Star Wars: The Old Republic Reveals Playable Species and More

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - No Comments »

Thegalaticstruggle.com offered up some interesting news concerning the work Lucas Arts and and Bioware have been doing on their upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. With so much riding on player expectation, especially after the problems their previous MMO, Star Wars Galaxies faced, Star Wars: The Old Republic has a lot to live up to.

After a hands on experience, it seems that different alien species will be available to play in the game as evidenced by the playable Ratattaki character used in their limited released demo.

Character customization was another topic of converstion as Senior Producer at Lucas Arts Jake Neri answered some questions saying that it won’t be as indepth as Star Wars Galaxies but, their will be variety for players.

Thegalaticstruggle.com’s demo included play in a Spaceport, talking with a few vendors and getting a chance to check out a Bazaar, the games form of an auction house. They also got a chance to play for the first time with other players and had a fun adventure saving some other players who were pinned down by some “vile gangsters” who constantly roam around where the demo took place, the planet Hutta.

The most noticeable aspect of the combat so far is the cover system. It seems to add a depth of play beyond the traditional button mashing of your average MMO causing you to have to think and plan out attacks more strategically rather than just running in and facing your enemies head on.

Next, thegalaticstruggle.com covered the story elements of Star Wars: The Old Republic siting that the story revolves more closely to the player as NPC’s respond to how you handle threats and the like during the story, causing them to react differently to you. Much like the RPG’s for the XBOX, Star Wars: The Old Republic seems to implore a checks and balances system with regards to how you deal with certain story lines and the NPC’s and world around you will adjust accordingly to your actions.

Much like the flight masters in WoW, “Speeder Vendors” were located in the demo and offered quick trips to different locations the same as a taxi service. Added to this, there was a shuttle system in place that moved you from planet to planet.

All these impliments in the demo aren’t set in stone, so you’ll have to wait for a beta to be certain of all these claims. Tomorrow, Friday, May 14th, thegalaticstruggle.com will host a podcast with Senior Producer Jake Neri in hopes to get him to release even more details about the upcoming MMO.

Monster Hunter Frontier Xbox 360 Japanese Closed Beta Live

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Monster Hunter Frontier’s Japanese Xbox 360 Closed Beta is now live. The launch was originally scheduled for yesterday, however the beta was postponed by a day due to serious bugs.

The Xbox 360 release is a port of the three year-old PC MMO based on the popular Monster Hunter franchise. The scheduled Japanese release date is set for June 24th. Capcom also announced that the game will ship with a free month subscription to Monster Hunter Frontier and a twelve month Xbox Live Gold Subscription.

There is currently no word on whether Monster Hunter Frontier will be released globally. However, due to Capcom’s recent efforts at trying to promote the series in the west, and with the success of Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, we have high hopes that they will.

MapleStory Europe Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - No Comments »

Today the European version of MapleStory is celebrating its third birthday. To commemorate this special occasion, Nexon Europe is rewarding its players with a host of exciting birthday events and content updates.

The celebration begins with the Maple ‘Tree’ Story event. Players can raise a Maple Tree and receive Maple leaves in return. Maple leaves can be exchanged for weapon upgrades, used in the Maple Leaf quests or used to create special Maple Syrup. In addition, there will also be special third anniversary items exclusive to the birthday period. The famous Cake Boss-Mob will also make a return.

Head on over to the official European MapleStory website for more information.

Need for Speed World – Next Beta Announced!

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - No Comments »

Electronic Arts have announced the next beta appearance of Need for Speed World. It will start this Friday, May 14th at 9am (PDT) and will continue throughout the weekend ending Sunday, May 16th at 11:59pm (PDT). Players who participated in the betas will be invited to join in this one. Also, an additional 20,000 people will be invited into the beta. This beta will include the latest client update with many bug fixes and new features such as Power-Ups, new cars, improved police encounters, visual updates to the world, and improved performance.

