Author Archive

Albion Online Is On Steam Greenlight

17 September 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

albiononlineThe next few years are really looking to be a golden age for sandbox gaming.  Another one has joined the fray; Albion Online is now on Steam Greenlight!

A player driven economy.. pvp… player housing and player built cities… freeform character customization.. cross platform – yes! Full Linux support!

But I’ll admit, they caught my interest at player driven, local, economy. That’s right … remember the good old days of hunting bone chips in Nektulos and carting them off to the Commonlands tunnel to sell? Looks like something like that can pop up in Albion! How can you say no to regional, player driven economies?

And cross platform play. Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows.. now everyone can play together.

Sound interesting? Worth supporting? Vote yes on greenlight, read about the game on their official page or Facebook.

ArcheAge Has Launched. But…

17 September 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

AAqueueIt seems all is not well in Denmark. Server problems are not unusual during a game launch; veteran MMO players have come to expect them. Every statement of “this is a horrible launch!” is met with “this is a standard launch!” I’m in the latter camp – I will never again take a day off work, or set aside an entire day for a game’s launch. But every now and again, a game launches with problems that stand head and shoulders above the rest. ArcheAge is one of those games.

The headstart was plagued with issues – servers fell apart as Patrons hammered in, all seeking to grab up the non-instanced land as quickly as possible. Denial of service attacks, authentication servers failing, characters vanishing from the character selection page, crashes to desktop … the four days of Patron headstart were anything but smooth. And every problem for a game like ArcheAge was magnified by the knowledge that for every minute a Patron wasn’t in game was a minute lost in the race to find choice housing, or even housing at all. I didn’t pick up a Founder’s pack, so wasn’t in the headstart, but by everything I’ve seen the headstart cost many Patrons the chance to get housing, as organized guilds and alt accounts grabbed up everything in very rapid order. There are a lot of unhappy people out there, and in this particular case, I can’t really blame them.

Enter free players. Continue Reading

Neverwinter Dev Blog: Artifacts

20 August 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

f69cb7cee5698ede38444faffd699c731408467340Like some artifacts with your D&D? If you said yes, you’re not alone. The positive response to the introduction of artifacts encouraged the devs to improve and expand upon the system. In the newest dev blog, senior systems designer Ken “Graalx3″ Burd explains the improvement and additions to artifacts in Neverwinter.

Tyranny of Dragons introduces main hand weapon and belt artifacts. There are initially 6 belts added to the game, and 3 weapons for each class for a total of 21 new weapons. Their base power level is akin to top level items in Fury of Feywild, and they only increase in power from there. Sounds awesome! Now I just need to get my new warlock to endgame to test these badboys out…

Continue Reading

Swordsman Review: How Important is the First Hour? (Part 2)

19 August 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

2014-07-09 22-40-24For most reviews, I separate out the different parts of the game in question and evaluate them on their own (See Part 1 here!); What is the combat like; how does the character advance; is the community friendly. And I started to do that with Swordsman, and rapidly found myself frustrated. So for part 2, working on evaluating the meat of the game, I’m going to take a different tactic because I’ve found Swordsman exemplifies the absolute importance of a game’s first impression. There are far too many games out there now for designers to have the luxury of ignoring the initial 30 minutes of play.

Those 30 minutes, that first hour – they are perhaps the single most important period of time for any game. Take The Secret World, for example. I love that game, I really do. It has a permanent place on my harddrive next to Morrowind, and I have never for even a moment felt regret over the purchase of the lifetime pack. But every time I tell someone new about the game, I feel compelled to introduce it by telling them that they need to start playing it when they have time – because that first hour sucks.

Why do I bring up The Secret World when I’m here to talk about Swordsman? Because that first hour in Swordsman, that golden hour of gaming, makes the first hour of The Secret World look amazing. I have since come to appreciate some of what Swordsman does and I’m still playing it, but I’ll make no bones about the fact that it has the first few hours of the most boring play that I’ve ever suffered through. Continue Reading

Swordsman Review: Wuxia’s Digital Introduction (Part 1)

8 August 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

2014-07-09 22-40-24Swordsman is the newest MMO on the Perfect World lineup, an epic wuxia-styled game set in the novels of Louis Cha. This is a game that I really wanted to like. I enjoy the subject material – it’s very difficult for me to resist giving kung fu games a try every time I see one – and I have also seen two of the tv serials based on Cha’s The Book and the Sword novels.  There is so much possibility in the setting; secret societies, kung fu, warring martial arts schools, intrigue, romance.. but does the game live up to it?

Installation was easy. Thanks to the Arc console, I simply went to the games section, clicked Swordsman and waited. I did have a black screen issue that prevented me from playing for a day, but the guys at PW very quickly came to my aid and helped me discover I was having bios issues after my newest computer upgrade. Mea culpa – that had nothing to do with the game itself and it ran fine once I sorted those out! My only complaint about the loadup of the game is the splash screen with an image of Cha’s book and warnings about copyright violations lingers on the screen for just a bit too long for this impatient gamer’s taste and can’t be escaped. But that’s admittedly on the nitpicky end of things. I have definitely seen splash screens that are more annoying. Continue Reading

Neverwinter Tyranny of Dragons Brings the New Class Scourge Warlock

3 July 2014 | 2 Comments » | Pherephassa

 

Who doesn’t love new classes and expansions? Coming on August 14th, the upcoming expansion Tyranny of Dragons will bring the Scourge Warlock to all players. To herald in this new expansion, Cryptic has unveiled the Season of Dragons – a community driven event that is chock full of ingame events, social media events, and they’re even promising a continued stream of announcements relating to the Tyranny of Dragons! Running from July 1st through to December 31st, the Season of Dragons is a great time to return to Neverwinter or give the game a try for the first time.

The Scourge Warlock is a powerful magic user who plies dark magical abilities, communing with shadowy benefactors to destroy all who would dare stand in their way. A powerful striker who focuses on dealing heavy damage to both single and grouped foes, the Scourge Warlock wields a myriad of options to deal with adversaries using their powerful Warlock’s Curse. Continue Reading

Wuxia-inspired Swordsman Closed Beta Begins

17 June 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

Perfect World Entertainment has unleashed its newest game – Swordsman, a martial arts and wuxia-inspired game based on the Chinese novel The Smiling Proud Wanderer. Closed Beta has begun! You can gain access by purchasing a Hero’s Pack, or by signing up on the Swordsman site. As I write this, I’m realizing that I’ve seen one of the tv series based on this novel, and it was pretty interesting – now I’m really curious to try it! Intrigue, romance, martial arts, it’s got a collection of things for an exciting game backdrop!

Closed beta runs from  Monday June 16th at 2pm PDT until Friday June 27th at 2pm PDT.

No details have as yet been provided regarding when open beta begins, although anyone who has purchased a Hero Pack will have early access.

Keep reading for screenshots and the announcement trailer. Continue Reading

Warhammer 40k Eternal Crusade: Visions of Arkhona

23 May 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

How much of a geek am I, that when I read the first line of the new Warhammer 40k newsletter my first thought was, “Jovian Chronicles!! Heavy Gear!! Tribe 8!!”

This newsletter comes from Ghislain Barbe, the art director of Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade, and he goes into his thoughts on game design, artistic creation and how it all comes together for him on this particular project.  It’s always interesting to read about the creative process of artists, so I found this newsletter interesting, particularly since Ghislain Barbe is a name I first heard over a decade ago. But here, he focuses on two main features: the characters and the world. Continue Reading