Posts Tagged ‘gems’

SMITE Heads to Open Beta with Content Patch, $100k Launch Tournament

24 January 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Hi-Rez Studios announced that their godly MOBA, SMITE, has made its way to Open Beta. In Closed Beta testing for the better part of a year, the growing community can start to prepare for a $100,000 Launch Tournament. Qualifications and scheduling will be detailed in the coming weeks.

The content patch that came along with the transition includes a massive graphical update for the Conquest game mode, a new practice match again AI Ra, in-game Team and Roster management systems, a modified Ranked Team Conquest queue and long-awaited Refer-a-Friend program.

The program offers extra Favor as your “friend” levels up. Stepping away from most programs, players that level cap will earn their referrer actual money in the form of 200 Gems. Care to join me?

There’s another incentive for getting started on your account. All players that reach level 30 before SMITE launches, which is still TBD, will receive a Limited Edition Ymir skin. Thankfully, those that have already begun their progress do not have to fear any wipes. Hi-Rez Studios will not be wiping progress now or in the future.

Hit the jump for the Open Beta trailer. Don’t forget to head over the official SMITE Facebook page to snag the awesome Ra skin shown above. SMITE Wiki has the latest patch notes in full.

Update: Below the cut, we’ve also got the first look at the upcoming Limited Edition Ymir skin!

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Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Explained: RMT Included

20 March 2012 | No Comments » | Mike

Today ArenaNet revealed more details about Guild Wars 2‘s microtransaction item-store, revealing that it will allow players to participate in real-money-trading (RMT).

The basic system works on three currencies: gold, gems, and karma. The karma currency is not trade-able, and is only used for unique in-game rewards. However, the gold and gems currencies can be traded freely; with gems being purchasable with real money, and are the only accepted currency in the item-store.  This works similar to EVE Online‘s PLEX system, but goes a bit further.

With EVE‘s system, PLEX can only be used for one thing: to add game-time to your account. Players can purchase extra PLEX, and sell it in-game to players, who can then purchase it with in-game credits. This gives players a way to play EVE Online free, if they’re good at making money in-game.

Guild Wars 2 system is similar, but instead of one purchasable item, it gives players an entire item-store to buy things with.  This also creates a dynamic between the two currencies, as gold will always fluctuate in value, while gems will not. The reason being, that the price of items in the item-store are a lot more consistent than items sold in-game by other players.

This system then creates a sub-market that will actually allow players to make, potentially, huge profits by constantly trading gold for gems. When the value of gold is high, trade it all for gems. As the value drops, trade your gems back to gold, and depending on the fluctuation, you’ll get more gold back then what you started with.

The good news is that the item-store will only sell cosmetic items and items to speed up certain in-game processes; most likely EXP boosts and things of that nature. ArenaNet made the following statement about selling items that give players any sort of advantage,

But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time

The reasoning behind this move is to prevent gold farmers from ruining the game as they’ve done with other MMORPGs. By allowing the players themselves to buy and sell gold, it destroys the RMT blackmarket.

As far as I’m concerned, ArenaNet can do no wrong. The system sounds great, and I’m even more excited for GW2; if that’s even possible.

Gearscore Version 4 Video Preview

27 November 2010 | 3 Comments » | Heartbourne

Gearscore, the addon that became the ubiquitous way to measure the quality of a player’s gear, is soon going to move into a completely new version with many enhancements. The previous versions of the addon simply gave players a number representing the quality of their gear, and the addon would display the calculation for other players by simply mousing-over them or by querying other players running the addon. It received widespread criticism for assisting the cultural shift of measuring a player’s ability based on their gear alone.

Now, the addon is much more robust and displays all sorts of information about a player. It is lightweight at approximately 135kb of memory usage and does not take up as much space as shown in the video. The default “summary” page displays a weighted calculation of a player’s gear, as well as new scores showing the extent of their quest and achievement completion, raid experience based on boss kill statistics, and PvP experience. It also shows their spec, guild, guild ranking, and other player’s ratings of that character.

From there, it shows how well-equipped they are to participate in different raids and their overall progression status. Finally, it lists any red flags, such as wrong enchants, and all of the equipment the character is wearing.

Click through for more, and my own opinion on how to use this addon. Continue Reading

Patch 4.0.1 Goes Live Today [Updated]

12 October 2010 | 15 Comments » | Amatera

As sweet as this water looks, it's the least of the changes being made in 4.0.1.

