Archive for the ‘Other MMOs’ Category

How Important Are Addons to MMORPGs?

10 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
The splitting of HP and shield is a nice feature.

The splitting of HP and shield is a nice feature.

I received an email blast from the PR firm directing WildStar’s marketing earlier this week. It’s not entirely relevant as a news post or anything, but it did get me thinking about addons and how crucial they have been for MMORPGs. That’s past tense for a reason. My real spark was how much it’s changed, how little they’re generally needed these days and how many games work perfectly well without implementing them or never having them catch on.

This brings up numerous other head-scratching conundrums: Are community-made addons still relevant? Have they remained as popular and as necessary as they did half a decade ago? And thus, give sites like Curse their continued reason for existence? Have developers of these products mined the community for ideas and included the most popular addons as part of the default user interface options? Was the fear of addons in WildStar not catching on the cause of the email blast by Carbine? Finally, were addons and their popularity a product of developer innovation or lazy development?

The answers to some of these questions are obvious. For instance, Curse will exist forever barring poor management choices. The site itself has long created its own technology to service the add-on hungry community and has grown beyond that. In a title like World of Warcraft, which like a lot of other features Blizzard included, effectively made addons a thing in the genre, addons have quite literally changed the game. Some times to the extreme, causing Blizzard to shut down the addons through code changes. Other cases are irrefutable evidence to Blizzard mining the community for ideas and innovation. Continue Reading

Will You Buy the Naxxramas Hearthstone Expansion for $24.99?

9 July 2014 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_naxxramas_cost_hearthstone_expansionThe digital card game from Blizzard Entertainment has been a love, hate relationship for me. Losing isn’t why I often abandon the game, although I do plenty of that. It’s something about the pace and often routine play that my reptile-nerd brain can’t seem to digest. Yet, since it’s intricately linked to Warcraft, has a card built after Solidsamm, my World of Warcraft character, and is an incredibly popular game among friends and the community, I get sucked back in. Every. Freaking. TIME.

The return of Naxxramas, as discussed in our PAX East interview with Eric Dodds and Jason Chaves, brings the raid that won’t die back to the forefront of the Warcraft universe. Featuring five wings, all the bosses and mobs you’d anticipate and tons of new challenges it delivers the largest update to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft yet. But at a price.

The content is free, should you opt to grind out individual wings at 700 gold a piece, or you can purchase the whole thing for $24.99. Not exactly low cost for a free-to-play digital trading card game. Blizzard smartly allows players to mix and match gold and IRL currency as displayed in the above image. Continue Reading

Perfect World Entertainment Snaps Up Warframe Developer

9 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Developer purchases by publishers are always interesting. When the publisher is a public company the news is almost immediate and often tips the hand of the company doing the purchasing. Of course, that’s if the company hasn’t made it perfectly clear, already and that’s exactly what Perfect World International has done. It is looking to expand into the Western market aggressively.

The parent company of Perfect World Entertainment, the US arm in charge of Forsaken WorldStar Trek Online and Neverwinter, the latter two being developed by wholly-owned developer Cryptic Studios, has returned to the US market grabbing the maker behind the third-person F2P shooter Warframe. Although unconfirmed by either branch, the purchase of Digital Extremes will give Perfect World another genre that’s key to the domestic market; shooters. Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Kumbakharna

8 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Lore: The difficult to pronounce Kumbhakarna is a jovial, pious deity twisted by his warrior’s code. A core part of the Ramayana, one of two revered Hindu epic poems, he is a giant of a man that routinely feeds, even on monks if only to showcase his power. Brothers to Ravana and Vibhishana, he often fights for the side of evil out of family loyalty to Ravana.

After performing a particular moving yajna to Lord Brahma the brave Kumbhakarna was rewarded with a blessing. Goddess Saraswati acting on behalf of a jealous Indra cursed his tongue causing the intelligent giant to slur ‘Nidraasana,’ or sleep, instead of the anticipated ‘Indraasana,’ or seat of Indra, which would have endowed him the realm and title of Lord of Heaven. Tricked, Kumbhakarna became the Sleeping Giant setting the mountains to rumbling with his snores. Continue Reading

The Novel Post: World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria Review

7 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

This review of the World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria novel by Micky Neilson is of the spoiler-free variety. Check out the entire Blizzard catalog in our Extensive Extended Universe post.