4Story Prepares for a Second Anniversary

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - No Comments »

July has different meanings to people. Some consider it to be hot. MMORPG Gamers worldwide, on the other hand, know it for bringing them the second anniversary of the hit massive multiplayer online role-playing game, 4Story. In order to celebrate the second anniversary of 4Story, the team behind the game are holding a series of events to get players into celebration earlier than we thought. The events are:

Boost-Up Your Level!
The experience rate from hunting in the field will be increased by +50% during the event, of total 4 hours a day!
Event time: 09:00~11:00 (2 hours) + 17:00~19:00 (2 hours)

Treasure Hunters
The item drop rate and magic item drop rate in fields will be increased by +25% during the event, 24 hours!

Black Market Event
There will be event GMs with a special character on both Craxion and Defugel, who appear in an unknown location and open a personal shop.
As the title says, it is a black market, so there will be many items that are difficult to obtain at normal times.
There will be a notice in game, at the day the black marketeer appears, and the map name will be announced 1 hour before the shop opens!

The Black Marketeer sells (random):
1 of the God’s Treasure of Castle (random)
+17 Limited Weapons (Valentine Day Event Items)
+17 Ordinary Weapons
Warrior Bag of Bravery (16 Slots)
Red Pattern Bags (14 Slots)
Osiris Gemstones
Magic Crystals
Sorcerey Herbs
Ancient Symbols
Wise Man’s Stones
Magic Scrolls of Ancient man
Shining Herbs
Highest Level Threads
Oily Clothes
Mithrils

Mabinogi Previews Kingdom of Tara

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - No Comments »

Mabinogi has recently announced its second expansion, Goddess of Light. And today were talking a look into one of its biggest new features – the Kingdom of Tara. Tara is the capital of the Aliech Kingdom and as such it plays a much larger role than just being a “One stop shop.” With a full castle, shops for all needs, and an entire new cast of people waiting to meet you, Tara is almost a country unto itself. Many activities will line the streets of Tara. A hub for new Shadow Missions can be found, awaiting those that like the challenge of combat. For a more organized fight, though, Tara also includes Jousting, an all new system for doing battle with your friends and rivals. For those interested in playing the market, Tara will also be home to the Auction House, which will allow players to buy and sell with more convenience than ever before. More information on the Kingdom of Tara is coming soon.

PTR 3.3.5: Mystery Objects Float Around Orgrimmar

Posted by on May 13, 2010 - 2 Comments »

While testing for the Ruby Sanctum dungeon doesn’t start until 7 EDT/4PDT (7:30 CEST in Euroland)  tomorrow, the Patch Test Realm itself is currently up. I decided to hop on and poke around a little bit, searching for hints of any other potential changes or events leading up to what occurs in the expansion. After all, we know scenarios such as the retaking of the Echo Isles and Gnomeregan are coming, we just don’t know when.

At a glance, I didn’t find anything relating to those two objectives or the coming apocalypse, but I did see something I hadn’t noticed before when I took my freshly-created Troll Mage to Orgrimmar (my main hasn’t transferred yet): a number of floating containers tucked in various corners (and some of them really are hidden in odd nooks) around the Horde capital city. Each one seems to consist of a glass orb containing a bright, orange essence, capped on either end by a stone block containing an emblem that looks a lot like the sun.

Now, I didn’t check the other Horde cities, but I did take a low-level toon to Stormwind on the Alliance side and saw nothing of the sort, leading me to believe that this is only related to one faction.

After putting on my thinking cap, I came to one conclusion based on the current evidence at hand — there’s a high likelihood that these artifacts are related to the creation of Tauren Paladins, reported to be known as Sunwalkers. Not that you would be able to create them until the expansion, but possibly an advancement in the storyline that leads the shamanic, bovine race on the path of righteousness. Though, I’m puzzled as to why they’re in Orgrimmar, when you’d expect them to be found solely in Thunder Bluff.

Of course, I could be wrong, but nothing about these mysterious artifacts has been mentioned in the patch notes so far, or by Blizzard themselves. With more people logging onto the PTR later in the day for raid testing, and as more players notice these things, perhaps more information will “come to light.” In the meantime, feel free to toss out your own theories.