[Update: Servers still aren’t up, so why not freshen up on those stat changes?]

Whether through the internet or the game client itself, you’re probably aware by now that the massive Patch 4.0.1 for World of Warcraft is set to hit live servers today. While it needs to be reiterated that this is not the patch that forever changes the world, it will change yours. And by that, I mean everything you know about how the game, and your class, should work.

There’s simply so much to consider that it would be a waste of space to reproduce the entirety of the changes here (though we may post official patch notes when they’re up). Instead, we’re going to run down the litany of new features and, if applicable, let you know where you can find out more about them. Look ’em over while you wait for the servers to come back up:

  • Major Classes Changes: In an official Blue post, Bashiok clues us in to the most critical, paradigm-shifting class changes such as Eclipse for Balance Druids, Soul Shards for Warlocks, and switches to alternate power sources for Hunter and Paladin.
  • Minor Class Changes: As the bulk of the update, individual changes to spells and whatnot are hard to track down. Chances are, if you play World of Warcraft, it’s safe to say Blizzard changed something critical about your class! The link provided will take you to Elitist Jerks. If you can parse the theorycrafting jargon, check your class forum, as they’re already diving deep into the tweaks.
  • Talent Changes: This one’s huge, too! Remember that Blizzard has actually shrunk the talent tree, changed the way in which you spec into multiple trees, and added Mastery! Most of the “useless” talents have been removed, changed, or replaced. The EJ link above probably has a lot of information, but if you’d like to play around with the new system in a sandbox, this WoWTal link has you covered.
  • Glyph Changes: As skills and talents shift, so must Glyphs. Prime glyphs have been added and you now only have to use a glyph once to “learn” it, after which it can be switched in and out when not in combat. Blue Lylirra gives us the lowdown.
  • Currency Changes: Badges are out, points are in. Any Honor or high-tier badges will be immediately converted to the new system. Low-tier badges and other non-monetary currency will be converted to gold. The system applies to current raiding and battleground content, but will come into its own with Cataclysm.
  • User Interface Changes: Improvements are coming to just about every aspect of the UI, which is great but means that you’ll probably have to reorient yourself over the next few days. Check out many of them in the linked video, put together by our very own Mordil. It’s worth taking a look at the one he produced for the Druid UI, as well.
  • Flexible Raid Lockouts: Bashiok comes at us again with more learnin’. Flexible raid lockouts mean that even if you missed some days in your raiding week, you’re not completely out of the game. It’s being put into the game now, but will make even more sense when the Cataclysm comes.
  • Stat Changes: Don’t fret if you log in and all your gear has changed. Some stats have been changed, converted, or removed in order to simplify the system a little bit. Remind yourself what’s been done to your precious gear by following this link.
  • Reforging: NPCs in major cities can swap secondary stats with other secondary stats on your equipment. See if you can squeeze a few more points of awesome out of your gear.
  • Power Auras: The popular third-party mod has been co-oped (read: copied) by Blizzard. The basic idea is that custom graphical effects will pop up around your character when it’s kosher to activate an ability or when it comes off cooldown. While some may still opt to use the original, the rest of us will get the functionality built in.
  • Socketed Relics: Relics now have stats and sockets for gems. Rejoice, relic-using classes!
  • New Water Engine: Those shiny, new water settings we’ve seen in previews for the expansion are coming in 4.0.1, but make sure your rig can handle it first.
  • New Guild Member Cap: Mega-guilds, beware! If you’ve already listened to our most recent podcast, then you’ll know we look like fools talking about the 600-member cap. Bashiok followed up the initial announcement stating that feedback had caused them to “re-evaluate” the decision and bump it all the way up to a cool 1000. This is now a had cap and necessary to accomodate all the new new guild features.

Can’t wait to check out of this stuff, myself, but I still don’t expect to be playing hardcore until 4.0.3, myself. While all the new changes are cool, there still isn’t any new content (well, beyond the impending pre-Cataclysm events which should be a part of this patch, as well). Tell us what has you pumped (or disappointed), and if I’ve missed anything, please let me know.

Rawr 3 Goes Into Beta

29 April 2010 | No Comments » | Amatera

For a lot of World of Warcraft players out there, figuring out how to optimize your character can be a deeply confusing and frustrating experience. Sure there are several loot-ranking sites out there, but they still require that you sort through long lists of gear and you still have to be able to eyeball which equipment will give your personal setup the most bang for your buck. And then there are all those labyrinthine spreadsheets that min-maxers seem to be fond of.