You may think that a comic released alongside Mists of Pandaria would revolve around the newly-discovered island in World of Warcraft but you’d be mostly incorrect. Nelson, who said the comic originated when The Burning Crusade was all the rage, wrote it figuring the Pandaria would never see its own expansion. The tale was to explore the (original April Fool’s Day) lore and culture of the Pandarian people and the famous brewmaster and wanderer Chen Stormstout. Instead the tale was opened up to span Azeroth, from Shen-zin Su to Stormwind that, at parts, almost feels like a travel agency’s pitch to why you should be interested in the universe.

Interspersed to the lush visuals and descriptions of various locations that have been masterfully drawn by Sean Galloway is a cute coming of age and generational story of Li Li Stormstout chasing after her uncle Chen that has gone missing and presumed dead by many on the Wandering Isle. And yet the story is filled with references to the famed beer cultures of the Pandaren and Dwarven people. A bit odd with a coming of age story. Throughout the tale Li Li maintains an upbeat and unflappable outlook on life, the world and its many people, which consistently annoys Stongbo, her protective companion and a former friend of Chen. Continue Reading

Marvel Heroes Anniversary Infographic Doesn’t Do It Justice

2 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

I’m not quite sure how I missed the recent update from David Brevik on the state of Marvel Heroes but I did. Release last week, the new blog post comes with an infographic solely focused on explaining exactly how far the game has come. From listening to the community to delivering on its own intended features, Gazillion Entertainment has changed, overhauled and fine-tuned nearly every aspect of the dungeon crawler. And that’s on top of adding new features, end game content and storylines.

The infographic takes a crack at encapsulating all the developer has done to rechristen the title as Marvel Heroes 2015 but as Brevik himself states it simply falls short. No knock on the designer, but the title has simply changed that much. Heck, we spoke about it with the man himself and Ryan Collins for over 90 minutes and could have continued!

I love infographics mainly because I’m a numbers junkie. Other aspects I would have loved to see would have been the number of lines of code added and altered, registered player details, amount of humanity spent in-game, amount of damage done including biggest crits, times the original storyline had been completed and so much more.

Above is simply the game as it was in pre-beta. Hit the cut for the full infographic. Continue Reading

The Strain Detailed in Latest DevSpeak (Video)

30 June 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

WildStar has only been available for a month. A month! This development is not holding Carbine Studios from releasing new content for its first MMORPG. Revealed just over a two week ago, the first Ultra Drop known as The Strain sees a mysterious toxin swarming over all of Nexus. Biological life is in danger on the planet the entire universe is clambering to.

The announcement gave the community only a taste of what to expect, new zones, new mobs from the digestive tract of Globellum, new solo content including a sort of tower-defense minigame and new dungeon-like encounters. Lastly, the dev left us with a schedule, including the patch notes and release coming sometime this week. Ahead of all that comes today’s DevSpeak focusing solely on this new content.

Why read when you can watch? Hit the jump to put your peepers on the latest tasty morsel from Carbine’s excellent cinematic crew. Continue Reading

Get Your Swordsman Closed Beta Access Immediately (Giveaway)

30 June 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

[UPDATE] We’ve secure a second round of keys for the community. Grab your key and sign-up quickly because open beta testing begins July 3. If you wait until then you won’t receive the exclusive closed beta testing items detailed below!

[END UPDATE]

Are you looking for something a bit different? A massive multiplayer online game that leaves the tropes of fantasy or science fiction? Something with a little bit of style to its combat? Swordsman may be what you’re looking for. Based upon the universe of Louis Cha the free-to-play title will engross players in the Ming Dynasty as they fight for one of the ten wuxia classes against rival schools and the Ming government.

Originally announced in mid-March, the Perfect World has rolled the beautifully animated game into its Closed Beta phase. Interested in joining the ranks? We thought you might be so we’ve secured a grand collection of beta keys for the community. No need to wait for the latest round of keys to be email blasted. Grab one immediately at the title’s giveaway page.

These keys aren’t solely beta access. They will also grant the account creator the Black Mountain pack, which includes a special Black Mountain cloak and the exclusive “Lone Wolf” title.

Don’t fret, the key won’t even require a sign up.