of experience? Do we want to wander around waiting for what is next or have our lives changed so much that we almost rather have a simple liner world so that it will make our real lives easier?

Now what about the risk? Remember risk vs. reward? That was what was said a lot in the past. Hardcore people wanted real risk in a game and WOW was too easy and it did not matter if you died or not. In EQ it was about losing EXP and finding your body, but honestly new gamers would not tolerate that and most vets cannot deal with that anymore.

Sony said settlements that are successful remain in the game forever, so what happens if you fail? Can you imagine the crying that will go out if you see videos of a successful settlement and you think it is really cool, but on your sever for whatever reason it failed? Would the risk vs. reward people find it cool that it was even possible to fail or will they be mad they have such “terrible players” that they could not even finish the settlement causing issues within that severs community?

You almost have to assume that failing a settlement cannot have that harsh of a penalty. Some people speculated that a settlement could lead to portal points or new dungeons or even races. I just don’t see Sony allowing a server to not have access to something other serves get. What if a successful settlement opens an awesome dungeon and within that dungeon is incredible loot. What do you think will happen when some servers have it and others do not?

I get the feeling either these settlements will not have the impact players are expecting or that there will be multiple settlements or ways so that everyone can access the same thing. It is one thing if a building is a bit different or a city looks different in the end based on failed or successful settlements, but there is no way I can see them making a failed settlement cause you to miss out on something potentially cool and game changing forever. If anything that could tear servers apart and cause people to leave “fail” severs.

So there are a lot of questions about how the rallying call could work. While some players look upon the idea with a smile and think about how someday they can say they helped build Halas or Freeport, I know there are others thinking about the consequences of failure and yes, even a few thinking of how they can grief the whole experience. Anyone that plays MMO’s knows a community can make or kill a game and sometimes more freedom and player control does not equal a fun gaming experience.

In future articles we will be talking more about EN’s new features and their possible impact and target base and we will keep searching for more info on rallying calls. This feature could be a giant turning point for the game. Let’s just hope it proves to be a positive for us gamers.

The World of Tanks Show

World of Tanks E3 2011

Anyone who is a regular reader of Obsolete Gamer knows we love World of Tanks. We first got into the tank fighting MMO at E3 a few years back and it was love at first sight. Some of the staff like myself are novices while others are pros and for a long time we wanted to have a podcast about the game we love.

We were excited when we contacted Jamie King at War Gaming America and was introduced to Caleb Fox who joined us on this week show and answers our numerous and wide ranging questions. For this first podcast we wanted to talk to those newer to the game and those interested in trying it for the first time.

We hope to have future podcasts going deeper into the game and clan wars, but this week is all about the beginners. Check out one of our beginners guides here.

So check it out and let us know what you think and remember, you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

The Secret World: Free 2 Play Weekend

The Secret World

The supernatural MMO, The Secret World will be free to play this weekend. The offer is to celebrate the first full month of the game and will including a special in game t-shirt and bonus points for solving missions. Players will also receive 15 fireworks that they can fire off during the event. The offer is available from August 3rd at 4pm GMT to August 6th at 7am GMT.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQx9Ffhbhw[/youtube]

First Steps: Guild Wars 2

Guild-Wars-2-gameplay-screenshot

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.

Guild-Wars-2-gameplay-screenshot

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.

Guild-Wars-2-gameplay-screenshot

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.

Guild-Wars-2-gameplay-screenshot

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.

Guild-Wars-2-gameplay-screenshot

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.

Guild-Wars-2-gameplay-screenshot

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.

Upcoming MMO : Marvel Heroes

marvel-heroes

Our video of the day comes from Gamespot and features the first gameplay footage of the upcoming Marvel MMO titled, Marvel Heroes. This free to play game is dubbed an action MMO and plays more like Diablo than your traditional 3D MMO and features existing Marvel characters.

Currently there is no release date for the game.

The Old Republic Now Free Until Level 15

StarWars_TheOldRepublic

Sure one could say that adding a free-to-play till 15 component to an MMO is a good move. By doing this you get people to try the game and the changes you made and maybe people will subscribe. In the real world of MMO’s this means the first (or second) steps towards free-2-play.

BioWare’s , The Old Republic was to be the World of Warcraft-killer, but the only dying we have seen has been its own. We first saw the signs when people reached max level quickly and complained about endgame content. We saw more signs with bugs not fixed and features not implemented a true sign the game was rushed even more than other rushed MMO’s. There was the promise of patches that would fix everything, but as each patch came, more people became upset and left.

Subscription rates dropped faster than a greasy Huttball and the PR spin was in full force, but it was clear what was happening.  The game lost over 400,000 subscriptions, many leaving after the free month and now the EA backed company is following World of Warcraft in offering players to play for free until level 15.

We have seen the free trials and now the up to level 15 free play. With the release of coming titles like Tera Online, Guild Wars 2 and the Secret World, this is a march to free-2-play just like DC Universe Online and many before it.

Now with all that said I think Old Republic is worth a play through. The game has a good story and fun gameplay, just not really an MMO, at least not a monthly subscription MMO. You can try out Old Republic for yourself by signing up and downloading the game client at SW: TOR’s free trial page.

First Steps: The Secret World

The Secret World

This review talks about the first fifteen minutes of The Secret World. One of the first things that attracted me to this game was  is it leaves behind the world of dragons and magic and takes us to a new world, one that looks a lot like ours, but with a secret that we all want to discover. The idea of playing one of the Knights Templar, the Illuminati or the Dragon and fighting a war against an evil that threatens humankind is something new and exciting.

So in the Secret World the powerful groups have been fighting for control since the beginning of mankind. You begin as a character that has awakened to find strange new powers and just as you get the hang of the basics, you are visited by one of the groups and asked to join. This beginning is pretty much the same for any side you choose, the major differences here is who visits you and what they say. From there things change but for the most part you become aware of an attack in Japan and make your way to your groups meeting point.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

Right away, you will notice you are in modern day earth, which for many MMO fans will be new. It can be refreshing or strange depending on how you feel about it. For me I thought it was refreshing just like when I played City of Heroes for the first time. So let us take a step back and talk about creating a character.

You begin by selecting the group you wish to join and then the server. So far, it appears you can only be in one group per server, which prevents issues, kind of like not having Horde and Alliance on the same PVP server. From there you can select how your character looks. Now personally, I did not like how the character faces looked, but this is a beta and it can change. You can make changes like the hair color, style, nose, chin and things like clothing, but don’t expect to make too unique of a character physically, at least not in this current beta.

Once you have your look you select your name. Something different here is you have a first and last name and your nickname. Now it is your nickname that is used for the game. This allows you to have a real sounding name and then choose something more unique for your nickname. The only issue here is many nicknames will be taken, so, if you wanted a name that matches from first to last it might be hard, or you end up with a nice first and last name and a silly nickname.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

From there we are back to the cut-scene, which shows your leaning some of your powers and meeting your contact. For this review, I selected the Illuminati. For that group you are visited by a man who acts a lot like an pushy pompous Hollywood agent and pretty much tells you they are in control and come join us or else. Right away I was impressed by the voice acting as it sounded natural. Also, the storyline already got me interested, but it is not a surprise since it features the work of Ragnar Tørnquist, creator of the award-winning The Longest Journey.

You can see my first ten to fifteen minutes of gameplay, but to explain the game further the idea is to give you total freedom. There are no levels in The Secret World, however, you do earn points which allow you to add more skills. So say you like swords, but you want pistols and you decide you want to be good at hand-to-hand combat, well, all this is possible.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

Now to give some context, City of Heroes, the superhero MMO, originally was going to give you the right to make your character however you wanted. The reason they did not was because they did not want one cookie cutter class that could do it all, they also did not want you to make a bad character who got its ass kicked and caused you to quit. In, The Secret World, your abilities can be changed at any time, so if you go with a gun and sword build with healing and find you need more defense you just reallocate your points.

Since the game is based on modern times and your story is you have these incredible powers it makes sense. Most of the time you will either be fighting against NPC’s or other players so the ability to change your build can be handy and keep you interested in the game and your character since you do not have to keep re-rolling new characters to try out new builds.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

As said, the game is in modern times, so you have guns and modern weapons to use as well as swords and what we will call magic just to make it simple.  When choosing what build to make it can seem overwhelming, but you can choose premade power-sets or decks to make it easier. You can also just pick one weapon and build around it. The great thing is there are a ton of side abilities allowing for healing, better defense and speed and other things that can make almost any build viable, but the PVP min/max experts will tell you what is best soon enough I am sure.

Back on the topic of freedom, The Secret World does not force a specific progression meaning you do not have to sit grinding missions if you do not want to. There are multiple ways to improve yourself including working your way up the ladder in the organization you choose.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

There are other aspects of The Secret World that you will not really experience in the first few moments of the game. However, you can dress how you like since the game is not dependent on gear armor or stats from gear for the most part. There are stats on relics you collect, but your main clothing does not have stats or armor levels. This allows you to have your own style and look without costing you offensive or defensive abilities. You can also dismantle anything in the game from weapons to other items you find, which is an interesting aspect.

As far as combat, not long after you begin you are tossed into combat. You begin by finding your way to your contact which allows you to explore the city you are in and get used to the controls. There is lore everywhere which you can find and click on and a lot of hidden items you won’t be able to get to until later. You will also fight in major cities like New York and London against all types of creatures of lore like Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

Once you are in combat, I will say it reminded me of Left for Dead in a good way. You start off with a shotgun and two basic attacks and get used to aiming and moving while firing. The combat felt fluid and was not boring nor easy which again, is a good thing. Very soon, you get two more powers, one that slows your enemies and a powerful attack you use on the bigger enemies. Right before the big battle you get a heal spell that you will take use off right away. This tells me the idea is to allow you to stand alone and not depend on the holy trinity of Tank, Healer, DPS.

Motions like strafing and backing away will be important in this game. You will also need to know when you slow your enemy and the best time to heal. The beginning battle also shows off destructible environments as well as cool lighting effects and the fact that it will mostly be you against the world.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

In the first fifteen minutes, you really do not take use of your inventory or character page, but it is there and functions pretty much like any other MMO. However, in the game there currency can be used to upgrade slots for your inventory, which is good instead of the need to buy bags. You also can change your clothing on the fly, chat with friends (including Facebook connectivity) and change your skills and talents.

Once you survive the battle, you encounter something strange and then awaken ready to begin your new life in the secret world. From there is where you select your first weapons and skills and get your first mission.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

Other cool thing that you will not see in the first few moments is the travel system. About twenty or so minutes in you discover the “Hollow Earth” that allows you to travel around the world in seconds, which is a cool concept and allows a reason behind how things work in the game world.

The Secret World - Funcom - Gameplay Screenshot

Obviously, there is much more to The Secret World than what you read in this review or saw in the screenshots and videos. However, it is a game that is worth a look at especially if you are looking to get away from Dungeons and Dragons.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQx9Ffhbhw[/youtube]

The ability to have freedom within a game mixed with a good storyline and voice acting is a recipe for a great game. The Secret World will be available July 3rd, you can preorder it here.

First Steps: Tera Online

Tera Online - Gameplay Screenshot

My first trek into the action MMO began with looking over my character and class choices. I was impressed by the amount of different characters you can choose from. Of course, you have your humans and elves, but it expands from there giving gamers varied choices in the type of hero they want to create. This allows you to build your race based on the class you would like to be. For me I wanted to be a priest so in the spirit of my Everquest character I selected a high elf.

After selecting your race you can choose from a number of classes, many of which anyone familiar with MMO’s will recognize. All the classes have descriptions of what they do and a star rating system that tells you how hare the class will be to play. I have to admit I was surprised the priest was only three stars as in many games it is harder to play.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp-H7ZudCKc[/youtube]

When customizing your character you have a number of choices including presets that have a number of good looks choices. Even if you select a preset, you still can make modifications to it. You can also start custom from scratch and choose everything from hairstyle to facial features to how your armor will look. Once this is done, you can edit your name and begin.

Another cool thing when you start out is you can select from the keyboard or a controller like the Xbox 360 or PS3 controller. Obviously since you will also be typing with other players you will still need the keyboard, but the game is set up in a way that you can control your basic movements and attacks using a joystick which is not only fun, but could be preferred for some console gamers.

Tera Online - Gameplay Screenshot

So right away, to are tossed on a beach, which kind of reminds me of the beginning of Conan or the goblin starting area for World of Warcraft. Instead of starting out at level 1, you begin at level 20 and have a number of abilities to use. I, as a priest started off with offensive and defensive abilities.

Movement is a combination of your mouse and W, A, S, D and it only takes a second to get used to the controls if you have played MMO’s before. The beginning quests get you used to walking around, using the “F” key to talk with people and getting used to your UI.

Tera Online - Gameplay Screenshot

As you can see in the video and screenshots, Tera Online tries not to put too much on your screen. You have your health and mana bars. Then you have the map screen, your dialog windows and your spell bars all in normal locations for most MMO’s.  You also have your inventory box and your character box where you can equip your character with items.

Once you get past the starting quests, you get some starting armor and make your way out. Along the way, you see that there will be different interaction with terrain like jumping on pillars and climbing ladders. When you attack, you use the left mouse button for a basic attack and the right button, at least for the priest, vaults you back and away from the battle. All these can be reconfigured to put the spells and abilities where you want/need them.

Tera Online - Gameplay Screenshot

The gameplay reminds me of a mix between a point and click and a traditional MMO and having various spells and abilities right out the gate makes the game fun.  You will need to hit the alt or escape key to bring up your mouse pointer to do things like read your spells or change your quick buttons. It is also a good idea to read what the spells do because some are range attacks while others are not. As for your basic attack you can just hold the left mouse button down and the spell will continue firing,

Soon you find yourself fighting a harder enemy and see that there are destructible environments that you will encounter. After that, you get into a larger battle with a boss and a number of allies and enemies. For the priest class it is an opportunity to learn some of your AOE “help “spells. Like regeneration and purification. Now later, after a very cool cut-scene, you do begin as level one recruit with only very basic spells as you begin learning your class.

Overall, the first ten or fifteen minutes of the game leaves a good impression that it will be the action oriented MMO promised from the beginning. There are a lot of good signs such as starting off with a number of spells and interesting  gameplay. In addition, smaller things like being able to resize everything including your inventory boxes and the help guide which shows step by step instructions on how to do and access various things. As we play on we will bring you more information and our thoughts on Tera Online.

The Interview: Robby Zinchak: 8-Bit MMO

8-Bit MMO - logo

A few weeks ago, we showed you the awesome indie game, 8-Bit MMO. Well I had a chance to talk with Robby Zinchak, the brilliant mind behind 8-Bit MMO about the game and the development process.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBNBYwb5nZg[/youtube]

So in your words describe your game?

8BitMMO is a construction sandbox game, which essentially means you can build anything you want in a massive, persistent, retro-styled world.

What made you go the 8-bit route?

Nostalgia!  I grew up on 8bit & 16bit games.  I explored every nook and cranny of them.  It was at that age where the line between reality and fantasy hadn’t 100% cemented yet, and it felt like those worlds were infinite.  Those places felt real, like you could move in and become a part of them.  With 8BitMMO, I’ve tried to capture that feeling from my childhood and create a 8bit world where you really can become a character in the game.

8-Bit MMO - origin

Can you tell us about the character customization and being able to change so many things?

The project is an ongoing work in progress, and character customization is one of the areas that is in the works.  I just rolled out the first few items in character customization, including being able to change your color, or to choose a non-human race to play.  The first non-human race is the Zombie, which you can use to infect other players with Zombieism!  I’m also planning additional non-human races, as well as wearable clothing, for the near future.

Many people know the term “Sandbox” because of the game Minecraft can you tell us about the “Sandbox” aspect of your game?

In the game you’re free to build constructions of whatever you want.  Many players build houses, castles, even whole cities.  Often times players come up with new and interesting ideas – like building pvp arenas, or gauntlet courses.  It all takes place in one massive, persistent world.  Even just wandering around and checking out all the cool creations can be a lot of fun.

8-Bit MMO - town2

Now was this game made completely by you, can you tell us about the process and experience of making the game?

I started making the game around 2001, and have restarted development several times.  Most of the intervening time has been just me working on it on & off in my spare time, but late last year I left my day job to work on the project full time.  Before last year, I had experimented with a lot of different visual styles and engines, before settling on the current setup.  I like that it can now be played in browser, because it means many more players are willing to try the game since they don’t have to install anything.

Having the freedom to create and destroy is awesome in a world of MMO’s that make you march in line with everyone else. However, are you worried people can cause trouble in the game  as well with such freedom?

Fortunately, the town system greatly limits troublemaking.  When players create a town, they effectively own the surrounding area, and it cannot be tampered with.  The player can allow specific friends to build in their town, but otherwise they are safe from griefing.

8-Bit MMO - npc dialogue

With a lot of free to play MMO’s there is often al carte items that you can purchase that gives you an advantage. It is good to see there is no money advantage with this game. Did you consider adding special items that you could pay real money for?

There are several purchase-only items in-game, but they don’t give you any combative advantage over other players.  Players are able to enjoy the game without having to purchase anything — of course, I hope they will consider a purchase if they want to support development 🙂

Can you tell us about the NPC’s or Non Player Characters?

There are several NPCs in-game that will teach you the basics of how to play, or give you quests.  RobbyZ will teach you the basics of how to play.  Draco the Architect is a dragon who likes to build, and he’ll teach you how to use the construction system by giving you various quests.  Tutorial Zombie is a mercenary of sorts, and he’ll give you contracts to go out and kill the nefarious LawyerCats that plague the wilderness.  I am planning additional monsters & quest NPCs in future.

8-Bit MMO - edge shading

I asked earlier about giving people freedom and the possibility of griefing, however, there would be social consequences in the game if that happened correct?

Yes.  Griefers generally don’t have much success in their trolling, and they are generally shunned away from towns.  So it behooves players to be nice to others, or they’ll likely be playing alone.

Can you tell us about your video gaming background?

