Global Agenda: Wow, Just Wow (Sandstorm Impressions)

Posted by on June 4, 2010 - 4 Comments »

Yesterday morning the Global Agenda servers were taken offline to apply the first part of the absolutely huge Sandstorm patch.  Once Steam notified me that the game had been updated, I jumped in to see if all the PR fuss from Hi-Rez Studios panned out.

The Interesting:

  • The game seems to have received almost a cartoonish polish.  Everything from DirectX 10 implementation to the new menus feel more inviting thanks to new color palettes.  However, I’m not sure if it fits the universe.
  • The token system forces players to select a spec and stick with it more.  This happens because you have to buy all of the good weapons, or collect them as random drops.  You’re no longer awarded them for hitting level X.  Adds a bit of thought and strategy to the game.
  • A truckload of people returned to the game for the patch.  Guild members were actually online, dozens of matches were running for PvP and PvE and Dome City felt alive.  Here’s to hoping it sticks.
  • Players can actually gain loot from playing, not just crafting pieces.  Had Hi-Rez Studios created a more robust crafting system, this wouldn’t have been needed.

Click the read more button for the rest of my initial impression of Sandstorm, including what Hi-Rez Studios missed.  Click it, dammit! Read more…

Lord of the Rings Online To Become Free to Play

Posted by on June 4, 2010 - No Comments »

Turbine has just announced that, come this autumn, major MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online will be free to play. The game will be demoed in its free-to-play version at this year’s E3, and players wishing to get a “sneak peak” can sign up to participate in the beta program, which begins on 16th June. This excerpt from the press release explains more:

Launching this fall across North America and Europe, with Codemasters operating the game free-to-play in Europe, LOTRO will introduce Turbine’s innovative new pricing model that allows players to download the game and play for free, purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new LOTRO Store, or join the VIP program to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content for one low price.

Lord of the Rings Online is not the first game that Turbine has begun to operate free to play, with Dungeons & Dragons Online making a similar shift from subscription-based to free to play in September of last year. By all accounts, DDO has become more popular since the change, so this may be the beginning of a new golden age for LOTRO, provided the LOTRO Store isn’t too exorbitant. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about the chance to return to Middle-earth without a subscription to weigh me down!

DDO Getting F2P Competition…From Lord of the Rings Online!

Posted by on June 4, 2010 - 1 Comment »

That’s right folks.  The amazing transformation of Dungeon & Dragons Online to the free-to-play model is going to be replicated.  Turbine (and its pair) is going to attempt to pull off the feat for a second time.  The developer will be launching a huge update to Lord of the Rings Online “this fall” that will complete the metamorphosis.  Interested parties will be able to partake in a beta program starting on June 16 (the second day of E3).  Head over to the official site for details.

The upcoming LotRO Store appears to be a clone of the DDO Store:

LOTRO will introduce Turbine’s innovative new pricing model that allows players to download the game and play for free, purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new LOTRO Store, or join the VIP program to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content for one low price.

Considering the DDO Store saved DDO, even dramatically increasing its subscriber base, the new LotRO Store is a no brainer.  The transformation will be global.

No word on a name change.

And I have to ask, how pissed are the lifetime subscribers going to be?

Mega Man Online Officially Announced

Posted by on June 4, 2010 - 12 Comments »

Not too long ago, Capcom revealed its plans for the upcoming fiscal year, and to our surprise a Mega Man MMO was in the works. Today, Capcom and Neowiz have officially announced Rockman Online, an online Mega Man game for the PC. Currently, not too much information is known about this mysterious title, but we do know that both X and Zero will be featured.

Some official artwork:

Capcom recently trademarked ‘Mega Man Universe’ in North America and Europe. Could that be the international title for Rockman Online?

Keep on checking MMOCrunch as more information is revealed.

