In just little over a day of being in closed beta, Monster Hunter Frontier for the Xbox 360 has reached up to 51,455 simultaneously connected players. Capcom estimates that the player count for the Closed Beta will end up reaching 180,000 to 200,000 players.
The Xbox 360 is the least popular console in Japan, although the arrival of a Monster Hunter game will most likely boost console hardware sales, considering the vast popularity of the franchise in Japan. If the player count thus far is any indication of how many retail copies are going to sell, Monster Hunter Frontier may become one of the top-selling games for the system in Japan – up there with Blue Dragon and Tales of Vesperia.
For those who are interested in taking part in the Closed Beta, head on over to the official site (Japanese).
Guild Wars 2 fansite GW2Guru spoke with game designers Eric Flannum, Isiah Cartwright and Ryan Scott in what seems to be a continuing effort to get more word out about their upcoming MMO set for release sometime in 2011 with a beta to take place in late 2010. The interview about Guild Wars 2 centered around implementing a structured PvP system. Little info besides general understandings were given about the skills and professions GW2 has to offer.
Firstly, player customization was discussed saying that massive amounts of unique changes to your player are available. Height, weight, general body type and facial features are all used, allowing yourself to craft a distinct look; as well as a biographical section to fill out the personal details about your character.
PvP was one topic that the game designers had a lot to say about. GW2’s restructured PvP system will allow the same formats for both pick-up/random and tournament play. Plus, there are no longer any different game modes for differing skill levels, so players can learn skills that are relevant in all levels of competition. Pick-up and play is now fully hot-joinable, meaning you can exit or jump in a game already started. The designers were confident that this would remove the aspect of groups disallowing newer players to join, thus keeping them from improving. Tournaments will also be held, so prepared teams will be able to fight in competition with one another. Since games are now hot-join, support for micro-communities will be added to give player’s control over the type of game environment they want while still letting all players develop the game as they see fit, however, details about how this new system will be used won’t be available until “later this year.”
The interview wrapped up with talk about professions and different races. Professions in Guild Wars 2 will be unique and differing and no single profession is required to build your character, however, designers were scarce divulging details concerning the actual kind of professions and their impact on game play. As for different races – different races will each have a “different figure, flavor, story, and a little bit of skill variety” but again the developers don’t want to put too much game play significance on different races. These later aspects of Guild Wars 2 don’t seem as fleshed out as some other ideals like the intriguing concept of a Dynamic Event System, but instead seem to follow a rather traditional MMO path. Hopefully, in the near future, Arena Net will release some more concrete and interesting concepts concerning the idea of how profession and race will act in their upcoming MMO.
Sword 2 will continue to feature the three character control system as implemented in the first game. Players will be able to choose from 5 classes: Musketeer, Elementalist, Fighter, Wizard and Scout. As you advance in Sword 2, you’ll get the chance to happen upon Unique Playing Characters (UPC’s) who will ask for help on a quest, aid you in battle and even become part of your “family” of playable characters. These 45 available UPC’s advance separately from your main 3 characters. You can have up to 54 playable characters in your family giving ample room for which UPC’s you wish to add to your ilk.
Sword 2 is also promising some interesting PVP. The hardcore PVP Baron Server makes it so any player over level 51 is fair game and you can even snag some of their loot if you manage to gank someone. However, every PVP kill on the Baron Server raises your Baron Level which puts you closer and closer to an exile camp on Los Toldos, an area of the game where merchants and other NPC’s won’t have anything to do with you because of your reputation as an assassin. Added to this, a high Baron Level increases the chance that you will drop one of your items when you are killed. Yet, on the other side of the coin, high Baron Levels add to your attack and damage, so its really a decision of risk vs. reward.