I’ve been in the industry for around six years now.  I got my start at Midway, then moved to Capcom, and then Microsoft.  I enjoyed working on some great titles with very talented folks while I was in the traditional industry, but I’m excited to now be a full-time indie.  It’s fantastic to be able to work on my own vision and interact directly with fans.

To play 8BitMMO, visit http://8BitMMO.net

8-Bit MMO

This is pretty cool for fans of classic and indie games. This MMO game allows players to interact in a top down world that is very original Zelda-style. It is pretty much a giant world or sandbox as they call it that allows you to build or movie buildings like castles or homes and fight something they call Lawyercats and there is even PVP.

8-bit mmo logo

Check out the video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBNBYwb5nZg[/youtube]

Here is the official press release.

A video game development project named ‘8BitMMO’ was publicly announced today. 8BitMMO is a free online videogame where up to 250 concurrently connected players can shape the world block by block. The game’s engine allows for a wide variety of player made buildings.  Players can build solo, or group up and create their own towns with friends for cooperative building projects.  In either case, a grief protection system protects the player’s creations from unwanted interference. The game is humorous in tone, with amusing quests and unusual enemiesThere is also basic Player vs Player and Player vs Environment combat.

8-bit mmo - gameplay screenshot

“I am amazed with the creations players are coming up with,” said the game’s developer Robby Zinchak of Archive Entertainment. “People are creating some genuinely cool architecture – everything from towering windmills to sports arenas. One player even made a huge statue of a flying dragon. The community is very inventive, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next!”

8-bit mmo - gameplay screenshot

The project was first started in 2001, but underwent multiple total-rewrites and art style changes. While the game is still currently in ongoing development, it is fully playable on the project’s website. As the project is Java based, it can be easily run on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Future updates to the game are planned to introduce more features and content.

To play 8BitMMO, visit http://8BitMMO.net

Star Wars Old Republic: Free Weekend Trial

Back in the Everquest days whenever a new game would come out be it an MMO or not some people would cry doom for the game thinking people would quit and never come back. With SWTOR, there doom have been said for a while with people talking about cancelled subscriptions and low population servers. Next, we see the 1.2 update released and the ability to invite friends to play for free for a while. Now, there is a free weekend trial of the game. Oh, did I mention Star Wars the Old Republic was a big part of The Big Bang Theory this past week? So, is this doom?

star-wars-the-old-republic

Here is the full press release:

Now, even more gamers can experience the massively multiplayer online game that is taking the world by storm! Starting this Thursday, players around the world will be able to jump in and experienceStar Wars™: The Old Republic™ in the first Weekend Pass Free* Trial. This limited time opportunity will give individuals who don’t already have a previously-active Star Wars: The Old Republic account a chance to experience the groundbreaking, story-driven MMO from EA, BioWare and LucasArts for up to four days for free, with no payment method required.

Individuals who take part in the Weekend Pass will be able to experience the opening adventures of each of the eight character classes in the game, exploring both their Origin World and may even have the opportunity to visit their faction’s Capital World. Additionally, Weekend Pass players will have the chance to face off against other players in PvP Warzones, or join up with friends and play through a couple of early faction-specific Flashpoints in the game, The Esseles and The Black Talon.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most critically acclaimed MMOs of all time, having won MSNBC’s “Game of the Year” award, “Editor’s Choice” awards from IGN, PC Gamer and “Best MMO of 2011” awards from Game Informer, Gamespy.com, Massively, Ten Ton Hammer and more.  The game is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars™ movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war.  Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars character classes, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga.

The Weekend Pass Free Trial opens Thursday, March 15, 12:01AM CDT and ends on Monday, March 19th at 2:00AM CDT. To learn more, visitwww.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/weekendpass. Players can begin registering and creating their accounts on March 15.

Legacy: Star Wars Update 1.2

star wars legacy patch notes 1.2

We finally get word that the legacy system will be launched in April and some new flashpoints and warzones. The funny thing is the talk about the free friend trial. Sure, every big MMO has it, but it is telling with the latest news about subscriptions to Star Wars TOR. Will these changes keep you playing or bring you back?

Here is the official press release:

Build your legacy in the Star Wars™ galaxy! Continuing to deliver compelling new content for eager Star Wars™: The Old Republic players, EA, BioWare and LucasArts today revealed Game Update 1.2 — Legacy. Going live in April 2012, Legacy will introduce new high level group content and community-requested features including PvP Warzone Rankings and Guild Banks, along with enhancements to the game’s innovative Legacy system. This update also provides improved UI customization as well as gameplay fixes and the latest optimizations to combat balance. Also today, BioWare announced Star Wars: The Old Republic’s “Friends Trial*” program, allowing subscribers to invite as many as three of their friends for a seven-day free game trial.

“Prior to release, our main priority for Star Wars: The Old Republic was to deliver a high quality game and service, right from day one,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Now that we’ve achieved that, we have shifted our focus to adding more content to the game and improving and refining the experience for our fans. Legacy is our biggest update yet and a great example of the kind of content players can expect for the months and years ahead.”

Game Update 1.2 presents the next evolution of the Legacy system. Players can now link their different characters together into a single family tree, giving them the power to unlock and share special Legacy-only abilities. Players can further customize new characters by unlocking different species from any class in their family tree. The Legacy system also provides fun new convenience items for player ships, including an on-board mailbox and Galactic Trade Network terminal. Companion Character affection and moral alignment will also benefit from Legacy bonuses, giving players even more control over their crew mates.

Beyond the much-anticipated game features like improved UI customization, PvP Warzone Rankings, Guild Banks and valuable new in-game items, the Legacy update will introduce challenging new high-level content for both experienced and new players to enjoy: 

Game Update 1.2: New Content:

  • Flashpoint: Lost Island continues the Kaon Under Siege Flashpoint from Game Update 1.1 – Rise of the Rakghouls. Players must survive a menacing island of mystery on Ord Mantell as they hunt for clues to the Rakghoul virus outbreak that ravaged the Tion Hegemony. But the answers to this riddle may prove fatal!
  • Operation: Explosive Conflict sends groups of eight or sixteen Imperial or Republic players to a new zone on the planet of Denova, where traitors and mercenaries are selling the rare explosive mineral baradium to the highest bidder. Players will battle through hordes of Droids, mercenaries and deadly creatures all fighting for control of the planet and its valuable resources.
  • Warzone:  Novare Coast pits two teams in an epic battle to control multiple mortar locations and use them to bombard vulnerable enemy bases. Like the Huttball Warzone, Novare Coast can be played Republic vs. Empire or with players of the same faction fighting each other in a thrilling contest of wills to determine each side’s greatest champions.

Beginning tomorrow, March 6, current subscribers can start inviting their friends to join the galactic conflict as part of the Friends Trial* program for Star Wars: The Old Republic. For a limited time, current subscribers will have the opportunity to send an invitation to friends who have not played the game and who do not have an active, inactive or former Star Wars: The Old Republic game account. This trial experience will give new players seven days of free access to reach level 15 across all eight classes and experience the thrilling stories that make Star Wars: The Old Republic a unique MMO experience (some gameplay restrictions will apply). Trial members will also receive a limited time offer to purchase the digital version of Star Wars: The Old Republic on Origin.com at a special promotional price.

For more information on Game Update 1.2: Legacy and the Friends of Star Wars: The Old Republic Trial program please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com.

The Interview: Dr Peter Favaro

Dr. Peter Favaro was the man behind the excellent Alter Ego life-sim and also one of the few psychologists deeply interested in the Internet (think Tendrilmedia) and video gaming. What follows is quite obviously an interview with said gaming legend regarding both the past and the future. Have fun reading it and feel the retro gaming nostalgia …uhm… feeling.
Alter Ego disk
It’s been quite some time since Alter Ego hit the shelves and impressed the press. Have you designed any other video games since?

Well, Alter Ego was to be followed by a game called Child’s Play -a humorous simulation about raising children, but Activision fell on financial hard times and had to be scrapped. The project manager was someone named Brenda Laurel, whom everyone first referred to as “The Lizard Queen” in the early days of the Internet.

Since then I have had some game ideas. One is finally coming to fruition. It’s Internet based and code named K-OS.

K-OS? Will it be an MMO sort of game? Could you describe it briefly?

Only briefly. People purchase computer generated DNA. They feed, train and teach the creature that forms from it. The creatures meet in a virtual world on line, fight, consume each other’s attributes until one becomes most superior. You know, the kind of touchy feely activities psychologists are known for.

Any idea when it should be available to psychologist adoring masses?

Well a lot depends on how much time I can slice from my media business which is doing quite well right now. My guess would be Winter 2007.

So, back to the old days, if you don’t mind. Alter-Ego. How would you describe it in a couple of sentences?

Alter Ego was a life sim, written in a tongue in cheek style which permitted people to explore the consequences of their decision making. It was built on a foundation of hundreds of interviews I conducted with people about their most memorable life events. Combined with stuff I just made up!

AlterEgoBoxBack

And how did you decide to undertake such an apparently mammoth task? What was your inspiration? Your PhD in psychology perhaps?

Actually, it was the other way around–it was my love of game design and the prospect of making some money. Psychology was a way of breaking out of the pack of other designers.

Hehe… A cunning plan indeed!

Well, its more than that, although I am cunning. Technology is by nature an exploitative enterprise. You have to strike while the iron is hot and you need to innovate in order to achieve that. That is what juices me up about working in this business and that’s why I rarely sit in a room with people who tell me about their anxieties.

Alter Ego, despite being critically acclaimed, didn’t sell very well. Why do you think this happened?

It sold well enough to buy me a house and a car. However, it did not sell like Mortal Kombat.

Why? Well, the egoist in me thinks it was before its time. It was developed during a period of gaming that did not know what a game activity was. It came after the initial shoot em ups and after some Zelda like stories, but was quite different than both. People have been begging me for years to re-do it.

Actually, should you re-do it, it would still be innovative and unique… Creativity in the mainstream gaming media seems to be at an all-time low… Or not?

Well, a project like that needs some cash behind it. It would have to go through a big developer like Sony. It would also have to be multimedia because that’s what turns people on -and well it should be- better for the nakedness and the killings and all. However, large developers wisely stick to their franchises–sports games, carjackings, and war themes. I don’t know if it would make it past the funding stage.

Then again, the Sims did it… And it was the only truly successful spiritual child of Alter Ego.

Yes it was, damn it. Can’t do the Sims again though; it would be me imitating an imitator of me.

AlterEgoScreen

How surreal and psycho-confusing….

Thank you. If someone would toss a few million my way, I am sure I could come up with something.

Which reminds me, have you played Timothy Leary’s game? Actually met the man? Helped him with his game?

Only by phone. Tim was an interesting sort of fellow. Lots of ideas about technology but no real clue. On the other hand, I don’t like people mucking about with my stuff, so I learned programming from the ground up. I am actually quite a technical person.

But where did you learn game-design and coming up with intuitive and never before seen interfaces?

I think game design is a function of a person’s idiosyncratic way of living. To some, life is just one big game. HA!

Wow!

I just realized what that implies about Alter Ego.When I was younger I used to make up games to amuse myself and to torment my little sister.

Did you ever hit her with an Alter Ego manual, then?

No, she was already too old and strong to mess with.

Sisters, tsk… Like reviewers really. Remember any of the reactions and/or reviews back in the day Alter Ego was released?

We all grew up in Brooklyn and had to learn to street fight relatively early in life.

Oh people loved it, the reviews were excellent with the exception of two guys from Compuserve who hated it because it relied on manipulation and was nothing more than a simulation based on psychology. Imagine! I laughed my ass off when I read that review.

Besides laughing at reviews, what else did you enjoy from the Activision era?

Well, also, loved the perks. Activision was big on treating their designers like rock stars. It was hilarious that when we showed at Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas we were always right near the porn stars!

Now, one final question. Which games did you recently enjoy?

I like the online multies. World of Warcraft is a good game -causing quite a stir with parents who say their kids are too involved in it

Well, parents can be funny, but WoW is a huge and all consuming time sink….

Sure, but you can expect more of the same. People are becoming more vegetative, and the more they veg, the more they will be looking for these kinds of activities.

Now, that I’ve never thought. Quite the vicious circle really…

There’s a reason televisions are getting bigger and bigger, and if you listen to Bill Gates everyone of them will have a web browser built in in just a few years.

Actually, quite a few anarchist believe that a color TV equals a black ‘n’ white life…

I can see that, but what’s going to stop the deluge? Nothing.

I see. Now, care to add anything else?

Well, only that there will always be a fascinating interplay between people and the widgets they keep themselves occupied with -and in that there is still a lot to learn, explore and exploit.

Thanks so much for the interview. Oh, and good luck both with K-OS and Tendrilmedia!


Are we what is wrong with MMO’s?

Personally I think that was the key to EQ besides being the first 3D MMO and alone on the market for a long time. The drama was new and interesting; today it is old and scripted like the worst reality show. In the past you grouped for hours and talked making new friends. Now, you are lucky if you can finish a run with a stranger much less talk to them. ~J.A. Laraque

Are we what is wrong with MMO’s?

When you get above age 30 a lot is changing and a lot of has to do with what you believe you should be doing and the direction you should be going. For many gamers there comes a time where they decide if gaming in part of their lifestyle or something they did in their youth and now it becomes something they need to leave behind. For those who continue gaming it will always be different, not only because we are older with different responsibilities, but because many who we used to game with will have moved on.

mmo cafe

When talking about MMO’s many people talk about Everquest and the early days of World of Warcraft the way a man might talk about his college days. You remember a time when you were free and could do what you want and it was celebrated as well as expected. Now, you have to “grow up” and “be an adult” and the fun times as you knew them are over. This is not to mean that there will not be fun times ahead, but that it will never be like it was before and depending on the person this may make them feel that anything that comes next just could never live up to the old and really for the most part, it cannot.

Everquest Friends

So when you talk about that 48-hour camp in the Efreeti room was it that the time spent killing the same placeholder over and over was so much fun or that it was the time in your life that it happened more fun than now. With many of the new MMO’s being released the idea is the teenager with tons of time on his hand in the past now has work, marriage, kids and so on to deal with and cannot spend time playing 12 hours a day. Of course, there is also the people used to having everything handed to them to consider as well.

If you associate, your fun days with a MMO and now those fun days are over then it will be almost impossible to get that happy feeling back no matter what a game does. You could make an exact copy of a game, but now its 10 years later and maybe that awesome boyfriend lost his job and does not do what he used to or your sexy girlfriend is pregnant and angry. So you load up an MMO and hope to have those fun filled nights you had fighting twin emperors and you just cannot find it and you blame the game.

World of Warcraft Guild

I have always said it is the people who make the game so if you played with great friends in EQ then most likely many of those friends have moved on. Now, you have to try and make new friends or gather the few you have left in a new game, but you cannot bring that magic back. This does not remove responsibility from the game makers. Many MMO’s are just lazy and they rather copy and play it safe than innovate. However, many of the arguments comparing the old to the new are the same we do with movies or television shows. The glasses are rosy and the memories seem so much better than the present or the future.

Perhaps this is the reason MMO’s can be played alone more now than in the past. The EQ and even vanilla WOW generation is much older. Can most of you who raided in EQ find 40 good people to raid and play with day after day, week after week. Can you find 25 or even 15 and if so is it just as fun being with them in the game regardless of the game?

Wow guild

Many who find games like Star Wars, The Old Republic fun are not just fanboi’s. I have found people who like to solo like the game. Many who did not have big guilds in EQ or Wow like the game and those who have retained a good core of gamer friends like it because they get together and enjoy each other’s company in the game first and the actual game second.

Personally I think that was the key to EQ besides being the first 3D MMO and alone on the market for a long time. The drama was new and interesting; today it is old and scripted like the worst reality show. In the past you grouped for hours and talked making new friends. Now, you are lucky if you can finish a run with a stranger much less talk to them. In between game time, you would hang out, talk with your friends and interact with the gaming community. Now, you have many more responsibilities and less time.

thunderboss

So for many when a new MMO is announced, especially if you have not played an MMO in a while and have friends interested in giving it a try. You end up putting more than hopes of a good game on the product. People hope it will rekindle that fire, bring friends back together, improve your life and games by themselves cannot do that. There are documented reports that leaving an MMO can end relationships, friendships and even marriages so it is understandable that people think an MMO might create what it can also destroy.

We still have to make sure MMO makers do a good job, and create and maintain the game they promised. However, we should also realize you cannot relive Woodstock, and for many games our “Woodstock” was EQ or WOW.

Games & Candy

Personally, I find runts have a most distinct taste than Gobstopper so when you are going for flavor it is a better choice. Again, this is a lower calories and sugar candy than many others. ~J.A. Laraque

Candy

Games & Candy

Most people are trying to be healthier now-a-days and even in gaming, where you spend most of the time sitting, there are things you can do to improve your overall health. However, sometimes you just want to enjoy some candy, and there are some awesome candies to eat during gaming that gives you that sugar rush and sweet taste to deal with even the most annoying wow kiddy.

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

Nothing is better gaming candy than jelly beans and why be stuck with just a few flavors when you can enjoy 40 different ones. Personally, I love butter popcorn, which puts me in the minority, but I also love their bubble gum and cotton candy flavor. When you are headshotting people in Battlefield, and you blindly reach for a bean and are surprised by the flavor, it is like finding a hidden treasure in an RPG.

Gobstoppers

gobstoppers

This candy is great for MMO players because they last a long time and keep you from having to head out to the store for more. They also are one of the less bad for you candies due to having lower sugar and calories. Gobstoppers are just sweet enough and since you cannot bite into them right away, you learn patients which is important during those long MMO sessions.

Runts

runts

The perfect candy for the RTS fan, this candy is like a mix between a gobstopper and skittles because at first you cannot bite it so it lasts longer, but not long after you can break it into pieces and finish it off. Personally, I find runts have a most distinct taste than Gobstopper so when you are going for flavor it is a better choice. Again, this is a lower calories and sugar candy than many others.

Mike & Ike

Mike-and-Ike

I find these are good for console gaming. These candies are soft, chewy, and very sweet, but you can kill a whole box quickly so you need the ability to pause the game and get more. I like the special red box that has flavors like cherry, strawberry and watermelon, but all the flavors are good. Just be careful with this one because the calorie and sugar content is pretty high.