GamesCampus Reveals Aircraft Line-up for Heroes in the Sky

Posted by on June 4, 2010 - No Comments »

GamesCampus has revealed the aircraft line-up for its upcoming, highly-anticipated MMOTPS, (Massively Multiplayer Online Third Person Shooter) WWII flight combat simulator, Heroes in the Sky. The Closed Beta is expected to commence this following June.

The following aircraft line-up include:

Fighters

Fighters are the offensive support option, providing high speed damage and quick response defense for the lesser armed alternatives. Players can choose between agile evasive or steel rending offensive skills. Either way a well trained squadron of fighters is a formidable opponent on any mission.

Read more…

Black Prophecy Shipbuilding System Revealed

Posted by on June 3, 2010 - No Comments »

The Black Prophecy shipbuilding system has been revealed by creators Reakktor and gamigo in a press release this week. We are told that “At regular intervals, gamigo and Reakktor will introduce and shed some light on some of the features of the upcoming space action MMOG Black Prophecy.” The first of such is, of course, the modular shipbuilding system. Below is a variety of screenshots showing two ships with three distinct configurations each, as well as a link to a larger version of the above view of the configuration screen.

Also included is a concept diagram of a ship’s components, which gamigo tells us represents a fully constructed ship of either Black Prophecy faction, the Tyi or the Genides. Every ship must have a cockpit and left and right wings and engines, but the weapons, missile launcher and shield are optional. Use of these modules, and determination of which modules can be fitted, will be decided by nine upgradeable player skills. This modular building system will also be used for clan stations – which will apparently “start as small habitats and can be expanded to gigantic space complexes.”

Global Agenda Going More Sci-Fi; Advancing To V1.3

Posted by on June 3, 2010 - 1 Comment »


Sandstorm, the non-programmer name for patch v1.3, is in the midst of being deployed to servers right now (WTF?! An MMOG getting a patch on a non-Tuesday?! BLASPHEMY!).  The patch is nothing short of a dozy.  Global Agenda servers are expected to remain down until 6:00 PM EST.  Judging by other patches of this magnitude for any MMOG, this means that the game should be playable sometime tomorrow.

Kidding aside, Sandstorm is going to have a massive impact on the game.  Even though Hi-Rez Studios is only deploying Phase 1 of Sandstorm, nothing will be the same.  Not PvP, not PvE, guilds, AvA, Dome City, the economy or crafting.  Phase 1 of Sandstorm is a game changer, to say the least.

Sandstorm Phase 1 includes:

  • 30 new weapons
  • Grand Openings of new Dome City vendors
  • New loot, token and weapon systems, including the removal of device points, a reduction in crafting dependency and daily token limits.
  • New PvP maps
  • More PvE opportunities

I was actually penning an article on aspects of GA that Hi-Rez Studios needs to address last week.  I decided to hold off until Sandstorm.  I’d hate to waste all those pretty words, but I wouldn’t mind wiping the post from existence if Phase 1 eradicates all the bullet points.

Check out our first impressions of Sandstorm, the patch notes and the official trailer that highlights the new epic weapons.

Enjoy PvP but haven’t tried out Global Agenda yet?  Grab the free trial and jump in!  Like many other MMOGs, the game has dramatically changed since it’s release just over five months ago.  It’s worth a look (or a second look).

Global Agenda: Sandstorm Phase 1 Launches Today

Posted by on June 3, 2010 - No Comments »

Global Agenda: Sandstorm Phase 1 the title of Global Agenda’s latest 1.3 patch goes live today! Game designers Hi-Res Studios have added a ton of new content to the game including over 30 new weapons, fully re-vamped Agency vs. Agency game play with a single world map, new PvP maps and much more.

The only fat fly in the ointment is the fact that the servers will be down from 6 AM until 6 PM today, but the team at GlobalAgendagame.com have provided Full Patch Notes to explain all the changes and launch details.

For more on Global Agenda: Sandstorm Phase 1 head on over to their official website for videos, screens, special pre-subscription bonuses and more.