Posts Tagged ‘f2p’

Champions Online Gets Tough with Steel Crusade (Interview)

17 September 2014 | 39 Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

CO_SteelCrusade_RoboPunchWhat do you do when you and your Millenium City friends are confronted with a robot super villain that wants to eradicate all forms of sentient life in Champions Online? Party up and take on the heartless steel monster? Head to new zones, even new satellites to put down the nanobot virus as if it were polio?

If you said “Yes!”, good for you. You’re a true Champion. We’re pencil pushers, so we ask for help from Cryptic Studios.

LoreHound: Who are you, and what do you do in regards to the game?

Cryptic: I’m Russell Williams, and I’m the studio director at Cryptic North which is based in Seattle. I help set the long term vision for the game, do playtests, and generally beat up bad guys in Millennium City.

Champions Online has been out for quite a while now, and there are doubtless many players who have left the game, or never given it a try at all. If given the chance to sit down with any of them, what would you say? Why should a player consider returning to the game now or giving it a try if they never have before?

The depth of content. This is a game that has been running for five years, and we have been building onto it continuously for all that time, so it has a huge number of missions, villains, vehicles, locations, and powers to explore. Plus, we’ve been tuning and refining the game while paying close attention to player feedback, so new players will have a much more polished experience, and we have new features to provide additional depth for long time veteran players, such as the Reawakened Automaton. Continue Reading

ArcheAge Has Launched. But…

17 September 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

AAqueueIt seems all is not well in Denmark. Server problems are not unusual during a game launch; veteran MMO players have come to expect them. Every statement of “this is a horrible launch!” is met with “this is a standard launch!” I’m in the latter camp – I will never again take a day off work, or set aside an entire day for a game’s launch. But every now and again, a game launches with problems that stand head and shoulders above the rest. ArcheAge is one of those games.

The headstart was plagued with issues – servers fell apart as Patrons hammered in, all seeking to grab up the non-instanced land as quickly as possible. Denial of service attacks, authentication servers failing, characters vanishing from the character selection page, crashes to desktop … the four days of Patron headstart were anything but smooth. And every problem for a game like ArcheAge was magnified by the knowledge that for every minute a Patron wasn’t in game was a minute lost in the race to find choice housing, or even housing at all. I didn’t pick up a Founder’s pack, so wasn’t in the headstart, but by everything I’ve seen the headstart cost many Patrons the chance to get housing, as organized guilds and alt accounts grabbed up everything in very rapid order. There are a lot of unhappy people out there, and in this particular case, I can’t really blame them.

Enter free players. Continue Reading

Gabe Heiland on Swordsman’s Differentiation & Future (Interview)

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

lh_swordsman_openbetaThe martial arts themed MMORPG is quite new to audiences in the West. A scant few games have made the transition from overseas. This is naturally relative to how many are currently available there. Fewer still have done it with any resounding success. That’s only one of the reasons Swordsman, from Perfect World Entertainment, stands tall. It’s not only the latest such import, but, according to our reviewer, one that keeps her heading back to hone her wax on, wax off skills. It’s unique – again, to us in the West – angle and game design even has her thinking a little outside the review box. Hence why Pherephassa reached out to PWE for our first interview.

Lore Hound: Who are you and what are your duties in regards to Swordsman?

Gabe: I’m Gabrielle (Gabe) Heiland, the Product Manager for Swordsman. I oversee our version of the game and serve as the main point of communication between our audience and our developers.

How would you describe Swordsman? How does it stand out from other martial arts themed games?

I’d describe Swordsman as an epic playable martial arts movie. The movement and combat is very fluid, giving you a sense of the power of a martial artist from the comfort of your computer chair, while also delivering a great story, told through cut scenes, of love, loss, and betrayal.

What excites you the most about the game?

For me the appeal is mainly in the movement. Swordsman is a very responsive game. Your combat effectiveness is tied directly to your skill as a player and knowledge of the game, rather than set skill rotations or gear. You can triple jump, glide, air dodge, and block at the press of a button, making your reactions an integral part of gameplay. It’s very satisfying to pull out a win in our arena because you blocked at the correct time, dodged under your enemy’s attack, then came crashing down on them in a vertical charge. Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2014: Motiga’s Freshman Entry is a Highly Unique MOBA (Video)

9 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

GiganticScreenshot-Combat-04Lore Hound had a unique opportunity to check out Motiga’s freshman entry to gamedom. Designed by James Phinney of StarCraft, Gigantic is shaping up to reshape the multiplayer online battle arena genre. Phinney and Co. aren’t focusing on creating a niche game, slicing out a piece of the League of Legends dominated pie for themselves. Rather the company, perhaps taking a card from his former employer Blizzard Entertainment, is attempting to one-up the competition with every line item.

Complaining that all MOBAs are the same? How about we drop the standard lane-pushing minions that die to a static tower and replace them with mini bosses? Oh, that isometric view forcing you to squint? How about adopting the third-person perspective popularized by SMITE, which enables you to literally sneak up from behind? Shenanigans to those “weeds” mechanics. Art style you ask? Will a more angular, but no less timeless, interpretation of Borderlands suit your snobby requirements? Oh, really, skills shots are your next concerns? Let us assuage your fears with the ability to murder opponents from across the maps. Should you actually possess such skill.