Pal Bubble Gum

pal bubble gum

This is the perfect retro gamer candy. Pal bubble gum has been around forever and I remember buying them for one cent each at the candy story. The good thing about Pal is for a low cost candy the sweet taste of the gum lasts quite a while. You could have a big bag of gum and it could last days or weeks depending. Since so many classic games are harder and repetitive, the gum gives you something else to focus on when you can’t kill that damn bat in Ninja Gaiden.

What’s in your Candy Store?

So I know I missed a ton of your favorites, so what is a candy you like to snack on during your game sessions?

Open Discussion: How Important Is Cursing In A Game To You?

Later on, the option to turn off the profanity filter was added and never again did I see anyone mention anything about feeling bogged down but neither did I see anyone thanking the Dev Gods that they could finally do so. ~Umar Khan

How Important Is Cursing In A Game To You?

Two days ago, I put up an article about reporting people online for cursing and violating the EULA that they agreed to in order to play online games. The responses to the post were expected. “Fuck you, dick butt!”, “Die of AIDS!”, and “You are a worthless piece of shit!” were the kind of retorts that were anticipated especially with the holier-than-thou attitude the piece was written in.

itgetsbetter

However, there were a couple of users that responded with something along the lines of “Not being able to say what we want online is wrong.” This got me wondering just how wrong is it? How important is it to be able to call someone a fag online? I’m sure it isn’t a game breaker for many people but for some it may be a peeve. It could be categorized under the same kind of irks as not being able to jump in a game.

In DCUO, when it initially launched there were no means to turn off the profanity filter. It would simply censor anything deemed vulgar or out of place. There was a very vocal amount of players who would comment and complain about the inability to voice themselves in a colorful language. Later on, the option to turn off the profanity filter was added and never again did I see anyone mention anything about feeling bogged down but neither did I see anyone thanking the Dev Gods that they could finally do so. It was such a miniscule addition that it sated the vocal but it wasn’t enough for them to say “Awesome. I can curse now.” unlike other changes in a game that define the content and gameplay such as crafting, dual speccing, etc.

So I ask, how important is it to curse in a game to you? Could you still play the game that constantly censored your vulgarity? Is it just a peeve or is it in some ways so important that not having it added in a game is criminal? Do you think of it as an essential part of a game such as being able to send whispers or jump? I’d like to hear from you on this.

League of Legends PVE AI Update

League-of-Legends-
Before I start ranting, let’s see what they promised in this update upgrade:

So they finally released the AI update but it is still really easy. They increased the roster of PVE enemies up to around 40 and that’s a lot better than fighting the same 8 bots all the time but the AI still doesn’t know bush warfare or jungling or ganking to save its life. This patch introduces Dominion PVE which might as well be called free IP. Every match I’ve played ends with the human team having 400 out of 500 life left in their home base.

Riot Games said that the AI would be as good as human players and it is far from that. I would say maybe it’s as good as level 3 human players that just installed the game but even then, they at least know what a bush might be.

The AI is still flawed in the regular 5 vs 5 game because it doesn’t hide in bushes, nor does it know how to kill dragon, or kill Baron or even jungle. If you see an AI bot with a buff that means a bad team mate fed that buff to them; they will never get it on their own.

At least now there are new characters for you to SLAUGHTER, instead of the regular Ashe Bot, Annie Bot, Nunu Bot, Warwick Bot, Ryze Bot, Soraka Bot, Miss Fortune Bot, Shen Bot, Taric Bot, Renekton Bot, Trundle Bot, Cho’Gath Bot that you’re used to raping.

The full Rise of the Bots roster now includes:
Annie Bot
Ashe Bot
Brand Bot
Caitlyn Bot
Cassopeia Bot
Cho’Gath Bot
Fiddlesticks Bot
Galio Bot
Garen Bot
Graves Bot
Irelia Bot
Jax Bot
Karthus Bot
Kayle Bot
Kog’Maw Bot
Leona Bot
Lux Bot
Malphite Bot
Malzahar Bot
Miss Fortune Bot
Morgana Bot
Nunu Bot
Rammus Bot
Renekton Bot
Ryze Bot
Shen Bot
Shyvana Bot
Sivir Bot
Sona Bot
Soraka Bot
Swain Bot
Taric Bot
Tristana Bot
Trundle Bot
Udyr Bot
Warwick Bot
Wukong Bot
Xin Zhao Bot
Zilean Bot

Hey Riot Games, where is the Hard or Nightmare difficulty for PVE? That’s what I was expecting this patch to be.

Conclusion: YAWN… stick to PVP please.

Ten Questions: Dave Barton – Zork Universe

Dave Barton, one of the creative people beside the recent MMO version of the Zork universe and the latest World of the Living Dead zombie MMORPG, has gone very indie indeed, and has been kind enough to discuss games, zombies and browser-based gaming with a gnome.

 

cuttings

1.Well, David, how about introducing yourself to those troubled souls that seem to enjoy Gnome’s Lair?

I’m one of two developers on a game called World of the Living Dead. I do the game design, graphics, writing and web design, or anything else that needs to be done. We decided to keep this a very small project in terms of people, although the scope of the game itself is extensive. I was the chief game designer on the Jolt/Activision game Legends of Zork, and also worked on the ill-fated NationStates 2. As a regular reader of Gnome’s Lair, I’m rather troubled to hear that I’m a troubled soul…

2.And you’ve been working on games for how long?

I got a Fighting Fantasy gamebook (The Forest of Doom) when I was nine. I loved it and I really wanted to create my own. I wrote three full gamebooks before I was thirteen, just for the pleasure of creating my own little worlds. The first was typed up on an old Olivetti typewriter from the fifties, although I later saved up enough money to buy an electric typewriter. Working out the structure of those books would have been a lot easier on a computer. I really got into the creation of imaginary worlds came when I discovered roleplaying. I went through everything I could find: D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Rolemaster, Spacemaster, Cyberpunk 2020. There weren’t too many role-players where I lived, so I mostly spent my time fleshing out detailed campaigns and maps. Like many games, they didn’t survive the introduction of actual players. They were usually more interested in just killing the townsfolk or otherwise trashing the place, and usually had little interest in the extra immersion I tried to provide, in the form of carefully-aged messages or maps.

Roleplaying gave way to gaming once I got a Spectrum and then an Amiga. I started playing at the tail end of text-based games, when it started to become all about the graphics, so I never really thought I could make my own. The intervening years were spent as a consumer of games. Fast forward to a few years ago and I jumped at the chance to work on games for Jolt, first on UI and art direction then as a game designer. The skills I had learned working in print and online media seemed to come together and allow me to revive my passion for creating virtual worlds.

world of the living dead gameplay

3.Care to reminiscence on that online Zork game you worked on?

It was a privilege to work on an actual licensed Zork game. I had a lot of fun immersing myself in the world and piecing together what could be used for a game based on the series. I was the game designer, but I also took on the role of art director and worked on the UI. The brief was very specific, so it was always going to be a certain type of online game. I know that disappointed a lot of people, but I was very careful to stay true to at least the mythology that had accrued over the various incarnations of Zork, and I tried to make use of elements like the Double Fanucci cards to keep even the game mechanics relevant to Zork. I hope that the excellent artwork created and sourced by Jim Zubkavich – who was a pleasure to work with, always enthusiastic and able to bring my descriptions to life exactly as I had imagined them – helped to make LoZ a pleasurable diversion for some Zork fans. I decided to leave Jolt very soon after the release of LoZ, so the game has developed differently from how I would have hoped.

4.So, what are your current projects?

World of the Living Dead is what we’re focusing on, although we also started a micro-patronage site called Karmafan a few years ago, as we had a lot of artist friends who wanted to get support from their fans but didn’t know how. The whole voluntary payments thing really took off a little later but by then I was working for Jolt and so Karmafan didn’t get the attention it needed to develop. Artists still sign up from MySpace, but times are hard so there isn’t much support from fans. I’m also working on a WotLD comic, but my artistic skills have atrophied over the years, so that will probably take quite some time to appear. We both have day jobs, of course.

world-of-the-living-dead-2

5.Could you describe the World of the Living Dead?

I like to describe it as a survival strategy zombie sandbox MMO. Players control groups of survivors using a heavily-modified Google Maps interface. The concept is that the players are members of the fictitious National Emergency Control & Relief Agency (NECRA) who have been sealed into secure locations. They have been tasked with remotely assisting survivors via an emergency system set up when the authorities realised that centralised control and evacuation methods were futile. The government and NECRA seem to have disappeared, but these operatives have their mission, which is to ensure the survival of their own “cell” at all costs. Simulations showed that large groups would always lead to infection, so competitive survival was seen by NECRA officials as the only hope for humanity. The game is primarily about scavenging for supplies and avoiding contact with other groups of survivors or, alternatively, about finding other groups and stealing their supplies. Characters are managed by placing them in squads. The live position of any plays in the area around your squad is updated real-time – so the game is effectively a browser-based RTS, but with no Flash required.

6.But why Zombies?

I’ve been fascinated by the genre for a long time. Not because of the gore and horror, but the constant pressure on survivors to gather supplies and find safety. It’s about the apocalypse, really, so zombies are really only one aspect of it. I recently rewatched a UK series created by the often brilliant Terry Nation in the 1970s called Survivors which I remembered enjoying in the ’80s when I saw it (it was also remade recently). A virus killed over 90% of the population of the world, and the remnants of humanity are left to try and rebuild society. I find that premise fascinating, especially when rival groups form based on such basic needs as seed for planting, or a safe water supply. When zombies are involved, there’s also the tension which comes from how easy it is to be turned into the enemy, to be infected and lose control or to be killed and then “come back”. I think that fear taps into something deep inside us, a sense of how random death can sometimes be. Most of the good zombie/infected films get that fear exactly right. Other influences were Threads, a particularly harrowing UK docudrama about how a nuclear holocaust eventually leads to the collapse of society, or any number of the apocalyptic stories which seemed to be everywhere at the end of the last millenium.

In the zombie genre, the magnificent comic The Walking Dead deals with exactly these difficulties. The zombies just happen to be there in the background and only leading to deaths when the characters are tired or distracted, whereas it’s the other survivors that you really have to worry about. I’m really looking forward to the TV version of this, which starts at the end of the month in the US. And of course there’s World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide, both of which I had great pleasure in rereading repeatedly throughout the design process.

world-of-the-living-dead

7.What would you say are its most innovative and/or unique mechanics?

I wanted the zombies to be a faceless horde, so decided that they would be represented by z-density, rather than as individual enemies. Z-density is basically a shorthand used by NECRA to determine how dense the zeds are on the ground, based on satellite tracking of their movement. We take real city blocks and work out how many actual zombies are in the block (there are over 9 million zombies moving around the LA County area we’re using for beta testing – they react to player activity, including the use of firearms, over time). Based on the size of the block, we calculate the z-density as a percentage. The players have to imagine this, as z-d is represented by colours, but we might introduce more graphics once we’re happy that all the mechanics are working correctly. Combat is effectively automated, with survivors using firearms or weapons if they have the skills to wield them. Every route completed can result in them putting down some zeds, or in injury and even death for the characters.

The need to consume enough food and liquids each day is something I wanted to have, although I know that it’s a risky prospect for games. Characters need a certain amount of calories and volume of liquids or they will start to accumulate thirst and hunger. Once these reach maximum, the character will die the following day. It takes about four days for dehydration to result in death, and 28 days for hunger to prove fatal. Even if players find supplies, they can’t just feed and water their characters back to full strength. If you neglect them for a few days, it will take a few days for them to recover, as they can only eat and drink so much each day. We decided to make consumption automatic, to avoid forcing players to feel that they had to continually tend to the characters, but it can be tough to keep a large group supplied with enough liquids. Locations do not replenish once they’ve been exhausted, so that means that players have to stockpile when they can, or work out a way to barter for their needs.

world_of_the_living_dead_zombie_mmo_news

8.How long have you been developing it?

I first started working on the idea back in 2007, but we started working on it properly in mid-2009.

9.When will it reach the MMO masses?

I sometimes feel that we’re on Valve Time, so I’ll just say that we hope to be out of beta by the end of this year or the beginning of 2011. We are determined to go into open beta over the course of the next two months.

10.Any plans for the future?

Any other concepts for games have had to be consigned to my notebook while we’ve been developing WotLD. I hope to start working on at least one of those once WotLD is running smoothly, although we don’t really plan on stopping development on the game. The list of features we have planned for WotLD is extensive, and we hope to be able to grow and develop the game so that it becomes a huge multiplayer simulation of the zombocalypse. Vehicles will be making an appearance in the relatively near future, as will a deluge of content once we go into open beta, including hundreds of items and weapons. The graphics side of the game has been limited to what I can create myself, so I’m also hoping to be able to focus more energy on that as the balancing and tweaking settle down. The period of rebuilding civilization after an apocalypse provides plenty of scope for developing the game in some interesting ways.

I’m The Guy Who Reported You

No longer will we have to deal with the immature audience of today’s internet that shout “Fag!”, “Bitch why did you take my quest item?”, and “Suck my dick, you fat loser!”.~Umar Khan

I’m The Guy Who Reported You

Let me step out of the shadows and into the light so you can see clearly. Got a good look? Great! It took a lot on my part to build the confidence and reassurance that what I’m doing is right. I’m glad this day has finally come, though. What day might that be? The day where I reveal to you, nay, all of you that I am the orchestrator of your bans, warnings, and name changes! That’s true! It is I! The great Umar Khan! I am the bastard who spends most of his day opening customer support tickets to report you for saying dicks, asshole, and cunt whistle.

ILaN

But, Umar! Why?! Why would you do this? Have you no soul? No life?!

Correct on all accounts, reader! Correct on all accounts. In respect to your question I shall answer your whiny plea for the justification of my actions. Give me a moment to fill my wine glass with milk and lean back in my $35 ergonomic chair from Office Depot as I prepare to blow your mind.

I am doing it for you! Yes, you! All of this! All of it! For you! I am on a quest to weed out the unworthy of the online gaming landscape to make it a proper land for those who know how to follow rules and have the fortitude to fully understand and read the EULA that they agree to as they play their games. No longer will we have to deal with the immature audience of today’s internet that shout “Fag!”, “Bitch why did you take my quest item?”, and “Suck my dick, you fat loser!”. The EULA states that this kind of language is against its rules. Why you dare play with fire, I will never understand. The time has come though to turn the flame you rage against into a blistering inferno of bannings and suspensions! I am the harbinger of the soon to come MMO Utopia. For this who fight against my crusade, I am the vanguard of your destruction.

You can just turn on the profanity filter if it butt hurts you so much. lol!

I could or you could just not scoff at the agreement you accepted! Does my butt hurt when you refer to someone as a genital? Not at all. My butt doesn’t even get itchy! No, reader. Your words do not faze me. I learned a long time ago that words are simply glue and I… I am rubber! Your proclamations of rape, pussy, and motherfucker bounce from me and they stick to you. They will take root into your body and you will suffer the consequences they create! I will purge this foul mouthed community from my online gaming utopia and create an environment where a profanity filter is nonexistent. At last, the internet will have some class.

They don’t ban people for that! LOL The GM will just tell you to stfu! lolololol

That is so ridiculous. Since the beginning of the EULA’s existence, people have been banned for breaking the agreement that they willingly accepted in order to kill the giants rats of our yesteryears. Have you taken the time to read the EULA? They can ban you for this swashbuckling speech! If you haven’t heard of someone being banned or warned for this breach, you are blind, ignorant, and/or a liar.

What’s wrong, reader? Your face is red with what seems to be anger and chilled with the sweat of fright! You look like an animal backed into a corner; like an Obi-Wan who doesn’t want to believe Anakin would plunge the Jedi into darkness.

You’re a mad man! A mad man, I say! You can’t do this!

Oh, I can and I will! My rampage will not end with those who simply spew middle school vulgarity. I will prosecute the racists, xenophobic, farmers, exploiters, and scammers! When I’m through with this online world, parents won’t have to worry about their children getting on the computer. Unlike the world we currently live in, the internet will be a safe haven. Thanks to me. The MMO Jesus. That’s what they’ll call me.

We don’t want this utopia! This is a sick world you want for us! You can’t censor us, man!

Truly? Censorship? How am I censoring you? You can still voice your distaste for someone’s actions. You can still boast with a less vulgar choice of words. What censorship? I am instilling class and courtesy in your lives! Instead of voicing the hate I am looking to subdue, you should embrace my cause and open your customer service tickets and begin reporting those who would taint our internet games! The battle will be long and difficult, that is true. However, there will come a time where we can finally play our games and not have to spend our time weeding out the vile filth that plagues our communities. Look past our differences. Look past yourselves. Reader, you know what I say is true and the only one holding all this back is… well you.

Everquest goes Free-To-Play

After 13 years and tons of expansions the game known as Evercrack goes free-to-play.

everquest logo

Hello everyone – I hope you all are doing well early on in the New Year! With an exciting Veil of Alaris expansion just released in November, we’re thrilled to announce the next big adventure for EverQuest®. After listening to your feedback and suggestions over the past few years, I’m happy to announce that in early March 2012, EverQuest will be going free-to-play.

We’re excited to be expanding the EverQuest experience by making the game more accessible to every type of player so that you can choose to play the game in a way that suits you best. Anyone who wishes to start, return or continue to play one of the “Best Games of All-Time” can simply download and play EverQuest on their terms – think of it as Free to Play, Your Way. Recurring subscriptions, non-recurring subscriptions, Silver or Free memberships, item unlockers, and more. The game will now be setup to be flexible so that *you* can decide how much to pay, based on how much fun you’re having.

EverQuest players are some of the most loyal, long-standing players of any MMO in existence. With the gaming landscape changing every day, we want to ensure we continue to evolve the game to keep players engaged and bring in even more new players to further expand the community. With no up-front costs or required membership, we might see a new player or two along the way, and more people is always a good thing!

