The Therian Saga Open Beta Preview: Part 1

Posted by on February 20, 2014 - 2 Comments »

The Therian Saga is very reminiscent of Ye Olden MUDs, where games were slow and a great deal of careful planning was required in order to progress. The world is huge, there’s a lot of exploring that needs to be done, and the longer I play the more I find myself wondering exactly how large and complex this game is because there doesn’t seem to be an end – and currently there is only one zone in the game.

It has a delightful sense of humor, with the first few moments having you ill with food poisoning and wondering if it’s bad luck to drown scribes. “…you’ve had it up to here with the scribe who insists on writing your every move down on his parchment. Is it bad luck to throw a scholar into the sea? Another thing you don’t know.”

Read more…

Weekly Landmark Livestream

Posted by on February 18, 2014 - No Comments »

With the successful launch of Landmark’s alpha, the once-monthly livestreams have now moved to a weekly format. It’s also exciting to see that they’re not only discussing current and future happenings, but community creations will be showcased as well!

Tune in to the Landmark Livestream channel on Wednesdays at 4PM PST to watch.

If you have screenshots or videos to share, or questions you want the team to address on the Livestream, post them in the official thread on the Landmark forum, or use the #LandmarkLive hashtag to post on social media. I know from experience that they do respond on Twitter, and they seem to have an active presence on g+ as well.


Therian Saga Smashes the Language Barrier

Posted by on February 18, 2014 - 1 Comment »

The Themepark Age definitely seems to be receding. All hail the new age, the Age of Sand! Virtys, an independent game studio based in Quebec, announced today that Therian Saga, its browser-based sandbox MMORPG, has entered its English open beta. One of its regions, Hawkoria, has been fully translated, with another, Lanfar, expected to be completed in March.

According to their blog on crowdsourcing, when Virtys first began work on the Therian Saga, they decided that they wanted to retain their full creative authority over the game, so they forwent seeking a distributor and funded development out of pocket. They made the same decision about crowdsourcing, preferring to deliver a fully developed product so players could decide to fund them or not based on what they could see. I wrote about open development the other day with interesting timing, as Virtys has been living it for quite some time now!

The result is what looks to be an incredibly complex open world game. Read more…

What’s New With Trove

Posted by on February 17, 2014 - No Comments »

Trove is an upcoming sandbox game from Trion Worlds that looks like it’s going to be oldschool roguelike meets newschool user creation. Probably the first line on their official page describes it better than I possibly could:

Our vision with Trove was simple: create a game that generates exciting new worlds on a regular basis, has free-form exploration that makes going through a mountain as rewarding as going over it, and enables community contributions to significantly impact the game.

They had me sold on going through a mountain, and it just looks like it gets better from there. Procedurally generated dungeons, a home base that is completely customizable, mounts, pets, extensive crafting, they’ve even already added community created items! The little bees and floating lego castle on the main page just make me squee and want to play it immediately. I’m a huge, huge fan of user generated content; if you recall back when I was first writing about Neverwinter, the dungeon creation system was the feature I was the most excited about, and building my temples is definitely what I am enjoying with Landmark. So when I look at Trove and see an active recruitment for player content already, I am definitely interested. Read more…

The Landmark Roadmap to Open Development

Posted by on February 17, 2014 - No Comments »

There was a time not too long ago when I was a card carrying member of the anti-SoE society. I won’t bother listing all of the reasons why I disliked SoE; those who dislike SoE have their own reasons, and those who don’t are likely to think that nothing I would say was important enough to be worth worrying about. The whys of my past hostility aren’t really the point – ostensibly I’m here writing about the Landmark Roadmap, but what I’m actually finding myself discussing is open development.

Let me state for the record that I no longer hate SoE; in fact, if Smedley continues to move forward the way he’s been going since Landmark, SoE will top my list of favorite game companies. The Landmark Roadmap is a part of that – what he’s doing is professing a desire for opening a dialogue between players and developers.  As he put it in his twitter stream a week ago, either you’ve got the goods or you don’t: Read more…

Turbine Entertainment Continues Downsizing

Posted by on February 17, 2014 - No Comments »

It’s odd that more bad news is coming out of Turbine Entertainment. The developer of Asheron’s Call, Dungeons & Dragons OnlineLord of the Rings Online and the upcoming DC universe themed MOBA Infinite Crisis has had to cull back once again. Handed down from the overlords at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the latest cuts are labeled as a “strategic realignment”.

The statement did not specify how many employees were unfortunately shown the door or which teams were impacted. Gamasutra, which first broke the story, has not received further details despite the company’s request.

It was announced back in late 2013 that LotRO would not be seeing a new expansion in 2014, the first year since 2010 that an expansion didn’t land in Middle-earth. Enough of the bad news. Hit the jump for the latest hero reveal for Infinite Crisis, the introduction of Star Sapphire! Read more…

WildStar Flick: Teaseer (Video)

Posted by on February 12, 2014 - 2 Comments »

The release of WildStar is fast upon us. We think. Carbine Studios still hasn’t pegged the release date, sticking with a wide range of Q1/Q2 2014 after it was delayed from a 2014 release. Thankfully, beta keys continue to be pushed out for the classic MMORPG. Many (lucky) players have had positive responses. If it’s as well crafted as their trailers and other marketing material, there’s little reason to worry.

Need a refresher of their directorial and scripting prowess? The team has you covered with the newish WildStar Flick series. The most recent of which covers the Teaseer, featuring the dual-personality of the Caretaker.

The general shenanigans had in these videos is spiced up with promises of teasers. Inside the below video players will be treated to the first glimpses of upcoming content. Content that’s to be discussed this week! Read more…

Diary of a Landmark Addict: Building

Posted by on February 12, 2014 - 4 Comments »

I promised a more in depth look at building in Landmark in my Landmark alpha preview, and here it is! Well, in a way. Since quite a few people have already asked me for regular updates about Landmark, I decided to keep up a semi-regular article series about it, and my first entry will be about building!

Similarly to my intro series about Eve Online, I will be writing introductory bits later on, for anyone looking to get into Landmark. Right now, however, my obsession is with getting enough marble and obsidian for my mountain temple complex, so it seems like a good time to talk construction!

I’ve admitted previously that I’ve never played MineCraft, so don’t expect to see any comparisons between the two games because I lack the knowledge to do a proper job of it. The most I can say is that from what I’ve seen being said on forums is that Landmark does provide many more tools for building than MineCraft does. It certainly looks a lot better; visuals alone have prevented me from ever trying MineCraft, but I can happily wander around Landmark for hours doing nothing but admiring the scenery.

And that’s the last thing I’ll say about MineCraft. Let’s move back to Landmark! Read more…