Posts Tagged ‘mmorpg’

TERA Review: What Could Have Been The Next Big Thing

25 June 2012 | 13 Comments » | Mike

If I had to quickly describe TERA to someone, I’d say it was a grindy, standard MMORPG with great combat, unbelievable graphics and lots of potential, but since I’m writing a full review, I’ll dive in deeper.

Let’s start off with what I mean as a ‘standard MMORPG’. TERA has all the features you’d fine in any MMORPG today, linear questing system, so-so character creation, decent crafting and skill systems and or course a story-line. Nothing here is terrible, but nothing stands out. As far as story goes, even though I’m in my mid 40′s I still couldn’t tell you what’s happening, nor do I care.

Instead of talking about all the standard features, none of which make or break the game, I’ll talk about the features that do. However, before I begin, I want to say how impressed I am with En Masse for not only launching an extremely polished game, but a game that’s filled with features that many recent MMO games, months after release, still don’t’ have; a fully functional auction house, group/dungeon finder, fully customizable UI, customizable gear (dyes) and world events. Kudos to En Masse for pushing the bar with a fleshed out set of launch features.

I’ll begin with what TERA does right and that’s combat. En Masse advertised the hell out of its combat system and for good reason; it’s extremely fun and addictive. While there are other games out there that feature action combat, I’ve experienced none that are as good as TERA’s system. It’s a completely different way of playing when skill is the predominant factor instead of number crunching as with tab-targeting. Having had to go back to tab-targeting, even Guild Wars 2′s hybrid system during the beta weekends was painful. Going forward, tab-targeting for me is a deal-breaker for any new MMORPG after GW2 as I already pre-ordered it.

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Dailies – The Pinnacle of Lazy Gaming

18 June 2012 | 7 Comments » | Mike

When I started playing MMORPGs, there was no such thing as a daily quest, but as theme-park MMOs developed and became the standard, and leveling times shrunk, developers needed a way to keep players playing. So the Daily Quest was born.

Here we have a system that is so boring and monotonous, I find it hard to believe that it still even exists. Basically, developers decided to create a quest system where the player would farm for some sort of token to obtain the items or rewards they were seeking.

This system, of course, adds nothing to the game itself, and just creates an atmosphere where players are logging in and repeating the same content they did the day before, just for the sake of collecting points.

I can remember the first time I ran into a daily(repeatable) quest and I just stood there wondering, “WTF is the quest marker still up? I just finished it.” Being in that mindset, I have very rarely ever repeated a daily quest in any game because I quite franking don’t want to do the same thing I just did the day before. This sometimes becomes difficult as I don’t always remember if I’ve completed the quest before or not, so sometimes I’ll just skip repeatable quests even if I didn’t do them.

SWTOR was the only game where I actually did do dailies daily, but only the space missions, because they only lasted about 5 mins and gave out huge amounts of XP. I hated doing them, but the rewards were just too great not to.

Dailies are whats wrong with today’s MMORPGs; where instead of dynamic, engaging content, developers shovel out horrifically boring quests, and tell you to repeat them every day if you want to progress. Let me also make the counter-point as to what the difference between sandbox and theme-park games is in terms of repetitive content:

With theme-parks, the dailies don’t change. You already know exactly what you need to do, how long it will take, and what the results will be. There’s really no mystery, and all you need to do is go through the motions of actually doing it.

With a sandbox, it’s not always the same, even when it is. You can decide to claim the same tower every time you log in, but who’s defending won’t always be the same, or perhaps you’ll need to defend it. Sometimes you’ll succeed, other times you won’t. Even gathering resources is not always the same. Sure the actual gathering part is, but you never know who you’ll run into and if you’ll make it back with all your loot. There’s a sense of the unknown with sandbox MMOGs where even if you think you know what will happen, you can never be entirely sure it’ll play out that way.

The same is true for games like League of Legends and any online FPS like Call of Duty. Sure the maps are the same, but the events that take place never are. It’s that human element added to daily quests that theme-park MMOGs do not have, and what makes them a terrible gaming mechanic used too readily and openly as is.

What do you guys think? Do you enjoy dailies? And if so, for the love of god, why?

Radiated Wasteland Mutates to an MMOG

14 June 2012 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Pixel Pandemic announced this morning that its post-apocalyptic F2P browser-based title is now being designed as an MMORPG. Crowding the likes of Fallen Earth and other post-apocalyptic titles, Pixel Pandemic will be bringing the title to Facebook as well as your browser of choice. Not willing to be a “me too” title, the designers at Pixel Pandemic plan to do something no one else has done on Facebook; launch a cooperative MMOG experience.