Once we go free-to-play, here are some of the upcoming features and events you can expect:

  • On Friday, March 16th, EverQuest becomes a teenager: 13 years old!!! We will be having some extra added events in the game starting that week leading up to that Friday and we’re introducing some new items within POK to let you know what’s in store.
  • With the free-to-play launch, a renovated everquest.com website will be unveiled and after that, we will bring you upgraded EQPlayers pages.
  • We have improved the functionality of our Map system! Some improvements include being able to view appropriate level content for your character on the map, allowing you to find zone lines much easier; and also showing you your wisps on the map to help navigate to where you want to go!

Also at the free-to-play launch, all players will receive a Welcome Pack containing items to add to your gameplay experience. You’ll be able to summon a unique Mercenary to fight by your side and we’re including some Bayle Marks to help pay for the services of your newly summoned Mercenary. A couple of Experience Potions are also included to help you increase your experience gained while adventuring. For all the collectors that like to show off all the great wares to your friends, we’re giving you an item to display in your home and add to your collection. And finally, you’ll be able to customize the appearance of one of your weapons with a Weapon Ornamentation – also included in the Welcome Pack. So be sure to check the claim window for your free gifts.

We, the EverQuest dev team, are very excited about this new flexible system. Free-To-Play is the best fit for EverQuest and we are looking forward to supporting the game and our dedicated fans for years to come. This is a great year for everyone associated with EverQuest and SOE. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s coming in 2012.

One last note, we will be doing a Community Webcast on Thursday February 2, 2012 covering all of the exciting free-to-play details. Please be sure to send in any questions you might have via the Facebook page or Twitter so we can respond with answers during the Webcast.

See you in game very soon!

Thom Terrazas
EverQuest Producer
AKA “Phathom”

For more information on the transition to free-to-play please visit the FAQ and free-to-play matrix.

So does anyone see themselves logging in to play?

MMO Rewrite

In the end we must support what we thing is salvageable not what is perfect out the gate, because nothing is. Big MMO’s are like network television, they release a good show but their expectations are so high they cancel it if it does not live up to their unattainable unrealistic goals. We need a cable TV solution where a show can grow and become a hit with true fans who appreciate it. ~J.A. Laraque

MMO Rewrite

I think it might be time to rethink the MMO model. Just as many people get older and make adjustments to their lifestyle the same has to be done with MMO’s and it’s not just graphics or even just game mechanics. The change has to come based on how the community has grown and changed and adjusted to these types of games.

mmo boxes

Let’s look at Everquest, a game many people look back on with rose colored glasses. Most people never did more than a few quests in vanilla EQ. You would run out and start killing rats, bats and beetles, but because it was new and different it was fun, and many accepted it for what it was.

People claimed there was a better community in the past and it was true because it was so hard to level and groups meant everything so you were forced to play nice where today you can dump and find groups so fast many will not tolerate even one death much less wipe after wipe like was the norm in Everquest.

Everquest

People look at Star Wars the Old Republic and complain because you can solo to 50 and the companion system makes the game more like a single player game. However, even in early World of Warcraft most people could solo to 50 and sure there were zones that needed a group, but it was not a requirement and a good number of people were denied groups for level 45-50 zones due to their class or other factors.

Turning back to Everquest, people forget that grouping was more about locking down a spawn than the fact that you really loved to group. In Lower Guk your group would camp one room and if it had a drop like the Flowing Black Sash there would be a rotation. You would be in the same group for hours because if you left good luck getting back in.

Everquest 2

So where did the change start? First, it began when people realized some classes could kite in EQ like Druids or Wizard. In games like City of Heroes, we saw people really begin to only group to finish their mission and then they would quit. When World of Warcraft went from 40-man to 25-man raids and the birth of the clicks occurred grouping took another hit because people were forced to do pugs and then the idea of pubs became so repugnant that if anything went wrong people would leave in a second.

In Everquest 2’s early days, groups would share Exp debt when someone died, so if you made a mistake the whole group might disband. All this, along with the increasing drama on message board forums, and more and more people joining the world of MMO has led to its decay.

City of Heroes

Originally a “server first” meant something, but soon it became a job with people working in teams to reach max level first. The idea of eating through content was considered a virtue as everyone wanted to be first and honestly, many learned back in the days of EQ that it was the first guilds to encounter new content that were the ones to find bugs and exploits and reap gains from them before they were removed, fixed or nerfed.

Then the great expansion came and MMO’s started popping up overnight and just like 3D movies we realized many should not have been made. We were already paying $15 for one MMO, who in their right mind would pay two or three of them. Free to play was enviable, but it also had flaws due to things like having the richest person gain an advantage or companies charging for the smallest things just to nickel and dime you to death.

Players saw games close for the first time and companies abandon their player base by offering little or no new content or support. The insert game here killer became a running joke and it was expected that any game to come out was doomed to fail because either it was not enough like game X or too much like it.

World of Warcraft

Finally, we all got older. The teenager is now in college, the young man now has a wife and kids and the basement dweller has a full time job. Want to know another effect of having a casual friendly game, when they are done with it they are less likely to move on to another and more likely to just stop gaming altogether.

There has been a lot of heat on Star Wars and they deserve a lot of it, but we as gamers need to realize that MMO’s need a rewrite. There will never be an Everquest or Dark Age of Camelot or World of Warcraft experience again. Even those who were the ten-year-old gamers will not experience games the way we did because the times are different and because of this MMO’s need to adjust just as our expectations of them should.

My prediction, games will get smaller not larger. Remember the, it’s time to slay the dragon commercial for EQ? Sure, it was made fun of, but there was something important there. It was about 5 or 6 friends coming together in a game. I believe that is our future. The large raids and guilds of 200 plus members are over. MMO’s will become games where you can solo and then call a few friends to do larger content.

star-wars-the-old-republic

Also, MMO’s have to drop the monthly fee. Remember EQ 2 and their 5-dollar content updates? It was a complete joke at the time, but I see that as the future. No monthly fee, weekly bug fixes, maintenance and patches, but every few months you buy a chapter consisting of new quests and zones for a small fee with one big paid expansion per year.

This allows gamers to switch between MMO’s , but still provides enough revenue to keep games going. If companies keep looking to have 20 million subscribers, they will continue to fall short. We have all grown and changed and its time MMO’s followed suit.

In the end we must support what we thing is salvageable not what is perfect out the gate, because nothing is. Big MMO’s are like network television, they release a good show but their expectations are so high they cancel it if it does not live up to their unattainable unrealistic goals. We need a cable TV solution where a show can grow and become a hit with true fans who appreciate it.

Otherwise, we will just jump from bandwagon to bandwagon waiting for the would-be giant to tumble and laugh as it falls right on top of us.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Rakghouls

Rise of the Rakghouls

Well, some said it would be six months or more before we saw new content from Bioware, but it looks as if that is not the case. Today EA and Bioware announced the upcoming game update, here is the press release info:

Just one month after launching the fastest growing subscription MMO in history, EA, BioWare and LucasArts are prepared to release the first game update for the critically-acclaimed Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. . Launching next week on Tuesday, January 17, Rise of the Rakghouls will introduce new, higher level group content, game feature additions and continued balancing and bug fixes. As part of the commitment to the community, BioWare will continue to release game updates to subscribers throughout the year on a regular cadence. The next update is planned for March 2012 and will include new Flashpoints, Operations, WarZones and new game systems.

“A month ago when we launched the Early Game Access program for Star Wars: The Old Republic, we promised our fans that this would just be the beginning of our journey together,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Rise of the Rakghouls adds a lot of the things our community has been asking for – additional higher level group content, features like anti-aliasing, PvP bracketing and more. In the future, game updates will be even more substantial, as we promise to continue to not only add to The Old Republic, but to also improve and refine the experience with the full Legacy System and new Guild features.”

Rise of the Rakghouls features a new Flashpoint and a new Operation as well as a number of changes made throughout the entire game, including level 50 bracketing for PvP WarZones, the addition of anti-aliasing and changes to Open World PvP on Ilum.

  • Flashpoint: Kaon Under Siege is a completely new and unique group combat experience located on Kaon, a planet in the Tion Hegemony, a strategically important sector of the galaxy that has remained neutral, Groups of up to four Republic or Imperial players must race to Kaon to eliminate the Rakghouls outbreak, securing the allegiance of the Tion Hegemony for their respective sides. This Flashpoint will be available for level 50 characters only and will feature Normal and Heroic modes.
  • Operation: Karagga’s Palace, is a continuation of the game’s second launch Operation. In the Operation, teams of 8 or 16 players will face off against Karagga and the Hutt Cartel after the Hutts abandon their famous neutrality and breach agreements with both the Republic and Empire. Concerned by the threat of another combatant in the war for galactic control, both factions send teams of their most powerful heroes to confront Karagga and determine his intentions. This Operation will feature Normal, Heroic and Nightmare difficulty modes.

For more information on Game Update 1.1: Rise of the Rakghouls, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com for the full details.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war. Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga. Players team up with friends online, fighting in heroic battles reminiscent of the films, immersing themselves in a galaxy full of vibrant characters and planets, while experiencing visceral Star Wars combat.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – 1.0.2 Patch Notes

wallpaper_star_wars_the_old_republic_

This week I am a happy player because Bioware fixed a number of bugs dealing with the cover system for Agents and Snipers and they fixed the annoying bug where if you select for “Show Sith Corruption” to be off it used to not stay that way. It also looks as if they made a number of other fixed to the game which should make it even more polished.

Here are the full notes:

 

General

  • Guilds that are currently leaderless will have an Officer chosen and promoted to Guild Leader.

Classes and Combat

 

Sith Inquisitor

      • The Darth title is now properly granted to Sith Inquisitors.

       

      Bug Fixes

        • Corrected an issue that could prevent players from taking cover when targeting large NPCs.
        • Fixed a bug that caused some abilities with activation times to be interrupted when used from cover.

        Crew Skills

         

        Gathering

          • Removed some high-level harvesting nodes from Tatooine, Corellia, and Ilum.

          Flashpoints and Operations

           

          Flashpoints

           

          Cademimu

                • General Ortol can no longer be pulled out of his room.

                 

                Maelstrom Prison

                      • Corrected an issue that could cause Kilran to behave incorrectly when defeated in cover.

                       

                      Taral V

                            • General Edikar now has the correct loot in Hard Mode and no longer enrages in Normal Mode.

                             

                            Operations

                             

                            Eternity Vault

                                  • Gharj can no longer be pulled out of his encounter room.

                                   

                                  Bug Fixes

                                    • Fixed an issue that could cause choosing Nightmare Mode to not set enemies to Nightmare difficulty.

                                    Items

                                     

                                    General

                                        • PvP lockboxes now cost 70 commendations, contain more consumables, and always contain an item.

                                         

                                        Bug Fixes

                                          • Corrected several PvP items that were Bind on Equip. They are now Bind on Pickup.
                                          • PvP vendors on Capital Planets now offer the correct PvP items.
                                          • Commendations received via in-game mail are now correctly added to the Currency tab.

                                          Missions and NPCs

                                           

                                          Missions

                                           

                                          Imperial

                                                • Number One with a Bullet: Players who choose dark side options now correctly receive the mission First Strike after completing this mission.
                                                • First Strike: Players who did not receive this mission will now receive it upon entering their personal starships.

                                                 

                                                Republic

                                                      • Death Cloud: Players can now complete the “Toxic Waste” bonus objective regardless of how quickly they complete this mission.

                                                       

                                                      Bug Fixes

                                                          • Corrected mission steps on several planets that could cause client instability.
                                                          • Fixed issues with some missions that could prevent pending rewards from being accepted.

                                                          Space Combat

                                                           

                                                          Bug Fixes

                                                            • Fixed an issue that caused a client crash if a space station was destroyed in Space Combat.

                                                            UI

                                                             

                                                            Maps

                                                                • Group members no longer appear on all planets on the Galaxy Map.
                                                                • Corrected an issue that could cause map notes to disappear after logging out and back into the game.
                                                                • Corrected some map notes that referenced the incorrect map.
                                                                • Updated map notes for “travel to planet” steps in class missions on Nar Shaddaa, Hoth, and Belsavis to indicate the planet’s space station.

                                                                 

                                                                Bug Fixes

                                                                  • Group members outside of a player’s phase are no longer prompted to roll on items.
                                                                  • The In-Game Customer Service Portal no longer appears to hang while the “updating” message is displayed.
                                                                  • The Guild interface now properly displays the guild member list when it is sorted.
                                                                  • The “Show Sith Corruption” option no longer toggles off when transitioning between areas.

                                                                   

                                                                  Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

                                                                  • Taxi rides are no longer occasionally interrupted, causing the player to be dropped from the taxi.
                                                                  • Using the /dismiss command now correctly dismisses a vanity pet.
                                                                  • Corrected some issues that could cause players to become stuck on the loading screen when logging into a character.
                                                                  • Players can now use emotes while riding a vehicle.
                                                                  • Fixed a bug that prevented some text-only mail messages from being received.
                                                                  • Graphics preferences in settings files are now consistent with actual settings in use.
                                                                  • Being in Do Not Disturb mode no longer prevents characters from being logged out for being away.
                                                                  • Corrected an issue that caused poor performance on some machines in indoor areas with shadows enabled.
                                                                  • Fixed an issue that could prevent players from being logged out for inactivity.

                                                                  Games: Most let down, Most hopeful

                                                                  The game should be ninety-nine cents on the App Store. The graphics are nothing special and the gameplay is all about jump kicking zombies and driving around an island never really feeling like you are in any danger. They also had to do what all zombie games do which is make all the zombies re-spawn which just kills the feel of the game.~J.A. Laraque

                                                                  Games: Most let down, Most hopeful

                                                                  The New Year is a time to look forward with all kinds of resolutions, most of them that you will not keep and it is also a time to look back on the year. When it comes to gaming there is always room for reflection and regret. There is also always that hope that the next game that’s coming is the one that will keep you enthralled for months or more.

                                                                  A post like this could be long, but for me it’s simple. There are two games that I thought about the most in 2011. One let me down worse a blind date setup by your grandmother and the other brings me hope like a wink from that girl across the room.

                                                                  Most let down: Dead Island

                                                                  Less we forget, let’s take a look at this video.

                                                                  [youtube id=”lZqrG1bdGtg&ob” width=”633″ height=”356″]

                                                                  Seriously, how did we get from that to the game that was launched? I guess we should have known the game would be bad when a beta copy was released to Stream instead of the real version. I remember wanting this game thinking it would be a great experience. In the end I only loved the intro and only because of that stupid song.

                                                                  The game should be ninety-nine cents on the App Store. The graphics are nothing special and the gameplay is all about jump kicking zombies and driving around an island never really feeling like you are in any danger. They also had to do what all zombie games do which is make all the zombies re-spawn which just kills the feel of the game.

                                                                  The voice acting was nothing great and you never cared about the characters or yourself. I also hate games where they put up barriers to keep you from places you want to go, but it’s something stupid like wooden planks in the water or the world’s largest and steepest hill.

                                                                  Totally let down by this game, I tried to do the boring missing and I even tried using weaker weapons for a challenge. However, in the end the game is just bad and it makes we wish I was that little girl.

                                                                  Most Hopeful: Star Wars: The Old Republic

                                                                  starwars-the old republic

                                                                  Sure, the game sold a lot and with backing from Bioware and EA I am sure it will do better than the last Star Wars MMO. I still had my doubts and did not read too much because I did not want to spoil the game one way or another and then I played it.

                                                                  First off, complete voice acting, good voice acting including multiple choices and side quests make a great RPG. For the first time in a long time I care about the story and can’t wait to see it unfold. I think about my decisions, how I act, what I do. I love the companion system that helps you solo or is great in a group and they talk and interact in the story as well.

                                                                  [youtube id=”6zTRZZefmvM” width=”633″ height=”356″]

                                                                  Old Republic even has great PVP within warzones and open world. Sure, there are bugs and if you read the forums you will see just as many complaints and whining as any other MMO, but if Bioware stays strong and adds more content, improves little by little and fixes bugs quickly this could be a game you will play for years to come.

                                                                  Your list

                                                                  So if you have one game to pick for biggest let down and most hopeful which would they be?

                                                                  Old Republic 1.0.1 Patch Notes

                                                                  Star wars the old republic mmo

                                                                  Since a ton of us at Obsolete Gamer are playing Star Wars and the MMO section is a little thin we will be bringing you updates and patch notes on The Old Republic. This is the first official patch notes and it looks to correct a lot of bugs and nerf slicing which I loved so much. I did notice they did not address a bug where it resets showing your Sith corruption whenever you zone. Another major change is making the rewards for losing a PVP Warzone much less, that should bring out some whiners.

                                                                  Here are the direct patch notes:

                                                                   

                                                                  Hello everyone!

                                                                  With this update, the first of many for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, we have addressed several high-priority bugs. We’ve implemented fixes for those players affected by performance issues on Taris and have corrected the problem preventing some pending mission rewards from being accepted. Additionally, the issue that could cause some gathering nodes to appear unharvestable has been addressed, and you’ll notice several bug fixes relating to Flashpoint and Operation content.

                                                                  We’re committed providing the best possible MMO experience, and will continue releasing fixes and updates on a regular basis.

                                                                  Thank you for playing Star Wars: The Old Republic!

                                                                  1.0.1 Patch Notes 12/27/2011

                                                                   

                                                                  Classes and Combat

                                                                   

                                                                  Combat Bug Fixes

                                                                      • Fixed a bug that could cause the global cooldown to display incorrectly in the UI.
                                                                      • Abilities that require Companion Characters now always correctly require a companion.
                                                                      • NPCs no longer attempt to engage vanity pets in combat.

                                                                       

                                                                      Imperial Agent

                                                                       

                                                                      Operative

                                                                          • The tooltip for Acid Blade now displays the correct information.

                                                                          Companion Characters

                                                                           

                                                                          Companions

                                                                           

                                                                          Kira Carson

                                                                                • Fixed an issue that could cause Kira’s affection progression to become blocked.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Bug Fixes

                                                                                  • Companion Character dialogue now plays at the correct volume.