I may have absolutely sucked at my attempt to crush our cameraman in a match of Gigantic, but that doesn’t mean the interview sucks. In fact, it goes 20-0, two Guardian – that’s what they call towers – kills and a swath of assists. That’s why you should check out the conversation with James Phinney. Oh, and we may be scoring some alpha keys for Twitch viewers. So there’s that. Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2014: En Masse Brings Tower Defense to ZMR (Video)

9 September 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

ZMR_LOGO_(wTEXTURE)_RGBTower defense mechanics in a first-person shooter game? Apparently an apathetic “Why not” complete with a shrug came from Yingpei Games when it was originally suggested. Publisher En Masse Entertainment thinks it’s a perfect mix for the community of Zombies Monster Robots. Let’s be honest, we’ve seen odder features from the title. Exhibit A) ZMR already contains odd co-op shenanigans like the recent Mummy See, Mummy Doom update that was featured on a recent F2P Friday livestream. It was a quirky, unexpected and surprisingly challenging experience.

Released the day after PAX Prime, En Masse invited us into its office to discuss everything that Threshold Defense holds for players, and it’s a lot. The introduction of the TD mechanic, the dominant topic of our interview, brings the community an entirely new game mode. But it also contains five new maps, three focused on PvP, nearly 20 new weapons, new costumes and new targets to soak up those bullets.

Producer Matt Denomme provided a swath of interesting information on the monetization of ZMR, how En Masse manages and adds to the title during localization, what’s in the chute for the limitless game (hint, dinosaurs), beta details, and, perhaps most interesting to the our community, a promise to  provide some weapon codes. Gotta love free stuff! Continue Reading

Looking At and Past Module 4 in Neverwinter (Interview)

5 September 2014 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

NW_Screenshot_ToD_PWT_080114_jpeg14_wm Cryptic Studios has had a busy summer. Not only did the developer polish of Module 4: Tyranny of Dragons for Neverwinter, which we’ve featured as part of Instance Gratification, but it is pushing the title to Xbox One, released a new content patch for Champions Online and will soon do the same for Star Trek Online. You’d think the company would be too busy for some community interviews. You’d be completely wrong!

Who are you and what are your duties in regards to Neverwinter?

I’m Chris Matz, and I’m Lead Designer on Neverwinter. This means I oversee most things on the game, working with the other Leads to create a cohesive vision and direction for the game. I also work very closely with our Content and Systems Designers to plan out what features we work on – from classes and feats and items, to zones and dungeons and story –as well as what our goals are for those features.

Module 4: Tyranny of Dragons was recently released and included a new class and a new playable race. How has the adoption been among the community?

It’s been great! We’ve got a ton of Warlocks in game – including several that have already raced to level 60 – running around Cursing all of our new dragons. The Dragonborn have also been received well, and we’ve got plenty of them using their new fire breath Artifacts to wreak some havoc. I’ve been waiting for us to get Dragonborn in since before launch, and I’ve already race-changed several of my characters over! Continue Reading

Orcs Must Die! Unchained Receiving Massive Patch This Week

25 August 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

OMDUThisIsBetaRobot Entertainment continues to play with every single facet of Orcs Must Die! Unchained. The tower defense meets MOBA game is receiving another large content patch that’s conveniently timed two days ahead of PAX Prime. It promises to once again confuse, revitalize and set the community to arguing. The latest patch is dropping this Wednesday, August 27.

Tundra, a mighty new hero, champions the list of all-new content for this closed beta patch. Featuring ranged and melee attacks, Tundra is a master of trap manipulation, disabling swaths of enemy and ignoring the occasion crowd control ability. The new hero is rounded out with twenty new trap cards, new items and a new weaver.

That’s the basics. The ever-increasing content that we’ve been promised since OMD!U was announced earlier this year; champions, trap cards for deck building and weavers. Included in the upcoming patch is a new twist to OMD!U. Robot Entertainment is mixing up the core gameplay with Minion Captains. These, let’s call them more intelligent mobs, are strong minions that accompany minion waves once a War Camp reaches level three or four, depending on the map.

Head past the jump for a trailer showcasing the upcoming patch and a variety of screenshots to to whet your appetite for Wednesday. Unfortunately, we’ll be too distracted with PAX Prime to be able to run F2P Friday or MOBA Monday. OMD!U will have to wait until early September before it’s featured again. Continue Reading

Swordsman Review: How Important is the First Hour? (Part 2)

19 August 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

2014-07-09 22-40-24For most reviews, I separate out the different parts of the game in question and evaluate them on their own (See Part 1 here!); What is the combat like; how does the character advance; is the community friendly. And I started to do that with Swordsman, and rapidly found myself frustrated. So for part 2, working on evaluating the meat of the game, I’m going to take a different tactic because I’ve found Swordsman exemplifies the absolute importance of a game’s first impression. There are far too many games out there now for designers to have the luxury of ignoring the initial 30 minutes of play.

Those 30 minutes, that first hour – they are perhaps the single most important period of time for any game. Take The Secret World, for example. I love that game, I really do. It has a permanent place on my harddrive next to Morrowind, and I have never for even a moment felt regret over the purchase of the lifetime pack. But every time I tell someone new about the game, I feel compelled to introduce it by telling them that they need to start playing it when they have time – because that first hour sucks.

Why do I bring up The Secret World when I’m here to talk about Swordsman? Because that first hour in Swordsman, that golden hour of gaming, makes the first hour of The Secret World look amazing. I have since come to appreciate some of what Swordsman does and I’m still playing it, but I’ll make no bones about the fact that it has the first few hours of the most boring play that I’ve ever suffered through. Continue Reading