Sword 1’s political PVP and faction wars will return, but have been updated. Political PVP will be on all servers and go beyond the Camp 1 vs Camp 2 head on beat ‘um up. Now, players choose a faction to side with, either Republican or Royalist. Clan leaders can even opt to be a Faction Leader, candidates are elected by clans in your faction. The Republicans and Royalists fight for control of Colonies around the world in what Sword 2 is calling Faction Wars. After each month, totals are summed up and the winning faction (those with the most colonies) are given an in-game monetary bonus. The faction leader decides how the money is dispensed, so choosing a fair and balanced leader is important.
Blizzard released a new patch for Starcraft 2, along with patch notes and a “situation report” that explains the motivation of the changes. There are lots of bug and performance fixes, including the super-annoying crash-on-exit that would lock up lots of system.
Our first Situation Report took a look at the changes with Patch 11 and while not a large patch, we wanted to continue sharing our insight on balance changes with Patch 12. Please keep in mind that we are continuing to keep a close eye on many of these changes to better gauge their effects and may not apply all of our planned changes into any one patch. This allows us to track the effects a bit better and layer in our planned changes to better set the pace of how they affect balance overall.
We have a few minor changes implemented as a part of the balance for this patch and are also planning some more ability changes for the zerg in the next.
Thor – Radius decreased from 1.375 to 0.8125. Model size reduced to match new radius.
We have reduced the physical and pathing size of the Thor just to make him more useable. This will end up being a minor buff to the Thor (which he didn’t really need). We made the change just to make him less frustrating to use. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this change plays out and if Thors become too dominant we will deal with them in other ways in future patches.
Forge – Build time increased from 35 to 45. Life and shield values decreased from 550/550 to 400/400.
We are seeing a Photon Cannon rush against protoss and zerg. Against protoss, players usually use a cliff edge or the enemy minerals in combination with their forge to protect their pylon. Against zerg, you can use the Forge and Pylon to block the zerg player’s ramp. We have a few numbers we can tweak to fix this, build time on the Forge being the most obvious. However if we make the build time too high it will be difficult to panic build a Forge and Cannons to block a badly played cloak attack. So we are going to try a mixture of health nerfs to the Forge and a small timing change.
Mothership – Vortex now removes Force Fields within its area of effect.
Vortex continues to be an exciting ability with some known issues. Limiting how Force Fields are used around Vortexes will help fix a few exploitable situations. Our thanks go to the community for continuing to find and report issues with it. =)
Roach – Supply count increased from 1 to 2.
Roaches are just too mighty to be a 1 supply unit. In 200 supply battles Roaches can be very difficult to deal with even with the correct counters in play by protoss or terran players.
As always, we appreciate the ongoing constructive feedback and will continue to closely monitor the effects of these changes within the game.
Fallen Earth is on a roll! After introducing Clan Wars and the Deadfall location to the game with the Blood Sports content patch, as well as increasing the level cap to 50 last week, now Icarus Studios have added an achievement system to Fallen Earth. There are over 500 achievements as of yet, spread into 5 different categories – Crafter, Explorer, Mercenary, Survivalist and Wastelander. Not only that, but player accomplishments will be broadcasted in the local channel and clan chat.
Game Bridger Entertainment has just announced that Prison Tale 2: The Second Enigma will enter open beta on may 14th. The beta itself will start at 18:00 GMT +1:00 and will include several content updates and gameplay changes such as updated quests, adjusted experience rate, and a new Europe-only server. Game Bridger Entertainment is a new name to the free-to-play market and we’re excited to see how well they can market their first official game. Anyone interested can visit GamerKraft and register a free account.
The Aika Online team has just released a brand new PvP mode for the game – The Aitan Arena. Within it, players can choose to battle it out and earn honor, gold and experience. The arena pits 100 vs 100 in a dodgeball-styled battle to the death where fallen enemies drop rewards. Matches for four different groups will be held twice a day in each of the five nations, providing plenty of opportunity for combatants to test their mettle. There’s also no need to worry about imbalanced levels or coordination difficulties–the Aitan Arena makes mass PvP accessible to more Aika players than ever before through its level bracket system and convenient automatic queue.