                                                                                  Crew Skills

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Gathering Skills

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Slicing

                                                                                        • Rewards from Slicing have been reduced to bring them into balance with other skills.
                                                                                        • Adjusted incorrect values for medium slicing boxes.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Bug Fixes

                                                                                          • Corrected an issue that could cause some gathering nodes to appear as unharvestable.

                                                                                          Flashpoints and Operations

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Flashpoints

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Mandalorian Raiders

                                                                                                • Crowd control immunity has been removed from several members of the Enemy Boarding Party.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Colicoid War Game

                                                                                                      • An issue that prevented some players from mounting turrets in this Flashpoint has been corrected.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      The Red Reaper

                                                                                                            • Darth Ikoral now uses his abilities correctly.

                                                                                                             

                                                                                                            Directive 7

                                                                                                                  • Mentor now resets correctly if he defeats the player group.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                        • All players in a group who have a daily Flashpoint mission now get credit for completing that Flashpoint.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Operations

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Eternity Vault

                                                                                                                              • Fixed an issue that could cause players to instantly die when affected by Soa’s knockback.
                                                                                                                              • Turrets in Normal Mode no longer behave as turrets from Hard Mode.
                                                                                                                              • Players are now able to properly obtain loot from chests.
                                                                                                                              • The Ancient Pylons now spawn enemies at the correct intervals.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Karagga’s Palace

                                                                                                                                  • Players no longer need to reset this Operation if they do not defeat Bonethrasher.
                                                                                                                                  • Corrected an issue that caused some players to become stuck at the throne room door.

                                                                                                                                  Items

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                    • PvP lockboxes can no longer be sold for credits.
                                                                                                                                    • Fixed incorrect item rewards from PvP leveling lockboxes.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Missions and NPCs

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Missions

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Imperial

                                                                                                                                          • A New Master: Defeating Teeno no longer causes him to surrender on top of Phyne, making him difficult to interact with.
                                                                                                                                          • General Faraire: All of Khourlet’s Elite Guards are now accessible by the player.

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                • Fixed a mission-related issue that could cause poor performance and client crashes on Taris for some players.

                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                NPCs

                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                    • Corrected several instances of non-interactive NPCs appearing and disappearing from the player’s view.

                                                                                                                                                    PvP

                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                    Warzones

                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                    General

                                                                                                                                                          • Rewards for winning Warzones have been increased.
                                                                                                                                                          • Warzone completion rewards have been decreased.

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Voidstar

                                                                                                                                                              • Corrected an issue that could prevent some players from entering the Voidstar.
                                                                                                                                                              • Made adjustments to prevent attacking players from reaching the doors in the reactor core before bridges are extended.

                                                                                                                                                              UI

                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                              Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                                • Fixed a bug that could prevent players from accepting pending mission rewards.
                                                                                                                                                                • Targeting a friendly player no longer occasionally displays incorrect text for the character’s name.
                                                                                                                                                                • Corrected an issue that could cause some auction expirations to behave incorrectly.
                                                                                                                                                                • The splash screen no longer displays longer than the “accept changes” dialogue when changing resolutions on some computers.
                                                                                                                                                                • Master Looter now works correctly for items being looted from chests.
                                                                                                                                                                • The server select screen no longer displays over the character select after being disconnected for being away.
                                                                                                                                                                • Corrected an issue that could cause mission mapnotes to disappear when a new mission is obtained.

                                                                                                                                                                Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                                • Special characters no longer display incorrectly in the French credits.
                                                                                                                                                                • Remaining baby names have been added to the credits.
                                                                                                                                                                • Corrected a link that displayed in French and German versions when the servers are unavailable.

                                                                                                                                                                Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes Beta Impressions


                                                                                                                                                                It was announced yesterday that I could ultimately take my hands away from my blabbering mouth and finally get my chance to talk about EA-Mythic’s take on the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre with Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes.

                                                                                                                                                                Wait? Warhammer Online? The MMO? Is this an expansion?

                                                                                                                                                                Nope. This is its own separate game and it seems that Mythic is trying their hand at the growing popularity of online battle arenas. From what I have seen from interviews and differing blogs, this game will be free and will partake in the microtransactions economy many games are adopting.

                                                                                                                                                                Oh, I hated everything about Warhammer Online aside from the PvP. What is this like?

                                                                                                                                                                Wrath of Heroes is almost a copy and paste of Age of Reckoning’s PvP. As of right now, there are two maps. I’m not sure if I can pick either one but it always randomly places me into one of the two. For the most part, I get the regurgitated version of Mourkain Temple. For those that remember Mourkain Temple, you fought for a relic at the center of the map and ran away with it hoping your team would protect you. Wrath of Heroes’ version of Mourkain Temple has differing objectives though. There are three flag points that must be capped by your team. Once your team owns one of these key points, you may take the center cap point and gain significant points for your team. First team to hit 250 points wins.

                                                                                                                                                                That sounds interesting, Mr. Khan. I have one problem. What if the opposing team is dominating you? That doesn’t give you much hope in reclaiming the game.

                                                                                                                                                                Well if the opposing team is dominating you and they become focused on slaying you, who is going to stop the other team from claiming points?

                                                                                                                                                                Wait… did you say other team?

                                                                                                                                                                Oh, did I forget to mention this game is 6v6v6? That’s right. Three teams brawling against each other. People have been clamoring for a game that finally went for that third team perspective in PvP and Mythic decided “Hey, it worked in Dark Age of Camelot. Let’s do it again!” And guess what, reader? It does work! Having three teams constantly vying for control of the map’s objectives keeps everyone on their toes for the entirety of the game. No more spawn camping. No more sense of security that your team has a lead. Anything can change at any time.

                                                                                                                                                                The other map that is available in Wrath of Heroes, which I was unfortunate enough to get only once during the beta phases, is the Arena. This map is a ton of fun. Why? The only objective is to completely decimate the enemy in this three-way team death match. There is plenty of terrain to use as an amazing vantage point for your casters and also to use as a form of abuse with line of sight. There is nothing but complete and utter mayhem in this map and the fact that there is no real objective, no one team can get sneaky and capture a point while people are preoccupied fighting. Everyone has to be involved all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                Yes! There is a Skaven champion.

                                                                                                                                                                As for the classes, there aren’t any. You just play as a champion that resembles a simplified version of their Age of Reckoning counterpart. There is a marauder champion who drags people in, there is a Witch Elf that pops out of nowhere and stabs you in the butt, and there is a tiny little gobbo shaman who is using the Waaagh to heal. What are the differences in this game that set it apart from Age of Reckoning? Champions like the Bright Wizard and Sorceror don’t receive any backlash as they cast their spells but they also don’t get ridiculously more powerful as they weave their magicks.

                                                                                                                                                                Why don’t they receive any downside to spamming their abilities? It probably has to do with the way combat works. The entire game is about spamming all your abilities. Everything is just facerolling your keyboard because almost every ability does damage or buffs you so you do more damage. Cooldowns are short and every champion has one ability that does minimal damage but can be spammed while everything else is on cooldown. It doesn’t lead to a very unique gameplay. Some champions have something special that adds to their combat but why bother when you can just spam abilities? The only champion that felt added any depth of game changing because of their abilities, aside from heal spamming duo goblin shamans, is the Marauder champion. Why? Because he can pull people in, negate healing on them for x amount of seconds, and can root enemies in place. He has the most combat utility out of any other champion. His ability to pick a target and bring them into a bukkake of death is amazing. Unfortunately or fortunately, he isn’t as popular as other champions so you’ll barely see him roaming around.

                                                                                                                                                                One of the things in this game that bothers me are the champion skins. Age of Reckoning has some amazing armor sets that made a ton of the champions look quite simply amazing. There were artistically some of the best armors in any game. Wrath of Heroes merely takes the newbie armor you get in the MMO and pasted it on the champions. Pretty lackluster stuff going on. I know that there are multiple skins they will be putting into the game but I feel as though they should’ve made each champion look awesome from the get-go like other MOBA type of games such as League of Legends, Defense of the Ancients, and Heroes of Newerth. Instead, I feel they are going to make the newbie looking skins the free ones and charge for the cool armors, whereas they could have had one cool armor set for each champion and have the additional skins be the other armor set tiers from Age of Reckoning.

                                                                                                                                                                As of right now, those are my overall impressions of Wrath of Heroes. I will be reporting on it more often as the beta continues but I do feel that with each play test they are adding more and more to this project. Hopefully, it will be a good game for a ton of players to enjoy as a free to play alternative to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and not become another hit it and quit it project by Mythic.

                                                                                                                                                                We called it: DC Universe Online goes free to play

                                                                                                                                                                dc universe free to play

                                                                                                                                                                DC Universe Online goes free to play

                                                                                                                                                                If you are a regular fan of Obsolete Gamer you know about our cold war with Sony and DC Universe Online. It started out with us liking the game, but pleading with them to fix bugs and make changes so the game survives. Next, when we tried to get an interview we were turned down which just pissed us off and from there it was war. At the very beginning we called that the game would soon be headed toward free-to-play and we were right.

                                                                                                                                                                Sony will be going the free-to-play route in October for both the PC and Playstation 3 versions. You will be able to download and play the game for free, but there are also addition options for al a carte purchases and subscription plans. You can see the choices here.

                                                                                                                                                                “Our philosophy embraces learning from our experience and as a pioneer in the free-to-play space with proven successful games like Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures, we believe this new model will expand the DCUO experience and offer more options that cater to every type of player so they can play the game in a way that fits them,” John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment, said in a statement. “We’ve listened to our community, and we’ve determined that the free-to-play model is the best fit for DC Universe Online.”

                                                                                                                                                                Do we really need to translate this? People were leaving DCUO like Raccoon City and the Mega servers were nothing more than “we have no players on our servers” and now we have to go free to play. However, Sony does know how to market their free-to-play services with games like Everquest 2 and the above mentioned Clone Wars Adventures offering just about everything for sale in their marketplace. Now the question is will this business model work for DCUO, will you now play the game since it is free and has mega servers?

                                                                                                                                                                Star Trek Online to go Free to Play this year

                                                                                                                                                                star-trek-online

                                                                                                                                                                If this wasn’t a trend before it is now. Cryptic Studios announced that Star Trek Online will be going free to play later this year and players will be able to download and play the game at no cost.

                                                                                                                                                                As expected there will be additional features that you can pay for by accessing a virtual store. In addition, there will still be full or gold membership for existing members or you can pay $14.99 for gold membership.

                                                                                                                                                                You can see the differences between gold and silver membership here – http://www.startrekonline.com/f2p 

                                                                                                                                                                “In addition to seeking out new life and exploring strange new civilizations, part of our continuing mission for Star Trek Online is to expand and improve,” said Jack Emmert, CEO, Cryptic Studios. “Transitioning to a free-to-play model is a natural way to share all we’ve built with a broader community of players and we couldn’t be more excited.”

                                                                                                                                                                Star Trek Online free-to-play allows players to get into the game and engage the Star Trek universe in a number of ways:

                                                                                                                                                                The Universe is Your Only Limit – Play as much as you like for as long as you like at no cost. No subscription is required, nor is payment of any kind required.

                                                                                                                                                                Episodic Gameplay – Experience new weekly episodes that feature story-based gameplay and put your captain’s ability to command to the ultimate test.

                                                                                                                                                                Your Captain, Your Crew, Your Destiny – Become a captain, seek out new life and new civilizations and encounter hostile beings as you advance to maximum level for free.

                                                                                                                                                                Familiar Places, New Experiences – Travel to Starfleet Academy, Deep Space Nine, The First City of Qo’noS and many other iconic locations and notable worlds from the beloved Star Trek universe.

                                                                                                                                                                Engage and Explore Your Way – A web and in-game virtual goods store provides players the option of purchasing gameplay upgrades or additional premium content as they like, when they like.

                                                                                                                                                                Taking place in the year 2409, Star Trek Online boasts extraordinary features and lets fans both new and old experience unparalleled adventures within the Star Trek universe. Players have the opportunity to become high-ranking Starfleet officers and participate in missions structured like episodes that take them into the depths of space, across exotic planets and inside other starships. All players are invited to explore strange new worlds and encounter new life in a vast, ever expanding universe!

                                                                                                                                                                For more information visit their official website.

                                                                                                                                                                The Interview: World of Tanks

                                                                                                                                                                World of Tanks

                                                                                                                                                                World of Tanks Interview

                                                                                                                                                                There are a lot of free-to-play MMO’s out there, but just like paid MMO’s there are the great ones and the rest and World of Tanks is definitely one of the great ones. A number of us here at Obsolete Gamer began playing World of Tanks right after E3 2011 and are still playing to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                World of Tanks is massive multiple team based tank fighting game where you choose from a number of World War one and two era tanks from Russia, Germany and the U.S. You start out with older smaller tanks and as you level up you upgrade the tanks and unlock new ones. You level up by playing in team based matches where the objective is to destroy all the rival tanks or capture their base.

                                                                                                                                                                That is a very general description to a game that while easy to play has a level of complexity to it any gamer would enjoy. Not only do you need to understand each tank, not only the ones you own, but the ones you are going up against, but you need to understand the map layouts and work with your team because victory brings more points than defeat.

                                                                                                                                                                The game is free to play however you can purchase gold in the game that allows you to buy game time giving you a boost in experience points and a different garage to hold your tanks. You can also purchase special ammo, tanks and more garage slots using gold, but you can play and enjoy the game without spending a dime.

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr0rMAjX5g0[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Jeremy Monroe, general manager for Wargaming America about World of Tanks and the upcoming patch for the game.

                                                                                                                                                                World of Tanks is becoming wildly popular. What do you think has made the game so popular with gamers?

                                                                                                                                                                Tanks! Who doesn’t love Tanks? The game’s a great deal of fun to play and the community is fantastic. I believe we really hit a sweet spot in the market. We’re part shooter, action, strategy and mmo coupled with a respect for the historical authenticity of the era. World of Tanks is compelling for gamers at any level. It’s fun and it’s free.

                                                                                                                                                                Do you find the free-to-play model works best for games such as yours?

                                                                                                                                                                Free to Play is a great model for most, if not all games. It really puts gamers in a position to have quality choices and the industry in a position to showcase fantastic titles, unique gameplay and innovative features. The evolution of the industry has been tremendous with the widespread adoption of the free-to-play model.  Given the quality of the game, its design and the merging of so many popular genres, we knew the model was perfect for World of Tanks and gamers.

                                                                                                                                                                 There have been questions about balance where lower tier tanks keep getting in matches with higher tier tanks. Can you tell us a bit about that and any changes you are working on?

                                                                                                                                                                We’re constantly adjusting the match making system to provide challenging but evenly matched battles at every level. With that said, consideration must be given to the number of players and the tiers of the tanks being queued. It’s a difficult balance to strike. On one hand, you want fair and evenly-matched battles and on the other, you want short queues for the players. It’s a key priority for us to strike that balance and we’re constantly growing, evolving and getting better over time.

                                                                                                                                                                World of Tanks

                                                                                                                                                                Third party add-ons like skins for tanks and the crosshairs are becoming popular. Do you have plans to add your own skins and add-ons?

                                                                                                                                                                Yes; in our 7.0 update we’ll be introducing a number of cool features like that including camouflage; the camo will be true to the era so no pink bunnies or rainbows.

                                                                                                                                                                What can we expect in the next update and content patches in the near future?

                                                                                                                                                                We try to update every month with fixes and upgrades but it’s also critical we listen to our community and continue to evolve World of Tanks with significant changes that include new compelling features, maps and of course more bad ass TANKS!

                                                                                                                                                                Our newest update will include  –

                                                                                                                                                                • A new Fishing Bay map
                                                                                                                                                                • New tier 4-5 light tanks: Т-50, Т-50-2, VK2801, M24 Chaffee
                                                                                                                                                                • Tier 6 American tanks M4A3E2

                                                                                                                                                                You can always find the newest information here – http://game.worldoftanks.com/in_development

                                                                                                                                                                With the recent announcement of World of Warplanes and World of Battleships, are there future plans to integrate both games with World of Tanks? And will there be universal Clan War maps where tanks, planes, and ships will partake?

                                                                                                                                                                Right now the 3 games will not be integrated into one world…but as this is a constantly evolving game with innovative designers behind it there is never a definite “No”. As for clan wars, we are looking at being able to bring the 3 games together into that world. We’ll update you as soon as we get more information.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                People are reporting on forums that World of Tanks will be released in a retail box form. Any information as to when it will be released and what it contains? Any plans for a collector’s edition?

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, we are releasing a box in North America; it will be in stores Sept 1st at the top retailers. The box will be $19.99 and includes $30 worth of in-game items. We are looking at a collector’s edition but we want to make sure it is truly compelling for our players. We’ll certainly keep you posted as we finalize our plans.

                                                                                                                                                                Besides the three current armies (USSR, Germany, USA) represented in World of Tanks; are there any more that will be added in the future?

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, definitely. French Tanks will be introduced very soon (here is a peek – Wot Facebook) and as you can see with the new additions to the German tank lines: Pz.VI Tiger (P), VK 4502 (P) Ausf. A, E-50, Е-75, Е-100 and two new premium tanks T-15, T-25, we are always expanding the current roster of tanks.

                                                                                                                                                                Right now the Clan Wars map takes place in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Are there future plans to add more map locations, like the Pacific region? 

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, currently Clan Wars is still in beta but we will be expanding. Eventually clans can compete for global domination.

                                                                                                                                                                Are there any plans to add special tanks or tanks skins that are purchasable if your clan holds certain objectives or territories?

                                                                                                                                                                We’re definitely looking into these options and many other ways to reward and recognize the top clans for playing well. Unfortunately, I can’t go into further details at this time but we hope to be able to present it to our players very soon.

                                                                                                                                                                You can download and play World of Tanks for free at – http://www.worldoftanks.com/

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                World of Battleships Weighs Anchor

                                                                                                                                                                It is no secret that a lot of the staff here at Obsolete Gamer is deep into World of Tanks, but now there might be more fighting action to comes with the announcement of World of Battleships. World of Battleships will be a free-to-play MMO based on epic sea battles of the 20th century. This series will complete the World of trilogy of World of Tanks and World of Planes.