Update: Apparently my deductive skills are terrible. Though I still can’t confirm what these objects are, I’ve come across a few other tidbits. First, these could, in fact, be bombs. If my memory serves correctly, there was a quest of that sort data-mined out of the files a few patches back (that had to do with the storyline in the lead-up to the expansion), in which you have to run around and defuse explosives. I figured there would be an equivalent quest for the Alliance, hence my confusion when I found nothing in Stormwind.

Second, and perhaps more important, I’ve heard that you’ll be seeing this model more often in Cataclysm, which means that it may actually have something to do with the baddies (and not Sunwalkers) after all. Only time will tell…

Guild Wars 2: Lead Designer Talks Dynamic Events System

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

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Guild Wars 2 Lead Content Designer Colin Johanson released some interesting details today about the Dynamic Events System that will be featured in the new MMO claiming that it will “challenge the fundamental ways content has been presented to players in traditional MMORPGs.” A big statement, but does Johanson’s claim live up to itself?

Johanson insists that the new Dynamic Events System will improve on the standard idea of quests in your average MMO. Johanson states that, “walls of text are just outdated forms of storytelling,” claiming that traditional ideals of talking to a quest giver, getting a text box heavy with dialogue, doing the quest and returning to the quest giver are underwhelming ways of advancing in MMO’s.

The Dynamic Events System Guild Wars 2 hopes to implement will focus on in-game action and NPC interaction taking place in real-time leading players to quests. Instead of activating a quest, they will always be available. Perhaps its a town guard calling for help as a dragon lays waste to their city, or an old man struggling with a group of orcs – either way, the in-game events taking place live are the sources of quests in the new system. They are always occurring and its up to the player to spot these events and react to the situation.

Johanson spots another flaw in the basic quest design used in traditional MMO’s, “what the quest text tells you is happening in a quest is not actually what is happening in the world.” Johanson mentions that often times the events you are supposed to alter, say slaying a group of goblins that are attacking someone’s farmstead, actually don’t effect the game environment. By slaying your 20 goblins you are supposed to kill, you won’t actually save the farmer’s home, those same goblins will simply respawn, ready for the next adventurer to take the quest, thus, in the game world, perpetually putting the farmstead in danger. Johanson says that this is an unacceptable form of questing. With the new Dynamic Events System, if you don’t stop those 20 goblins, they will destroy the farmer’s house, or oppositely, if you defeat them, they will be gone and the farm will truly be saved.

This kind of quest system will fundamentally change the gaming world over and over again as players succeed and fail at their quests as Johanson explains: “The core of this evolution is our event system, which allows the world to dynamically change based on actions and decisions made by the players. A single player decision can cascade across a zone, changing the direction of a chain of events until they dramatically alter the content played by players in a map.”

The affect one player has on the game will result in this “cascade” of events that affect all the other players playing in the nearby zone. Johanson lists another example of players either failing or succeeding in destroying an enemy fort and the implications this will have on other players and the game world. “[I]f the players do not mobilize to stop the dredge snipers, they’ll begin to shoot down all the villagers and merchants in nearby friendly villages. If they fail to stop the dredge assault teams from capturing a village, players will need to lead a force to help liberate the town and free the villagers. All of this content is derived from a single initial event – the dredge army marching through the map.”

Johanson feels this will add to the overall community feeling of playing an MMO. Not only will your play effect others around you, but the designers hope their new system will implement a more friendly and antiquated environment for players to succeed together as a whole. Johanson claims, “[t]hrough our internal game testing so far, it’s been remarkable to see how well this idea has functioned in practice. Our entire studio has experienced countless moments where we’ve been drawn together to parts of a map to do events and felt a strong bond with other players; a truly dynamically created sense of community born out of the event system.”

Johanson also feels that by keeping the world ever-changing in this sense, that “altoholics” (people who replay the game many times over) will always have new variety in their different play throughs. Never will the world be exactly the same as it was before, ever time is a distinct new adventure hoping, “this dramatically changing world will create the ultimate sense of discovery for the explorer.”

Whether this new Dynamic Events system will play out as the Guild War 2’s team hopes it will is still up in the air, but the outlook is very intriguing.