Features include:

  • Download-free browser-based play
  • Fully customizable avatars including items from the world
  • Avatar skilltrees and perks
  • A “rich” storyline

Hit the jump for details on the lore of the mutated, bombed-out world and the first batch of concept art. Continue Reading

LotRO: Riders of Rohan Behind-the-Scenes Making of the Live Action Trailer

13 June 2012 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Last week, Turbine Entertainment released a live-action trailer for the upcoming expansion of Lord of the Rings Online. Named after the upcoming expansion, Riders of Rohan, the trailer eschews your typical in-game combat, gameplay additions and passing environmental shots for a taste of steel, long hair and knife sharpening to set the mood. The campfire enables Turbine to introduce players to the additional lore that will be unleashed on players on September 5, 2012 without having to spoil specific game elements.

Today, Turbine Entertainment following up the trailer with a behind-the-scenes look at its creation. The behind-the-scenes trailer allows Turbine to take players into the world at the ground level, expressing the excitement, pain, sadness and camaraderie that the general adventurers – us players – experience. Despite being a two-minute trailer, the company spent a lot of time on getting the details correct for the segment. Players looking for gameplay can experience in-game environments and combat later in the making of.

Riders of Rohan can be pre-ordered now, but only if you want all sorts of cool perks.

To summarize, there will be a lot of horseplay beyond the jump including all new screenshots.

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E3 2012: LotRO: Riders of Rohan Release Date & Pre-Order Options Revealed

6 June 2012 | No Comments » | Beararms

Yesterday, Turbine and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the release date for Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan. This is fourth major expansion for the award-winning free-to-play MMORPG. The date that you’re all waiting for is September 5, 2012. In addition, Turbine announced an amazing pre-order program and even threw in media to dine on as we  await release in a few months.

Riders of Rohan features are to include:

Introducing Mounted Combat – Ride into Combat atop your loyal War-steed as you defend the people of Rohan from the forces of Isengard and Mordor. Customize your War-steed’s armor and level its skills over time to aid you in mounted defense of King Théoden’s lands. Mount your steed and gather your fellows to fight against Warbands, contingents of roving wargs and orcs that have been scouted all over the Plains of Rohan! It falls to you to head off and defeat this new threat before they over take the land.

Explore Largest Landscape Yet! – Nearly three times as large as Moria! Join with the Rohirrim and ride across the sprawling Eastern Plains of Rohan. Raise high your sword to fight for honor and glory in the name of Théoden King! Experience hundreds of new quests, earn new favor, gear, deeds and more!

The Epic Story Continues – The Fellowship is on the move once again and must achieve their task at all cost. It falls to you to clear the path and turn the Eye of the Enemy away from their progress as you aid the Rohirrim in their own struggle close by. Witness the breaking of the Fellowship at Amon Hen; forge alliances with the Ents of Fangorn; and aid Éomer, nephew of Théoden, as he seeks to protect his homeland from the growing Shadow.

Advance to Level 85 – Learn what it means to be Rohirrim as you face new challenges throughout the Riddermark on your journey to level 85. Continue your legend as you grow in power with new skills and deeds and earn new armor and gear to aid you in the battles to come.

Hit the jump to see all the pre-order perks – there are many! – and the latest screenshots and trailers. Continue Reading

Thank You Zenimax for Letting Me (and Everyone) Know Elder Scrolls Online Will Suck

30 May 2012 | 17 Comments » | Mike

I’d just like to take the time to thank the developers and PR team behind Elder Scrolls Online for letting me know ahead of time that it’ll be horrible, and that I don’t need to waste my time, nor get my hopes up.

It seems Zenimax is taking a page out of BioWare’s playbook, but didn’t realize BioWare’s lost the game. Fully voiced NPCs, solo story-line, typical MMO tab-targeting combat system, and a separate zone for PvP; can someone please alert Zenimax to tell them they’re making a horrible mistake? This design formula is the expected ruler (the measurement one, not the monarchist one) by the market for the industry. What makes the “next WoW’ is something that bends the ruler to make another, different formula.

What’s even worse is that game director Matt Firor just did an interview with Edge-Online talking about public dungeons as if they were some ancient game mechanic that hasn’t been seen in MMORPGs for years.  Non-instanced dungeons!? Geez, this sounds like the greatest MMORPG ever made (/sarcasm)! Is he serious? There are literally dozens of MMORPGs that released in the last few years without instanced dungeons.