                                                                                                                                                                Here is more from their press released:

                                                                                                                                                                World_of_Battleships_Gameplay

                                                                                                                                                                Keeping with the best traditions of the series, World of Battleships will offer a straightforward interface, easy-to-use controls, and a common economic system that will allow players to distribute resources between the three games for the ultimate progress in each of them.

                                                                                                                                                                The large assortment of available warships will give various tactical opportunities, as all the machines have a unique combination of firepower, speed, armor, and endurance. Various naval maps with changing weather conditions will enrich the gameplay, and the realistic graphics will transport players into the epic battles that changed the course of human history.

                                                                                                                                                                Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi. States, “Humans always needed to conquer the elements — earth, water and air. With World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Battleships we will offer players to conquer all, simultaneously.” 

                                                                                                                                                                Champions Online: Free for All Update

                                                                                                                                                                The free-to-play superhero MMO has added a bunch of new features in their latest release. Let is the rundown:

                                                                                                                                                                Hideouts:

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                hideout

                                                                                                                                                                Every hero should have a place to call home and get away from it all. Hideouts come in four themed sets—Basement, Cave, Moon and Sanctum—and allow you to customize, socialize and create a unique space all to your hero’s own.
                                                                                                                                                                In this first Hideouts release, you can choose from among these Phase One thematic options:

                                                                                                                                                                • Mom’s Basement
                                                                                                                                                                • Industrial Cave
                                                                                                                                                                • Sci-fi Moonbase
                                                                                                                                                                • Mystic Sanctum
                                                                                                                                                                To learn more about Hideouts, check out screens and watch the Hideouts Preview Trailer, visit the Hideouts info page. You’ll also find instructions there on how Gold Members can claim their FREE Phase One Hideout, as well as how to purchase additional Hideouts and customize them to fit your hero’s tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Aftershock Comic Series Finale:
                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                The final issue of our Aftershock Comic Series is now available! Issue 6: The King is Dead puts you face-to-face with the Kings of Edom in a struggle to prevent the Earth’s catastrophic destruction. To find out how it all plays out, log in and play this final issue of the series. Don’t miss out on special Comic Series Rewards and Item Drops as you play through the exciting conclusion of Aftershock!

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Dark Ages Fantasy Costume Set:
                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                The age of chivalry is back! Your hero will feel like fashion royalty with this medieval costume pack. And as an added bonus, this fantasy set includes the Medium Blade Rapier and Heavy Weapon Royal Scepter. Now available to purchase in the C-Store.costume
                                                                                                                                                                If you’re interested in becoming a Gold Member, please visit our online store.Thank you for your continued support and we’ll see you soon in Millennium City!- The Champions Online Team

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Age of Conan: Unchained

                                                                                                                                                                Age of Conan Unchained

                                                                                                                                                                The free-to-play revolution continues with Age of Conan. Gamers can now play Age of Conan for free. This applies to new subscriptions as well as old ones. Here is the official announcement.

                                                                                                                                                                Great change has taken place in Hyboria since you last were with us!

                                                                                                                                                                Age of Conan: Unchained‘ has arrived, and with this we have changed the business model of the game! ‘Age of Conan‘ offers an alternative to the Premium Membership: you can now enjoy the game free of charge!

                                                                                                                                                                This comes in addition to lots of new content (new dungeons, systems, render engine, optimizations and hardcore PvP server to list some) – so grasp your longsword and join us in Hyboria!

                                                                                                                                                                So – your account is now active, your character is available (if above level 20) and you can log in and play for FREE right now!

                                                                                                                                                                Screenshots

                                                                                                                                                                As part of the celebration, we are giving away a free item too! For each character you log in before the 21st of July, you will unlock a brand new decorative cape!

                                                                                                                                                                With this we have also launched an in-game store that offers a wide variety of items to help you on your journeys through Hyboria! The store has items and services for all character levels.

                                                                                                                                                                Click here to download the client

                                                                                                                                                                Click here to go to your account page

                                                                                                                                                                Click here to learn more about the game and recent updates.

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GESzNCBnphk[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                We plan to check it out and report back on how it is. If you have experience let us know what you think of this change.

                                                                                                                                                                Subscription MMO’s soon to be a thing of the past?

                                                                                                                                                                DDO Free-to-play

                                                                                                                                                                Is the writing on the wall that paying monthly for MMO’s is soon to be a thing of the past? When some of us started playing text based adventures the idea of paying by the minute for internet service was acceptable, but soon unlimited plans became the way of the land and everyone had to jump on board. Fast forward to the early days of Everquest, when the decision was made to raise the price of their monthly subscription. The player base revolted saying EQ would be done for if this move was made, but as how addiction works, we continued playing.

                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps that was a turning point, when these companies knew they could push their customers just far enough if their game was good/addictive enough to keep people from quitting. We learned with games such as Asheron’s Call 2, that if a game sucks people will run away, but we also learned that if a game is good enough one could make money without being number one.

                                                                                                                                                                When World of Warcraft exploded the common wisdom was that no other company would dethrone Blizzard anytime soon, but they could offer an alternative, just enough to make a profit. We saw a boom of new MMO’s show up with many I am sure you have never heard of. However, many of these MMO’s were turning a profit, enough to keep going and the industry thought things would level off.

                                                                                                                                                                guild-wars

                                                                                                                                                                When Guild Wars dumped the idea of monthly subscriptions, many people laughed at the idea. Even after the early failure of Everquest 2, most MMO’s were doing fine even in the large shadow cast by World of Warcraft. Not everyone was laughing because not only was Guild Wars a good game, but there was not a model that could be used that had already been used with many Asian MMO’s.

                                                                                                                                                                When we first saw a MMO go free-to-play it was thought that it meant a game was failing and in many cases that was true. Games like Age of Conan saw a mass exodus, but it was still salvageable so going free-to-play made sense. The same happened with Lord of the Rings, less players, but worth keeping up.

                                                                                                                                                                When Sony Online Entertainment launched the Everquest 2 free-to-play it became more common place to offer a subscription service alongside a free-to-play where you could sell additional perks and services. Not only did that extra revenue work for the free-to-play side, but for the subscription side as well.

                                                                                                                                                                Now seeing MMO’s go free-to-play alongside a subscription service is a normal occurrence. If the game is older, like City of Heroes it may bring in new blood. If the game is newer, like DC Universe Online it may give a dying game some new life. In SOE’s case if nothing else, they can convince their subscribers to go All Access to help pad their subscription numbers.

                                                                                                                                                                aoc_free-to-play

                                                                                                                                                                Even the MMO superpower World of Warcraft has seen its numbers drop sharply and not just people who stop logging in but keep their account active. Blizzard has been losing subscribers by the boatload and they are not just waiting for the next expansion, they want a new game. On the horizon, we have Old Republic. While it looks as if this game will be a hit so did DCUO.

                                                                                                                                                                There are many gamers from the early EQ days that consider themselves retired from MMO’s for a variety of reasons. Some of the newer gamers are burned out and they experienced an over saturation of MMO’s some good, some not so good, but the key was there were too many to subscribe to. Now many people are getting used to the free-to-play model and with W.O.W. perhaps beginning its slide down, the field may open up. Not to one dominate MMO, but a widening choice were you don’t have to slap down $50 plus $14.99 just to see if it makes it past the first month or not.

                                                                                                                                                                Studies show that if you charge ten bucks for a 15-episode television show, it may or may not sell well, but if you offer each episode for 99 cents, you will end up making more money in the long run. If you play a game for free and a one-time fee of five bucks gets you that new mount you will feel more inclined to buy it. American’s have run into debt because we don’t realize a three dollar cup of coffee three times a week is four hundred and sixty-eight dollars a year.

                                                                                                                                                                everquest 2 free to play

                                                                                                                                                                Only time will tell how free-to-play will change the MMO landscape. For those of us who can enjoy a game and walk away it may become a great opportunity to experience many new games. For those that have to have it all, it may start up a new debate about MMO addiction and how people go broke by purchasing a two-dollar sword here and a ten-dollar name change there. Think it cannot happen, look for the headlines on Second Life where people pay two hundred bucks a month for a virtual condo. Kind of makes you wonder why they didn’t think of this sooner.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                World of Warcraft: Free till level 20

                                                                                                                                                                World-of-WarCraft-Cataclysm

                                                                                                                                                                It looks as if the wave of lowering prices in MMO’s continues. Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft will be replacing its 14-day trial with a free-to-play of sorts until you reach level 20.

                                                                                                                                                                Here is part of their statement:

                                                                                                                                                                “We’ve removed the previous 10- and 14-day trial time restrictions, and players who are interested in trying out World of Warcraft can now play the base game for free up to a maximum character level of 20, including draenei and blood elf characters—all they need is a Battle.net account and an Internet connection,” Blizzard explained in a statement. If you ran through a previous 14-day trial, you can go back to your character and continue to play from the point you left the game if you’d like, but the level cap will be set at 20.

                                                                                                                                                                This is a kin to giving you a taste of crack for free, but then comes the kicker, the new lower price.

                                                                                                                                                                Blizzard goes on to say:

                                                                                                                                                                …players will be able to get both the original World of Warcraft and the game’s first expansion set, The Burning Crusade, for only $19.99 as part of the new digital Battle Chest now available in the online Blizzard Store. In addition, anyone who owns the original World of Warcraft, regardless of when they purchased the game, will automatically be able to access all of the content and features from The Burning Crusade expansion at no additional cost.

                                                                                                                                                                So they pull you in with a free taste and then hit you with a low cost. I wonder if there is a specific reason for this move besides forcing other companies to compete with their prices. We already learned Sony Online Entertainment is lowering their subscription rates and with more and more MMO’s heading to free-to-play it looks like the online gaming world is changing.

                                                                                                                                                                Now the question is, is it changing for the better?

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                SOE: Dropping Subscription rates like it’s hot

                                                                                                                                                                soe

                                                                                                                                                                On the road to free-to-play Sony Online Entertainment sent out a e-mail to all of its customers informing them of their lowering of subscription rates for their online games.

                                                                                                                                                                As a result of feedback from many of our customers, we recently undertook a full review of our game pass (subscription) pricing for SOE PC-based games, in order to achieve the following:

                                                                                                                                                                1.Better rates for our loyal customers who choose to sign up for our longer term plans.
                                                                                                                                                                2.Prices that are on par with other MMO game prices – in all countries.

                                                                                                                                                                We are therefore pleased to inform you that we are reducing many of our game pass prices. There is no need for you to take any action – if you play a game for which we have lowered the game pass price, the new, lower rate will be applied on your next billing date.

                                                                                                                                                                If you purchased a 3, 6 or 12 month game pass from us between May 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM PST and June 27, 2011 at 11:59 PST, we have credited you with additional game time per the table below. This credited game time has been added to the end of your current game time. The new rate for your recurring plan will take effect after your credited time ends.

                                                                                                                                                                I think a few key points are better rates for our loyal customers which translates to, “please don’t leave us.”

                                                                                                                                                                Prices on par with other MMO games means, “Free-to-play is killing us.”

                                                                                                                                                                Here is the link to their new pricing chart – http://www.soe.com/gamepass/

                                                                                                                                                                Now take a close look at the game line up and the price for all access. Do you doubt that the price is because each one of those games are on the massive decline and with Star Wars Galaxies being killed off recently there is not much left for SOE.

                                                                                                                                                                So the question is, will this help SOE in the long run?

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                City of Heroes Freedom

                                                                                                                                                                city_of_heroes_freedom

                                                                                                                                                                After several years and a ton of expansions, the first superhero MMO is set to offer a free to play version of its game. Recently publisher NCSoft and developer Paragon Studios laid out their plan to offer a free-to-play version of their successful MMO.

                                                                                                                                                                For veterans of the game you can keep your subscription and become a VIP member, which will grant you additional features, services and rewards. People who are new to COH will also be able to choose between the free-to-play game and the subscription service.

                                                                                                                                                                Here is a comparison chart breaking down the differences.

                                                                                                                                                                The move to free-to-play hopes to bring in new heroes to Paragon City. As expected with more MMO’s being created almost every month it seems and the addition of two other superhero MMO’s since COH’s launch it is understandable that this move was made. In addition, many MMO’s have decided to go this route and many more (cough – DC Universe Online – cough) look to be headed that way.

                                                                                                                                                                Free-to-play for City of Heroes is set to launch this fall.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Cryptic Studio Has Moved On But Have Their Games?: Star Trek Edition


                                                                                                                                                                For those of you eagerly waiting for this review after the sudden ending of the previous portion of this two-part article, I apologize. I wasn’t having problems with time or just pure laziness. No, I had problems with how to word my feelings towards Star Trek Online and how best to give an honest review without completely belittling the game. I know, I know. You’re used to that kind of response from me but I decided to be a bit more delicate with how I explain the faults and pluses of STO.

                                                                                                                                                                So here goes…

                                                                                                                                                                It is laughable to think that Cryptic Studios thinks of STO as an MMORPG. While all the big boys in the room strut their stuff with content, gameplay, character growth, and easily defined instructions, Star Trek Online stumbles and fumbles around the room like a drunk teenage girl at a frat party. At the end of the night, the only ones with a grin on their faces are the real MMOs while STO is dabbing off semen from its face with wet naps.


                                                                                                                                                                Wow… I feel uncomfortable reading this. I’m going to just-

                                                                                                                                                                What could possess me to attack Star Trek Online in such an unrelenting manner? Is it because I could barely give the game a shot beyond level 4? Yes, it is! I got to level 11 in FF XIV and that game is the equivalent of dining on Indian food , beautiful to look at but horrible to digest. I have never been unable to hit at least level 10 in an MMORPG but Star Trek Online managed to prove me wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                That sounds horrible, Mr. Khan! Why was it so god awful?

                                                                                                                                                                That’s an easy question to answer, Little Timmy. The game’s initial tutorial manages to be not only fast paced but slow at the same time. There’s a ton of jargon thrown around that doesn’t make sense to begin with and there isn’t much of an explanation as to what any of it means. All I got from the tutorial was that I could shoot lasers and photon torpedoes when I’m in my ship and when I’m on a ground mission I can shoot laser beams and “backstab” the enemy when I attack from their blindside. There really isn’t a clear definition in the beginning what role your class plays or what kind of ships you are able to command. I was certain I was limited to Science Ships since I chose the Scientist profession but I later found out from a friend that I could pilot any ship. Oh, that’s fucking fantastic to know.


                                                                                                                                                                For those of you who enjoy looking at your character and face stomping the enemy while adoring how badass you made your Vulcan or Custom Alien, sorry to disappoint but the game is lacking in ground missions and you are spending most of your time viewing the ass tail of your ship. How engrossing! Yes, you can customize your ship but the differences aren’t that vast aside from size. The ship customization is as in-depth as the shape variations presented in a Lego Kit. Everything is a block except some are half a blocks! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo!

                                                                                                                                                                From a game with such an absorbing avatar customization, it’s a shame that you spend your time running slow naval circles around enemy space bandits. As far as I could grasp the tactic was to go half speed and adjust your acceleration and deceleration to complete this amazingly slow circle strafe around your enemy to knock out their shields and ass fuck them with photon torpedoes. Combat got repetitive quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                The game’s missions were probably the most bland I’ve ever seen in an MMO post 2006. “What was that, Ensign? There’s no one in the quadrant? I guess everything is… Oh my god! Space Bandits out of fucking nowhere!” That was as in depth as the missions got at level 4. They didn’t want to showcase more early on maybe because there wasn’t anything left to show.

                                                                                                                                                                The ground missions were probably the worst part about leveling. I should be excited to see my captain running about shooting bitches in the face and parachuting off planet sized drills like in the movie, right? Too bad! I was limited to picking up resources on a planet and randomly getting jumped by “Unknown villain #3” and then transporting back to the ship. Oh wait, I forgot. There were more options. I was able to go to a mining site to speak with a couple of diggers to see how they felt about their jobs and report back to their manager. Yup! They called in the space fleets special forces to settle a dispute about a broken holodeck in the break room.

                                                                                                                                                                "Come on, Team! Lets pick up some rocks!"

                                                                                                                                                                Now, I understand I have been harsh on the game and there is a reason for that. If STO were a free to play MMORPG, I would dress it with every accolade known in the universe. A free to play space RPG? Sign me up! Let me have fleeting moments of fun!

                                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately, the game isn’t F2P. It’s Pay to Play and it’s $15 a fucking month. This game has a huge pair of balls to even consider charging people. Cryptic was fortunate enough that people even purchased fucking the game. It has the depth of a game developed for a smart phone.

                                                                                                                                                                STO lacks the environment, quests, gameplay, and depth of games like World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, and even City of Heroes. Quite a bold statement coming from a level 4 Lieutenant, right? That’s why I’m not saying for people to keep away from this game. Play it if you like, it’s your money. I personally don’t see the justification of this game being $15 a month. You’d probably find more fun in Runescape for a cheaper price.

                                                                                                                                                                Perfect Worlds purchased this title when they acquired Cryptic Studios. What potential they see in this hunk of shit I will never know. The game is an MMO-abomination and is better served on a free to play model or simply a box sale model like Guild Wars. Then and maybe then it would be worth the time it takes to patch and login. Until that unlikely day comes about, STO will remain uninstalled and far, far away from my computer.

                                                                                                                                                                Cryptic Studios Has Moved On But Have Their Games?


                                                                                                                                                                For those of you in the dark about the current state of Cryptic Studios, the group that created mega super hero sensation titles like City of Heroes and… that’s it, their sugar daddy decided it was time for a split. Apparently MMO’s cost a lot of money to produce and maintain and ones that fail to meet an expected revenue end up emptying the wallets of publishers. Cryptic Studios made two games that fell short of those expectations. One, Champions Online, fell flat on its face while another, Star Trek Online, didn’t have the staying power to hold subscriptions before another mass MMO exodus ate the expensive IP dry. Sure they have a healthy population for the amount of content they offer but it is not enough to earn back the losses suffered by Atari, the previously mentioned sugar daddy.

