Posts Tagged ‘f2p’

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

Steel Crusade Set to Eradicate Champions Online

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

CO_SteelCrusade_RoboPunch There be some busy bees buzzing around at Cryptic Studios. The developer announced a new content patch for its original free-to-play title Champions Online. Partnered with the upcoming second expansion for Star Trek Online and the August 14 release (hey, that’s tomorrow!) of Tyranny of Dragons module for Neverwinter the Perfect World Entertainment subsidiary has not taken the summer off in any sense.

The Steel Crusade update brings the superheros of Millennium City face-to-unique-face with Mechanon, a robot supervillain that believes sentient life is best when made out of cold, heartless steel. Players will have to explore new areas, snuff out a nanobot virus and crusade Mechanon’s satellite fortress to save the world.

Three new instances, a new mission hub dubbed with a ridiculous NASA-worthy acronym of UNTIL (United Nations Tribunal on International Law) and a new archetype are a part of Steel Crusade. Additional Mechanon-focused content will follow the September 4 launch of Steel Crusade in time with the fifth anniversary in late September.

We’re hopefully be getting some hands on of Steel Crusade at PAX Prime later this month. Until then the screenshots after the cut will have to hold you over. Continue Reading

Analyst: League of Legends Leaving Loaves of Bread on the Table

11 August 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
lh_smite_league_of_legends_monetization_game_design_breaking-bad-money-pile

Yeah, that kind of dough.

Detractors have been saying the sky is falling on the free-to-play market since, well, the beginning. Initially, it was a business model that would never work with western audiences, then it was that it was a niche. Something that’ll never be mainstream. Well, now we’ve hundreds of F2P games ranging from the original MMORPG incarnations to new genres like MOBAs and old genres like shooters. Digital platforms like Steam and Xbox Live are both on board. Heck, our weekly F2P showcase wouldn’t need to double up on a game for ages and still have quality options.

Most of these Chicken Little claims were conjecture, biased industry veterans or outside analysts. Today, Gamasutra put up a piece that uses (more than the usual amount of) internal information from one of the watershed F2P stories, Riot Games and its sole product League of Legends. In addition, the analyst, Teut Weidemann of Blue Byte, an Ubisoft studio, uses external details. Analysis complete, he doesn’t pull an end of the world claim, but does see numerous flaws in the business model employed by Riot. Essentially, the California company could be making at least quadruple what it is and still be at the low end of the F2P industry metrics.

His analysis found three basic problems causing the drain. Continue Reading

Swordsman Review: Wuxia’s Digital Introduction (Part 1)

8 August 2014 | No Comments » | Pherephassa

2014-07-09 22-40-24Swordsman is the newest MMO on the Perfect World lineup, an epic wuxia-styled game set in the novels of Louis Cha. This is a game that I really wanted to like. I enjoy the subject material – it’s very difficult for me to resist giving kung fu games a try every time I see one – and I have also seen two of the tv serials based on Cha’s The Book and the Sword novels.  There is so much possibility in the setting; secret societies, kung fu, warring martial arts schools, intrigue, romance.. but does the game live up to it?

Installation was easy. Thanks to the Arc console, I simply went to the games section, clicked Swordsman and waited. I did have a black screen issue that prevented me from playing for a day, but the guys at PW very quickly came to my aid and helped me discover I was having bios issues after my newest computer upgrade. Mea culpa – that had nothing to do with the game itself and it ran fine once I sorted those out! My only complaint about the loadup of the game is the splash screen with an image of Cha’s book and warnings about copyright violations lingers on the screen for just a bit too long for this impatient gamer’s taste and can’t be escaped. But that’s admittedly on the nitpicky end of things. I have definitely seen splash screens that are more annoying. Continue Reading