From a team made-up of some ex Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot developers, I can’t believe how horrible ESO sounds so far. They don’t even have a hook yet. What separates ESO from the pack? Is their big selling point, “Hey, it’s an Elder Scroll MMO“? I haven’t heard one thing that’s unique yet; and in this market, the first impression is everything.

Having been an Elder Scrolls fan for over a decade – I only missed experiencing TES 2 - my excitement for this title shot-up through the roof, only to plunge down within minutes of reading the details; but at least they’re upfront about it. So again, thank you for letting me know that ESO will suck, Zenimax.

Wedbush Analysist: “Nobody is buying MMOs after Star Wars fizzled”

23 May 2012 | 6 Comments » | Mike


Wedbush Securities, a financial services and investment firm, today commented on the recent collapse of 38 Studios and the general status of the MMO industry stating that “Nobody is buying MMOs after Star Wars fizzled“. The analyst, Michael Pachter, went on to say that THQ learned this first hand when they could not find a publisher for the Warhammer 40K MMO.

Now this isn’t necessarily bad news, depending on who you are and how you’re looking at it. As a MMO developer, this is probably horrible news for you, but as a gamer, I think it couldn’t be any better.

You see there’s a reason for all of this; there’s a reason why SWTOR players are leaving in droves and why MMOs can’t seem to reach and hold that elusive one million subscribers/player mark. It’s a little game called World of Warcraft. You might have heard about it.

Until developers and publishers realize they’re never going to beat WoW by creating a clone of it, they’re all going to fail. But don’t tell that to the guys behind the Elder Scrolls MMO, it seems they’re as clueless as BioWare was and from the list of features that have been released so far, it seems we’ll have another dead-on-arrival MMO late next year.

Sure there are indie MMO developers creating gems like Pathfinder Online, Embers of Caerus and Dominus, which is now canceled, but they’re under funded, unpolished, and graphically out-dated. The second a developer creates a Kickstarter project, that tells me the game will either never see the light of day or will be released well before it should be. I have no interest in games like that.

The failure of SWTOR is undisputed. While it might be profitable for a long time, it’s once optimistic view that it can compete with WoW has been shattered and it’s left to fight for the scraps off the WoW table amongst the dozens of other “wow killers”.

The failure of SWTOR should be a wake up call to the entire industry that it’s time to try something new, but it seems with games like WildStar, Elder Scrolls and others on the horizon, were going to have to go through a few more failures before it sinks in.

 

Do MMORPGs Really Need Dungeon Difficulty Levels?

21 May 2012 | 2 Comments » | Mike

I don’t remember that last time I went somewhere and was asked how difficult I wanted my journey to be, but in virtual worlds, difficulty settings are becoming the norm.

Games like SWTOR, WoW and the upcoming Guild Wars 2, all have dungeon difficulty settings, mainly to allow casual players the opportunity to try out all dungeons without angering hardcore players. However, by doing so, at least in my opinion, it destroys player immersion into that virtual world.

I’ve only experienced dungeon levels in a few games, lastly in SWTOR, and they always felt like they weren’t part of the game. In SWTOR it felt like I was playing a mini-game of sorts, like PvP battlegrounds, that had nothing to do with the actual game itself.

To me, MMORPGs biggest selling point are the virtual worlds themselves, I think that’s why we all play them, to be part of a living, thriving world. Instances are bad enough, but when you add difficulty settings to them, it just completely destroys that sense you’re part of a living world.

The reasoning behind difficulty levels is straight forward enough, it’s to give all players, from the most casual to the most hardcore, the opportunity to try out all the game’s content, but is that right? If you’re a casual MMORPG gamer, do you think you should have access to every single dungeon in the game? Shouldn’t certain areas of the game need a certain level of skill and/or gear to complete?

Now, I’m not a fan of blocking content by gear restrictions either. Meaning, I don’t believe that dungeon A must be completed before it becomes possible to successfully complete dungeon B, but I do believe in some sort of gear requirement. I mean, you can’t walk into an end-game dungeon with average gear and think you’ll be able to complete it.

The difficulty settings seem to be just more rides for the theme-park MMORPG, where pleasing everyone and creating more content without really doing so, wins out to creating a real virtual world. What do you guys think? Do difficulties settings bother you or are you for them?