Useful for those who are used to parsing such arcane knowledge, but not as helpful for all us regular folk! And that’s why Rawr has been such a wonderful resource for the community. This stand-alone program has long assisted players by allowing them to pull their character data directly from the armory and calculate precisely how different upgrades, enchants, gems, and specs would affect their performance on the fly. As straightforward as this seems, the software is flexible enough to let you play with options on your own if its provided suggestions aren’t to your satisfaction (as is sometimes the case with particularly finicky or experimental builds).

The latest version, Rawr 3, has just gone into beta. Sure, the interface is still familiar to anyone who has used it before, and undoubtedly new data has been plugged into the system, but there is one key difference between this and previous versions: Rawr 3 is a web app. Though the stand-alone release will continue to be supported while the latest update is still in its testing phase, this is likely the future of the program.

Not every aspect of it is completely operational yet, and there are undoubtedly still bugs to be worked out, but the final product should be just as functional as it always has been (if not moreso). Importing my Rogue’s data was as easy as it ever has been, and the fact that it runs on Microsoft’s Silverlight API — instead of something like, say, Flash — makes using it feel like a smooth and satisfying experience.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself tearing your hair out over how to improve your character, there has never been a better time to give Rawr a shot than now. And if the app, or Silverlight, gives you any trouble, do remember that you can still download and run the latest version of Rawr 2.

World of Warcraft Twitter Developer Chat — 4/16/10

16 April 2010 | No Comments » | Amatera

The latest Twitter developer chat is officially under way over and we’ll be bringing you we have all the answers to questions submitted by the community. Today’s Q&A wass primarily focused around the large amount of class information Blizzard dumped on us over the past couple of weeks, but there are a few other tidbits in there, as well.

It’s hard to pick out any particular highlights, since the breadth of answers really covers so many different topics, which I’ve conveniently set up in the following categories past the jump:

  • Death Knight
  • Druid
  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Shaman
  • Warrior
  • Warlock
  • General Class
  • General Race
  • General Stats
  • General Equipment
  • Raid/Dungeons
  • PvP
  • Guilds
  • Mount/Pets
  • User Interface
  • WTF?!

Some categories have several questions under them, others only one. People always ask weird things in these Twitter chats and, for some reason, the developers choose to answer them. You’ll find those under WTF?!

If I had to pick out anything that I thought was particularly interesting, it was all content-related. Such as the fact that you’ll be able to train up to a new 310% speed flying skill (though Blizzard says they don’t want to go any higher than this) and you should be able to use your aerial mounts in the “old world” right away. Likewise, Stonetalon will reportedly be virtually unrecognizable compared to its current incarnation and the Western Plaguelands will change to reflect the receeding Scourge forces (but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous).

They’re also going to continue streamlining the user interface, but they don’t want to go too crazy since they know people enjoy their third-party mods so much.

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Free2Play: Pirates of the Caribbean Online

1 November 2007 | No Comments » | LHStaff

Yesterday, Halloween, Disney decided to launch its’ new MMO Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Now, normally, we wouldn’t report on a Disney MMO. Most of their games are way too focused on the kid-aspect of the community, and really we don’t particularly care for games like ToonTown. However, seeing as pirates are awesome, and Pirates of the Burning Sea was recently delayed (again) until next year (Q1 2008) we are forced to get our fill of pirates at another location, Pirates of the Caribbean Online.

It’s not all bad, though, the game does have some neat features. The neatest of which is that it is completely free to download and play. Seriously, you can head over to their website now (here) and download and play the game with no strings attached. Some other neat-ish features include:

  • Getting your own pirate ship.
  • Ability to go on land and search for treasure on islands and such. No sea-locked pirates here.
  • Different weapons and skills for both your ship and character.
  • A neat “Become a Legend” feature that allows you to become famous, apparently. . .
  • Voodoo magic! Need I say more?
  • Gambling. . . are we really trying to teach kids how to gamble?

As you can see it’s definitely not lacking anything that you’d expect to find in a P2P MMORPG, which is definitely a good thing. However, because it is running off Disney’s ToonTown engine the graphics aren’t really all that great. Actually, they are pretty horrible by today’s standards. Still, a good Free2Play game is always rare and this one looks like it could be one of those gems.