                                                                                                                                                                What does Atari do now? They decided continue to maintain Cryptic Studios projects while they put up a professional Craigslist ad for someone to buy them. Who went to grab them? Perfect Worlds did! Yes, Perfect Fucking Worlds! Not knocking the company that released amazing games like Torchlight and… that’s it, but this move shows how the company is beginning to make strides into the US online gaming market.

                                                                                                                                                                So, did Perfect Worlds make a worthwhile purchase? I decided to suffer the pain of what could possibly be the equivalent of removing my arm with a blunt saw to find out so you don’t have to!

                                                                                                                                                                First up, I decided to try out Champions Online. Awhile back I did play Champions Online when it was in Beta and then during release and I wasn’t exactly satisfied with the flow of the game and the cluster fuck of their free form power system. Was I going to suffer the same kind of fate?

                                                                                                                                                                No, I did not! Champions Online has made some great improvements to help with the disaster of their free form system. First of all, with their free to play model you can’t go with the free form system and are limited with a couple of premade archetypes that have to fill out a certain role. Why is this a positive thing? Before, everyone just made whatever they wanted and just blew everything up. There were barely any real tanks or healers and it promoted uber recommended builds rather than true individuality. With its current archetype system, you get some diversity but not full free reign.

                                                                                                                                                                As for content, the game originally released by throwing you into a city wide disaster during a Qularr invasion, handing you a key to the city, and then shipping you the fuck off to a desert or to the Canadian Wilderness. Nothing makes a hero feel more welcomed to the world than being kicked out of the city and immediately transported off to regions they have no interest in. Now after 3(?) content packs and a revamped quest line where you start your adventures in the city for a good amount of time before being sent away, the game has everything you might want to find in a super hero MMO.

                                                                                                                                                                With so many costume customization options for your characters, a decent trade skill system, and powers and goods that can be purchased from the C-Store, the game really excels when it comes to being free and a pay to play.

                                                                                                                                                                Is it really worth it as a viable free to play model? Definitely! With heavy customization, a decent amount of content that can be expanded through the C-Store marketplace it runs on a great free to play model with an amazing community that will keep you there for a decent month or two.

                                                                                                                                                                Now is the game worth $15 a month? I would say yes! With all the features previously mentioned topped with a great community, someone who is active with the players they game with will find Champions Online engrossing enough to stick around for a month or two as well.

                                                                                                                                                                End of part 1. Part 2 to conclude with Star Trek Online.

                                                                                                                                                                EQ2 Has The Worst Players On Erf!


                                                                                                                                                                Everquest 2, you know I love you girl, but these fools that be playin’ you… damn girl. You are littered with them! Horrible, atrocious, vomit inducing players run amok on the fair lands of Norrath like ticks sucking on, well, their own suck!

                                                                                                                                                                Oh boy, here we go! Another biased opinion about a game and the one isolated event that brands an entire community. Go back to WoW, fag! Lolololololol

                                                                                                                                                                Shut up, baby doll. Daddy’s talking.

                                                                                                                                                                I have played many, many MMORPGs. The kind of person who would rather play solo than mingle with the masses is not how one would describe this guy right here, the Great Umar Khan. Nope. I like to get involved with the community. I like to remember names, experiences, and how well I match with certain people in a team based environment. 1999, fellas! No yearlong breaks from the genre. I’ve slutted my way into many a community with my impeccable social and gaming skills.

                                                                                                                                                                You come off as an asshole!

                                                                                                                                                                Bollocks, I say!

                                                                                                                                                                Back on topic, of all the games I’ve played, loved, and also “hit it and quit it”; Everquest 2 has some of the worst players in any MMORPG. Despite my feelings for EQ2, her only flaw in my eyes are the ones who entertain themselves on a daily basis with her company.

                                                                                                                                                                Warcraft has the worst players, you homo!

                                                                                                                                                                Quiet, you anti-Semite!

                                                                                                                                                                That doesn’t even-

                                                                                                                                                                Someone mentioned my name!

                                                                                                                                                                I’m not saying that all players in EQ2 are bad. Every game has bad players but EQ2’s players are in a league of their own. Bertoxxulous really outdid himself with his latest plague of stupid and unskillfulness that has infected the playerbase.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                As a troubadour, should I be out DPSing the wizards? If your answer is a yes with a hint of implied inquiry in the tone then you should understand the absurd level of shock I had leveling my flamboyant bard on the Permafrost server. More often than none was I the top DPS of the group or only outdone by a Shadow Knight tank. Very few came close to my numbers unless I was in the rare group where someone wasn’t busy watching their kids.

                                                                                                                                                                House wives, why are they even allowed to be playing EQ2? Shouldn’t they be busy playing Sims and Farmville? They have no place in trying to understand parses and pie charts from ACT. They can barely grasp how a Chocolate Cow in Farmville produces Chocolate Milk. Here’s a hint. IT’S A FUCKING CHOCOLATE COW!

                                                                                                                                                                The skillfulness to push buttons in a certain order isn’t even as mind blowing as the level of stupidity that sums up the vastly growing amount of total shit tanks in the level 70 range. How stupid can they be? One occasion I remember better than the others would be of the tank I kept asking to repair. We were at The Estate of Unrest and this gallivanting Berserker of worldly renown (/sarcasm off) had destroyed armor. I don’t know if its because he tried to tank while using a 2handed weapon despite our pleads for mercy or his claims that he could tank Bugaboo notwithstanding numerous attempts ending with the monstrous haunt face planting our tank into an early grave but this underdeveloped Neanderthal stood out like a golden ring at the bottom of a clear riverbed. We were all in the voice chat channel and finally his slack jawed Midwest accent began to wear thin on my patience. Stupidity spewed forth from his mouth like shit from my asshole after eating at Chipotle. How he managed to even understand how to set up his headset astounds me to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                “Hey dude, your armor is broken. Go repair. We’ll wait for you.”

                                                                                                                                                                “WAH!”

                                                                                                                                                                “Multiple pieces are 0%. You can’t tank like that especially when you’re using a two-hander.”

                                                                                                                                                                “WAH!”

                                                                                                                                                                “Because your durability has gone down the drain. Just go repair. I’ll go with you. I can teleport us back.”

                                                                                                                                                                “WAH can’t I tank with a Two-Hander if my armor is broken? I don’t get WAH!”

                                                                                                                                                                “Are you fucking with me right now?”

                                                                                                                                                                I’m cutting the reiterated blabbering short but to sum it up, I eventually convinced him to go repair after 5-6 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                God, this editorial is getting long and I hope you’re still with me because there is more!

                                                                                                                                                                The community in EQ2 believes it to be okay for people to go AFK during a dungeon crawl. I can’t even count with the fingers on my hands and toes on my feet how many times we had an AFK leecher in our group. If it’s a guy, there might be someone bringing up the occasional “lol is this guy coming back?” But Lord forbid if it’s a fucking woman, though! She will AFK the entire session or return right before the boss. She’ll join the fucking group and then say “Hey guys, I’m cooking dinner at the same time. Give me a second.” That second turns to minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, and days into eons! An exaggeration? Perhaps! But a bitch shouldn’t join a fucking group if she has something else to do! “Oh hey guys! What are we doing? Crushbone? Okay I’ll be the healer. By the way, I gotta drive to the corner market for a second! Don’t kick me :)”

                                                                                                                                                                Fuck! There are just so many other instances where this category of shit has happened to me in only EQ2 but I don’t think I can get into all of them with my trademark long winded bantering! Fuck it all to hell!

                                                                                                                                                                I know I could easily deny myself of these experiences if I only made my own group and wrote off some of these people with my own iron fist ruling. Trust me, I have! I don’t take shit when I’m group leader. I don’t like having my time wasted while someone is eating shit in real life. This is my break before real life kicks in and you’re ruining those precious few hours I have. There are just sometimes where it’s easier to join an already forming group than taking the reins into your own hands.

                                                                                                                                                                Some of you may not agree. You might feel that my little experiences are biased and that I must hate women, that I’m a fat virgin. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re wrong. And maybe, just maybe, you’re a cum dumpster too! If that’s the case, EQ2 is the game for you.

                                                                                                                                                                The Alienware M11x r2 Review

                                                                                                                                                                Alienware M11x r2

                                                                                                                                                                Let me start by saying this review is more for the casual gamer meaning it will not be filled with charts and graphs and a ton of numbers that most would not understand. There are a ton of super technical reviews on the Alienware M11x r2 that provide every benchmark number and rating score you will ever need, this, is for the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                                                Why purchase a gaming laptop?

                                                                                                                                                                For the causal gamer one might wonder why you need a gaming laptop. My answer would be that you don’t, but the great thing about gaming laptops is they have the power for everything else you would need to do so why not have the ability to play games as well?

                                                                                                                                                                Far too often, we as computer shoppers select a low cost laptop to save money knowing we want one that we will not have to replace within a year and one we secretly wish we could play games on. Perhaps paying $1500 plus for a gaming laptop would not be for us, but at $1000 you are not too far away from laptops you find even on sites like Tech Bargains.

                                                                                                                                                                If you know you like to game and especially if you like MMO’s then having the ability to pull out a gaming laptop and play those games anywhere is well worth the price.

                                                                                                                                                                Alienware M11x r2

                                                                                                                                                                Price

                                                                                                                                                                Most reviews do not start with the price, but this is not like most reviews. The M11x can be purchased starting at $1000 on the Alienware website. At the price you can get more than enough to run most of the games a causal gamer would playing including FPS, RTS and MMO games.

                                                                                                                                                                The Outside

                                                                                                                                                                Do looks matter? Sure, they do just ask Apple, the Alienware M11x does look sleek, like a stealth bomber. The all black styling of the laptop goes well with almost any décor and let’s face it, it looks good either at home or out in public. I have had a number of people comment on the system specifically the neon-like light coming from all over it.

                                                                                                                                                                Speaking of lighting there are several zones of the computer that light up from the keyboard to the grills on the front and the little Alienware heads. The great this is using a program built in called Alienware FX, you can change all the colors to what suits you and you can even mix and match them for a funky clown look if you wish.

                                                                                                                                                                Outside Details

                                                                                                                                                                Let us go into some specifics about the outside. First off, the laptop weights about 4.4 pounds and while that may seem heavy to some in the day of the iPad it is still pretty light. There are three USB 2.0 ports, to connect things like mice, a HDMI and Display Port to connect a monitor, FireWire and a headphone jack for audio privacy. There is also a place for a special Kensington lock, which you buy separately so you can lock your laptop to a desk or somewhere else it cannot be stolen from.

                                                                                                                                                                Alienware M11x r2

                                                                                                                                                                The Inside

                                                                                                                                                                As said, there can be debates on which processor works best with this program or that game, but for the purpose of this review we will keep it simple. For the$1000 version of the M11x you get the Intel Core i5 1.4GHz processor. From what I have found using it, it does the job for the games I play and the programs I use, but I will go into that shortly.

                                                                                                                                                                Next you have the memory which at that price you receive 4GB’s. If you really get into gaming big time and you want the newest game on the highest setting then people will tell you to go with an 8GB or higher system. I personally do not have that on my desktop and do fine and with 4GB you have more than enough RAM for most any task you will be doing gaming or otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                As for hard drive space, that decision is made based on how much you store and install. At the $1000 price, you get 320GB’s, which is a lot of space. Considering you have a desktop at home, you most likely do not need all this space.  Even if you do not and the laptop is your sole computer, unless you install every game and have a music and video collection out of this world then you should be fine. However, Alienware offers more hard drive options that offer more space.

                                                                                                                                                                Video is of course very important not only because of games, but everything visual on your system. Here it can get tricky because there are desktops and even some laptops that offer dual video cards in SLI and all kinds of options. The video card on the $1000 system is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M and I have found it works great for the games I play and for watching video in high def.

                                                                                                                                                                The rest

                                                                                                                                                                There are other things of note that come with the M11x like its wireless network card, which is necessary for gaming on the go. The system also has a standard network port to plug it in at home, the office, and school or where have you. The operating system is Windows 7 home premium 64-bit, which I have used on my desktop for quite some time. I personally think this is the third best O/S behind Win 95 SE and Win XP, so you should not have any trouble here.

                                                                                                                                                                Alienware M11x r2

                                                                                                                                                                Usage

                                                                                                                                                                This is what matters, but it is also, where it depends on what you do. First off, let us talk battery life, with the 8-cell battery under normal usage I have found you get a little over 5 hours of battery life, but if you are playing games, it will be less than that.

                                                                                                                                                                As for gaming itself, I tried the Alienware M11x in the game World of Warcraft in its native resolution of 1366×768 and was able to run the game with full graphical features with no issues even in heavy populated zones. Perhaps the key is the smaller screen, which is 11.6 inches, which can seem small when you have a user interface with a ton of icons, but I found I was able to get used to it.

                                                                                                                                                                In a game like Everquest 2 that uses more CPU power, I also received good frame rates even in open zones. Now I was not able to max everything out in EQ2 specially the shadows, but I was able to crank up the texture models and general graphics to make the game look great and playable even in a raid.

                                                                                                                                                                Other games I have played include Fallout 3, which ran fine, a number of Steam games and emulators since I am a classic gamer. I also played StarCraft 2, which ran fine. I also run various programs like Ventrilo for communication and Digsby, which is an all in one instant messaging client. I also run Firefox with four or more windows open at the same time to check websites and information, all while playing a game usually in windowed mode.

                                                                                                                                                                As for sound, it sounds much better than your normal laptop, but we have to be honest that even though it has internal Hi-Def 5.1 audio it does not match what you get out of a good pair of PC speakers. What I found that worked for me was the volume does get high which was an issue on other laptops. Music and games as well as movies will sound good coming out of the M11x and even in a loud room, the speakers are loud enough so you can hear it from the highs to the lows, bass and treble.

                                                                                                                                                                The keyboard feels good and types well even when you are slamming the keys crying for a heal. I never liked the touchpad, but this one is built well and does not easily activate when the heel of my hand brushes against it, still, I perfect a USB or wireless mouse.

                                                                                                                                                                As for warranty, you receive a 1-year plan, which provides hardware support, and of course phone tech support. I cannot say much here because I have not had a need to use it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                Overall

                                                                                                                                                                I personally like this system, I am sure there are things that could be better, but for most of us this system will perfectly fit your need for work, school and gaming. The laptop itself feels sturdy and well build and the cool look is a nice touch, but most important is the price and how it performance and it does both well.

                                                                                                                                                                I you have questions on the m11x r2 from Alienware leave a comment and I will answer them.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                The Obsolete Gamer Show: Your MMO Blueprint Sucks

                                                                                                                                                                Atari and Cryptic Logo

                                                                                                                                                                This week Ignacio and I asked for some topic recommendations via our Facebook fan page. We began the show talking about Ignacio’s continuing addiction to League of Legends and then moved into the  topic of Atari dumping Cryptic like a ugly prom date. In addition, we covered some of the ongoing Sony troubles after being hacked and the future of MMO’s and the fact that the days if pumping out tons of MMO’s to make millions looks to be over.

                                                                                                                                                                The Obsolete Gamer Show: Your MMO Blueprint Sucks

                                                                                                                                                                Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

                                                                                                                                                                Or download our podcast from Itunes

                                                                                                                                                                Dark Age Of Camelot: The Second Coming


                                                                                                                                                                Hell yeah, I choose this deceptive title to make you think we had sort of insider information to a sequel for Mythic’s MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot. You must be pretty upset with me for that and disappointed in the world knowing that a second chance at an upgraded DAOC isn’t coming any time soon. Grim days I tell you, reader.

                                                                                                                                                                Hopefully you haven’t left yet so I can tell you about what I really wanted your attention for. Yes, it does involve Dark Age of Camelot.

                                                                                                                                                                We’re listening, you fat piece of shit.

                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for staying tuned. How long has it been since you’ve enjoyed the glory of RvR? No, I don’t mean the abortion of RvR that was present in Mythic’s failed Warhammer Online game. I mean real RvR. The kind where three realms go head to head on a battlefield, sieging keeps, slaying epic beasts, forming alliances, and claiming the rights to the world’s most powerful relics.

                                                                                                                                                                I know your mind is fluttering with thoughts of a time long ago where PvP in an MMO was actually interesting and purposeful to your entire faction. What would you do if you had a chance to revisit the past? Would you take the reins of life and steer them into the right direction?

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, Umar. Cool story, bro. We can always resub to DAOC and its dwindling population, new rule sets, or play on classic servers for a nominal monthly fee.

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, that’s true. You could do that or…

                                                                                                                                                                You could play the sonuvabitch for free on the Uthgard Free Shard server. Yes, I said free. It is a DAOC emulated server with all the classic rule sets and additional content added from the staff.

                                                                                                                                                                The population is healthy and the community is active. All the instructions to download the game and get it working takes no longer than 5-10mins once the game has been installed. Enjoy your crusade as a proud member of Albion, mystify the world with your fairy magics in Hibernia, or bathe in the blood of the mighty as a Midgardian. That’s it. I have nothing else to say. Go play, haters.

                                                                                                                                                                The Unsurprising Incompetence of Sony


                                                                                                                                                                We all know what’s going on with Sony. For those of you who don’t know, you either don’t game or you live under a rock. The greatest hacking escapade of 2011 has left the company’s loyal consumers hanging on the sideline while they hope to the heavens that their credit card info hasn’t been sold to the highest bidder. If you haven’t cancelled your credit card, asked for a new number, or put out a fraud alert by now it’s best advised you do so now.

                                                                                                                                                                What I really wanted to get into with this article isn’t Sony’s time and time again ability to completely fuck up everything they touch. I want to know why anyone would even remain loyal to this colossal abortion of a company?

                                                                                                                                                                Because Microsoft is the devil, Umar!

                                                                                                                                                                Microsoft can be whatever you want to call it but Xbox Live has provided some of the best online multiplayer entertainment compared to their other console rivals. True, the Xbox live community is immature at best. Again, it is true, most of the games that come out for Xbox are also available on the PC but this isn’t just about comparing PSN to Xbox Live.

