Archive for the ‘General’ Category

A Genre A Long Time Ago: Staying Busy in an MMOG

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

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Having recently celebrated Star Wars Day, and getting caught up in the recent barrage of updates and rumors on Star Wars Episode 7, we’re bringing you a new column focused on one of the biggest sci-fi franchise. We all had to start somewhere, and our resident Star Wars fan-boy Wedgeantilles began his MMOG experience with Star Wars: The Old Republic.  He’ll be giving an outsider’s look on what it’s like to play your first MMOG, along with providing game play insight and helping those of you not as familiar with the platform to not feel so intimidated or alone in vastness of the galaxy that makes up SWTOR. Enjoy.

Staying busy on Ord Mantell is an easy thing, there are separatists to kill, civilians to save, doctors to help, and I was doing it all. However, with Star Wars, something big is always just a step away. One day, while running little side missions for republic military, doctors, or locals, I stumbled upon a hangar with a ship that had the glowing blue door that meant that I, a level 10 smuggler from Ord Mantell, could get in and blast off to the Republic Fleet.

Holy sh*t! Continue Reading

Star Trek Online: The Game I Never Get To Play

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

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I’ve an odd confession, I’ve have not played Star Trek Online since its early beta days. Originally released as a subscription MMORPG I shrugged it off, despite it having one of my favorite intellectual properties behind it and the not-too-common setting of science fiction. This is way back in in early 2010. Well before developer Cryptic Studios was under the wing of Perfect World Entertainment. Years ahead of the watershed moment of Dungeons & Dragons Online reinventing itself as a free-to-play games. Before I was in grad school, and thus had time.

It had interesting features, multiple gameplay modes, various progression tracks and an endless amount of lore to utilize and the only way to see Star Trek on a screen (still true!). Since launch Cryptic has made STO ever more enticing by adding new races, creating complex and interesting storylines, dropping a free expansion and fixing up player-created content. Continue Reading

WildStar Support Finally Comes Through Weeks Later

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

wildstar_character_transfer_deathOn June 22 I sent a ticket to the WildStar Support queue. A few days earlier I had opted for a free realm transfer from Pergo, an original and vastly overcrowded destination, to Rowsdower, a new realm thrown up during the early-adopter crush. Understanding the swarm of players opting for the free switch, I didn’t fuss when it wasn’t completed in 24 hours. Or 48 hours. When 72 hours came and went I got worried. Logging in I saw that my character was no longer on either server, instead getting dumped to the unrelated Bloodsworn PvP server. I logged in to the realm to find…

NOTHING!

My character that I spent the first few days power leveling had evaporated. It did not exist on either the originating or destination realm, nor the realm that the system claimed it was on when in the Character Selection screen. That’s when the panicked support ticket went out. It was initially met with standard, seemingly automated replies. For a solid week. Continue Reading

Skyforge Unveils the Quaint Lanber Forest

15 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
Do you like my country club hat?

Do you like my country club hat?

Once a bustling area of country activities, Lanber Forest is being overrun by an enemy of old, the Mantide army. Farms, fields, country lanes and picturesque landscapes are being overrun by the detritus that war bring. Looters, smugglers, those that prey on the weak have made the beautiful, bright corner of Aelion their home. Between these two fronts enters the heroes of the world tasked with fighting back the insectoid army and its creator, the treacherous god Nerion.

Mail.ru has not specified a release date for the free-to-play fantasy sci-fi title, but it added Obsidian Entertainment to the efforts lead by the Allods team, of Allods Online fame, in early 2013. It’s still unknown exactly what the team best known for successful sequels is working on as part of the partnership.

Hit the jump for all the screenshots for the fantasy and sci-fi mash up. We’ll have more on Skyforge as it comes. Continue Reading

MOBA Monday: Gods and the Undead Come to the Small Screen (Livestream)

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

lh_moba_Monday_dead_island_epidemic_smiteThe LoreHound Twitch channel has long run with the Demigods, Deities and Gods of SMITE. Today won’t make any radical departure from that expectation. In classic fashion I’ll be running more Arena matches as I farm up my Mastery level to finally get into League play. One day people will learn to fear the name of iTZKooPA.

That is, seeing that name on their team.

The second half of the stream is following in the footsteps of the first F2P Friday stream by featuring a new title. This MOBA features battles against the undead and a three-way battle for supremacy of the living. Naturally, I’m talking about the unique extension to the Dead Island franchise by way of Dead Island: Epidemic.

Because I am once again featuring a brand new game the fair warning must be made. I may suck hard at DI: E. SMITE, while that entirely depends on which hero I decide to farm up this outing. The stream will kick off by 11:30 AM EST and run for about 90 minutes.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which will be replaced later with the recorded edition of the show. Continue Reading

Infinite Crisis Development Detour

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

lh_cardell_kerr_infinite_crisis_new-playerDuring PAX East I ran into a lot of developers, community managers and marketing people that are all vying to be the next big MOBA. From Turbine’s Infinite Crisis to a Russian entry in Prime World to the growing community behind SMITE or Strife, the second attempt from S2 Games: everyone of these is hoping to pull you into their battle arena. And yet, they can’t possibly all be the next League of Legends.

Keeping that in mind, I asked each and every person exactly what sets their title apart. What’s the differentiation? Why move from DOTA 2 or some other massively established title to yours? What’s the hook? Even though this is a question they should have been prepared for many failed to respond with anything strong.

Cardell Kerr, the Creative Director for Infinite Crisis, has taken the issue to heart and is going to do something about it. In short, his lengthy explanation to the community will see Turbine dramatically alter the development plan that we recently discussed.

  • Balance updates are to come roughly monthly.
  • Technical patches will be released alongside balance updates in the hopes of reducing crashes (thus AFKs)
  • Champions development will continue, but no new champions will be released until September.
  • Developer presence on the forum will increase

Continue Reading

F2P Friday: Gibbing Orcs & Flipping Cards (Livestream)

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

lh_f2p_friday_orcsmustdieunchainedYou’re going to receive a double dose of orcs in the inaugural F2P Friday livestream later today. Kicking off sometime around lunch time for the Eastern (US) time zone – that’s roughly 1:00-3:00 PM for me – the stream will not only be the first of this new weekly stream, but the first of our streams to feature either the tower defense/MOBA Orcs Must Die Unchained or collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

In case the title doesn’t indicate exactly what’s going to go on in this weekly livestream I’ll elaborate. To bookend MOBA Monday, F2P Friday will feature other titles with little-to-no barrier to entry of any genre outside the popular multiplayer online battle arena that’s taken the world by storm since 2010. Expect the likes of Hearthstone, OMDU, NeverwinterMarvel Heroes and many more titles that run on a PC, feature multiplayer in some capacity and cost nothing to get started.

Fair warning, I suck at one, possibly both of the games. Come help me get better!

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which will be replaced later has been replaced with the recorded edition of the show. Continue Reading

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