                                                                                                                                                                I don’t care about the other consoles. Disregard the Wii, Xbox, or the PC in this decision. Why should someone remain devoted to Sony games or devices? If you can’t get past that, you’re missing the point entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                What is the point then, you fat asshole?

                                                                                                                                                                The point is, as a customer, why should you remain with a company that can’t protect your CC information? Why remain with a company who has been so crippled by the attack they have yet to restart their service? Why remain with a company that markets with an asshat like Kevin Butler? Why remain with a company that barely has anything to show at E3 time and time again and when they do manage to reveal something it becomes an internet meme?

                                                                                                                                                                And this is just with their Playstation portion of the company. They recently announced and moved forward with the shutting down of all Sony Online Entertainment games due to this “intrusion”. That means games like Everquest 2, Everquest… and what other games would be affected by this? Didn’t they seize operations on a huge plethora of their games? I know they have DCUO but how many customers can you upset by bringing that game down? Their ten remaining customers? Big deal. If this assault doesn’t put the nail in the coffin for DCUO then its loyal subscribers are used to be being screwed over and over again.

                                                                                                                                                                For a company that is already struggling to breathe in the MMO market, this setback is going to draw more players to WoW, LOTRO, and/or Rift. How can they recoup their losses? Offer a free month for the month they’re already going to lose? Give away 700 Station Points?
                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the piece of mind, Sony. I’ll enjoy these small tokens of your appreciation for my loyalty while some criminal abuses the shit out of my credit.

                                                                                                                                                                Face it, loyal Sony fanboys. You’re on the Titantic and you can get off the ship and survive or freeze to death in the piercing icy waters of Hell. You aren’t Rose. No one wants to draw you naked. You won’t live through this.

                                                                                                                                                                I know a couple of people who are still riding on Sony’s cock. To them I say you’re a complete moron. Enjoy lubing up your ass with olive oil while this company and its attackers continue to fuck you from behind.

                                                                                                                                                                Now I want to hear from you, the reader. I want to know why on God’s green and polluted Earth would you want to stay with Sony?

                                                                                                                                                                The MMO Separation of Church and State

                                                                                                                                                                It’s been awhile, loyal readers. Yes, I know I’ve been away from awhile and even though some may not care, I am here. I will allow you a moment to shuffle towards your nearest box of tissues to clean up the mess your mayonnaise blaster just shot off.

                                                                                                                                                                Ready now? Good.

                                                                                                                                                                With that embarrassing mishap behind us, let me indulge with you a story of days past. Yes, the story will again involve MMORPGs as the major focus point but do not worry; I will stray from this tired path in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                Years ago, back in 2006 when some of our readers were still teething and dropping goat pebbles in their diapers, there was an archaic game known as World of Warcraft. I’m not sure if many of you have heard of it. The game is incredibly underground with a miniscule population.

                                                                                                                                                                In those golden days, PvP wasn’t about fighting another player for hours. It wasn’t about outlasting foes. It was like how PvP was in almost every other game in existence, including FPS. Fights were quick and fast paced. It wasn’t about every player being Batman and trying to pull off as much bullshit as possible. It was about an Enhancement Shaman with Windfury WTF raping their way to victory. It was about the Mage hiding in the back charging up a Pyroblast combo. It was about a rogue hiding and doing what rogues do best, assassinate.

                                                                                                                                                                For some reason or another, they decided that fights shouldn’t be so quick and involve such a maelstrom of destruction. Thus, resilence was born; a stat aside from PvE defenses where player damage could be mitigated. What were the reasons for this? Was it the ocean of tears from people that were getting taken out by one person? Could it have been the advantages a raid gear character had against hardcore PvPers? Was it so that Arenas weren’t filled with full DPS team ready to leave craters in the wake of their wrath?

                                                                                                                                                                All of those reasons are sound and legit. The one that I felt holds the most truth is the fact that raid geared PvE’ers were capable of casually going to PvP and whirlwinding their way to victory. It is for this reason alone that I believe there was a separation between PvE and PvP.

                                                                                                                                                                What is the purpose of this division? Why is that PvP’ers and PvE’ers must separate from one another? Why couldn’t there be one stat system that to keep things united?

                                                                                                                                                                I understand that PvE’ers are able to acquire gear through a lot of coordination and time and I also understand that PvP matches tend be much shorter than a raid encounter. It wouldn’t be just in rewarding them with equal gear as that would anger the carebear community.

                                                                                                                                                                Resilence only seemed to make sense for Arenas since you generally wanted to last longer in that kind of scenario and it is because of that where I believe Arena gear is the only stat difference that should be available. Mass PvP shouldn’t have this kind of separation.

                                                                                                                                                                Raiders can still raid to get their gear but there could’ve been a more inventive way to reward PvP players. Battlegrounds could have been divided by tiers of difficulty and/or objectives rather than how they are now. The first tier battleground could be the PvP mirror of a heroic where during the battle, mediocre gear drops off of fallen enemy players and whenever a tower was taken down or whichever of the multiple objectives in that match is achieved, a loot roll comes up for players with random loot and of course whenever each objective is completed they are rewarded tokens to use as currency to purchase gear as well. Essentially, it the same mechanic as a heroic instead it is applied to a PvP scenario.

                                                                                                                                                                The next tier could have a much more difficult objective to complete which would take a bit more coordination on the player’s part and so on. This style of loot progression would allow both PvE and PvP gear to be interchangeable. How come dungeons with new mechanics and situations are constantly added but battlegrounds have remained the same?

                                                                                                                                                                What’s sad about this situation is that since World of Warcraft is the staple of a success in the MMO genre, every game is coinciding with this stat system in their games even when it doesn’t make sense. Resilence always appeared to be an arena stat but was quickly pushed into every PvP scenario. Now games like DCUO have toughness instead of defense and Rift has whatever the hell they use. I think it’s toughness versus defense as well but I don’t give a shit. Games where these mechanics are applied don’t even make sense yet they seem to be adopting the format regardless. It causes the PvP experience to force someone in the PvE realm to start from the beginning again and vice versa.

                                                                                                                                                                Don’t these companies think player’s have already enough of this whole “starting over” situation every time a new expansion comes out and they have to grind new factions and gear? This shit isn’t needed. Stop pitting people into these situations and allow PvP and PvE to be interchangeable and not some form of morbid segregation.

                                                                                                                                                                That’s end of that rant but…

                                                                                                                                                                A quick note to other MMORPG companies out there,

                                                                                                                                                                Stop copying World of Warcraft and start being creative. This genre is becoming like the FPS genre where 90% of the games out there want to be Call of Duty and all we get are the same fucking things over and over again. Stop sticking to this format and start getting a creative team together. One day, Blizzard is going to become like Apple and sue you for copying their shit over and over again.

                                                                                                                                                                And before one of you asshole readers say, “WoW isn’t original. It copied EQ, and EQ copied UO, and UO copied Meridian, and Meridian copied—“ Just shut the fuck up. I don’t give a fuck who copied who. Each of those games was vastly different from one another and even the mechanics that were taken from either of those games have evolved from each generation and iteration. Fuck!

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion Q&A

                                                                                                                                                                faxion_logo_final_black

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion online is a upcoming unique MMO that offers combat driven gameplay set against the classic struggle between good and evil or in this case, Heaven and Hell. This free-to-play MMO will offer non-stop action as well as a robust PVP system. Currently, the game is in open beta, so head on over to their website to sign up.

                                                                                                                                                                Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Mike Madden, Creative Director at UTV True Games about Faxion.

                                                                                                                                                                So tell us a little bit about Faxion?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: Faxion Online is our first internally developed product. Faxion is a persistent world MMORPG, build for the competitive player. Players will choose to join the armies of Heaven and Hell, and fight over key locations in the world of Limbo. Each Territory players can fight over is represented through the manifestation of one of the seven deadly sins.

                                                                                                                                                                How did the idea of this game come about?  The theme of Heaven versus Hell is definitely intriguing, what made you want to go with such a storyline?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: Actually it was presented to us as a concept that the company was kicking around. While we did not agree with the initial design, we really liked the idea for the setting. We also knew it was a chance to have some fun and not take religion and death so seriously. So we felt we could take a more “Family Guy” approach and really just take it all over the map in terms of religions, sins and other death related topics.

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion will cover the more serious aspects of Heaven and Hell and the Seven Deadly sins, can you tell us more about what that entails?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: If it’s too serious, then we failed! Heh.

                                                                                                                                                                While we certainly would love people to be introduced to a new religion in the game, by no means are we trying to educate people on one religion versus another. Giving player a few new jokes to use throughout life for various religions, yes, learning actual useable facts to make educated decisions about religion? Hell no…

                                                                                                                                                                We wanted to be sure to have a good time and really find ways of introducing players to the religions we are all familiar with, Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Muslins. At the same time there are some fringe religious groups and cults that offer us just as much if not more material. Scientology, Pastafari and even some cults like the Branch Dividians from our backyard of Waco Tx.

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                Now the game will focus on PVP and territory control, let’s start with the PVP aspect. What will make the PVP in Faxion stand out from other MMO PVP?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: I think players will find quite a few things that will make the PVP in Faxion stand out compared to other games.

                                                                                                                                                                One area we as players really wanted to address was how stale combat can get. We wanted to increase the overall player movement and use of the environment when fighting other players. One thing we do to encourage this movement to our combat, is we use a series of ability cool downs to mitigate how often an ability can be used, and not the traditional casting bar. The majority of our attacks can be cast while on the move. This delivers a natural ebb and flow to the experience.

                                                                                                                                                                We also have our multi-classing system which does not dictate what you play as a character. Its freedom of character creation really adds to the mix of PVP, when you just can’t be all too sure what your enemy may decide to use against you.

                                                                                                                                                                The other thing we allow is that you can start PvPing as early as you want and you can progress through the entire game solely through PvP. Fighting other players (of the appropriate levels) will not only grant you experience but also item drops.

                                                                                                                                                                Can you give us some insight on how the territory control part of the game will function?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: The META game at play is each army is trying to claim and maintain control over the seven deadly sins. With each gained for a faction, they get closer to a total victory, which results in a final server wide event.

                                                                                                                                                                We always want players to be able to find a fight so territories will be open for conquest at various points of the day. During this window, players will be fighting back and forth over control points within the zones. We will be offering many familiar capture mechanics to start, with many diverse and exciting new ideas on the way. King of the hill and capture the flag, along with some interesting combinations and new mechanics, will demand teamwork and strategy to deploy a good offensive or defensive strike on any given control point.

                                                                                                                                                                Can you give us some info on the three worlds, heaven, hell and limbo?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: As much as Heaven and Hell are present in the game, the adventuring begins in Limbo, which is offering a very diverse set of locations and challenges. Each location of Limbo is representing one of the seven deadly sins. This really gave our artists and designers a much wider palette of both color and locations to work with. Forest and Canyons, Mountains and swamps, each location is going to offer the player visual differences that we find compelling and fun to play in.

                                                                                                                                                                Our Heaven and Hell are bringing classic views to life, but we have a few things up our sleeves as we move forward. This is an area we are already planning to expand into and really playing around with the various thoughts and visions different cultures and views of life bring to both Heaven and Hell.

                                                                                                                                                                The concept of death, heaven and hell, and even limbo all reside within Faxion Online. To us, Limbo actually exists in no particular band of time, but rather through them all simultaneously. Each religion, each period of history all eventually end up in Limbo, which is what makes up the bulk of the world players will initially explore. Each war represents the struggle for the living on a single planet or plane of existence. With each victory, the fate for that planet/plane is decided, and the endless battle continues on with the endless worlds of souls to fight over. Each player upon arriving from their own mortal demise is able to reach glory in ways they could not have dreamed.

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                What classes will players get to choose from?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: The class system in Faxion does not limit nor define what you are or do. Your first class choice simply starts the journey.  Players will make choices limited to their initial class selection to start, but soon find the shackles are thrown off and they are free to take on a second class type of their choosing. We use a point system, where players receive ability points with each level earned. As it stands now in Open Beta, once 30 points are spent you can choose a second, and at 60 points, choose a third.

                                                                                                                                                                It allows you to craft your character the way you want to. A good example of this is say you want to play a “traditional” cleric. You can go two routes in Faxion; either start as a Crusader and multi-class by also buying Guardian abilities or do the reverse. Since the cost to train abilities is different based on what is your starting class, the individual who starts as a Crusader will probably be more melee-based while the other will be more of a healer… but both will be capable in melee combat and skilled in the use of magic. Even then, two players who start as a Guardian and take Crusader abilities may be vastly different because they have purchased different abilities.

                                                                                                                                                                That is just part of the fun, customizing your character to fit your play-style and wants.

                                                                                                                                                                Can you tell us about the character customizations and abilities?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: We have a solid customization system now, where at creation the traditional choices apply for face, hair, skin tones and such. We are constantly looking to expand in this area, as we feel people always like to try and match to something in their minds eye. The more options and choices we can offer, the closer we allow them to get.

                                                                                                                                                                With abilities, we actually take things quite a bit further. We have over 150 abilities in the game across all of our classes. Each ability also offers a total of 10 ranks that can be achieved. Ranking abilities is an online or offline advancement track and is really the crux of our investment in the character.

                                                                                                                                                                Each rank is offering an advancement to the ability it is tied to. As an example a rank 1 fireball is pretty straight forward, but at rank 4 it may get a Damage Over Time (DOT) component added to it, increasing the effective use of the ability. So, it’s not just a statistical change in that it costs less spirit or can be cast quicker, its more about adding new function that may alter the way it’s used at all.

                                                                                                                                                                Experimentation is fun and something we want to encourage players to do. Happily we are seeing this get confirmed in our BETA testing.

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                Everyone hates the grind in MMO’s how is Faxion eliminating that aspect of MMORPG’s?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: Master the game not the grind is a mantra we had when we first spoke about character progression, and it became a constant for us throughout development. When we sit down to play any game, we are doing so to get entertainment, not a second job or a list of chores. If we look at other game genres and platforms, the grind feeling is not nearly as prevalent. But, for some reason, MMOs consistently deliver this feeling of work in order to have fun.

                                                                                                                                                                We wanted to shift this mindset, and allow players to enjoy the game experience when they sit down to actually play. Crazy concept, I know, but from our internal testing it’s working.

                                                                                                                                                                We are doing this in a series of changes to some areas of the game, like offering offline advancement. In addition we are really not putting the time sink into the actual levels, since so much of it is based on the ranks themselves. We really want to get players leveled quickly so they can get into the action and have lots of toys to play with.

                                                                                                                                                                Was there a specific MMO or perhaps aspects of different MMO’s that inspired the creative and development process behind Faxion?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: One of the bigger things that bothers most of us is how a single MMO demands players to not play any other MMO at the time. So it was not so much a single mechanic as it was creating a game that you can compete, at a high level and still continue to play other games and MMOs alongside Faxion.

                                                                                                                                                                While I can easily say every MMO has something to learn, be it from its mistakes or from its victories, it would be unfair to them all to say only one inspired this game over any other.

                                                                                                                                                                What aspects of MMORPG’s did you want to focus on with Faxion the most and which did you want to avoid at all costs?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: One goal the team has maintained and held true, is not allowing any player to “buy a victory” due to any RMT model. We adapted a “Time versus Money” concept early and look to apply it at all layers of the game. In a competitive PVP game, having the guy with the biggest wallet, automatically win just sucks. Hell he already has a bigger wallet and is winning in life with more cash! The rest of us want a shot to kick his ass too.

                                                                                                                                                                So basically, if you have the time Faxion is a true free to play experience with no blocked content. However if you do not have all the time, a few purchases here and there will allow a part time player to compete at the highest levels.

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                How will loot and progression work in Faxion?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: We like giving away treasures! Players can get loot from questing, PvP kills, PVE kills, Epic Encounters (non instanced of course), Territory Control and a number of alternative ways. We have a complete equipment system allowing players to adventure for or purchase varying styles of armor to best reflect their vision for a character.

                                                                                                                                                                In addition, we offer wings as an equipment slot, allowing players to find and or purchase some of the more defining pieces to an equipment set.

                                                                                                                                                                Tying this system back into our ability ranks, players will need to rank their armor ability, which unlocks the function to equip the varying grades of armor, from uncommon all the way up to artifacts. All in all it’s a system players should be familiar with, but still find some fun things to tinker around to create a look they are happy with.

                                                                                                                                                                Can you tell us about the guild and social aspects of Faxion?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: Guilds are critical to us as gamers and as developers. While we have basic levels of support for guilds to form and communicate, we are ever expanding not only the management tools of guilds, but also the meaning of guilds within Faxion.

                                                                                                                                                                A guild is so much more than a label that floats 6 inches above your characters head. Guilds are a source of pride, a family in this world that you can rely on, and most importantly they provide just as many fun and funny moments in any MMO that a designer could never implement.

                                                                                                                                                                We want to embrace the above, by giving them things to call their own, to build and grow, and ultimately defend from others trying to take it or destroy it. This is a part of the game we are looking at expanding now as we sit in Open Beta, working with the players and asking them directly what they require and want from a guild in Faxion.

                                                                                                                                                                Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                Everyone always asks so we will as well, whats the endgame and raid content going to look like in Faxion?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: It’s going to look a lot like a big ass war.

                                                                                                                                                                Without instancing, even our epic boss encounters can turn into large factional wars. While the endgame is not entirely in play as of yet, part of that is due to us wanting to be sure to build it for what the players want from it.

                                                                                                                                                                Any endgame content, whether it’s a crafting system, a raiding system or some other game function, it’s important to us that it always feed back into creating and expanding the conflict in Faxion. Even dungeons can and should have elements of competition with guilds of the same faction, alongside the faction war that is always present.

                                                                                                                                                                Guild versus Guild or Faction versus Faction, players will find a break from the war, but never fully escape it…

                                                                                                                                                                What is the testing and beta process going to look like and when can fans get a test run of the game?

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Madden: We are now in open beta and invite everyone to come in and check out the game at www.faxiononline.com

                                                                                                                                                                We are actively working with our Beta Testers to highlight what they would like to see us focus on, while we continue to improve on what exists.