19 July 2013
| | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
Did you think Champions Online was dead? Perhaps you were under the impression that it was given a backseat to Neverwinter, Cryptic Studios’ first release under the Perfect World Entertainment overlord? Either way, you’d be incorrect. Very incorrect.
Fans of the Champions intellectual property and the MMORPG especially now have a new content patch to explore weeks after the release of the Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG. Known as FATAL ERR0R, the patch introduces a storyarc featuring a threat to SOCRATES. Players will digitize their avatar with the help of a voice-acted Dr. Silverback and enter the mainframe to defend the vital piece of technology.
This is only the beginning of the story. In the coming weeks, two additional instances will be added to CO. One will see players tracking the start of the virus to the supervillian’s hideout. The second will be a virtual reality Alert for five-man teams. Each will support the VR theme, with rewards including two new costume pieces and a new Action Figure.
This major content patch comes on the heels of a new batch of Telepathy powers. Last week, Cryptic Studios made six new Telepathy powers available, including debuffs and DoTs.
Behind the cut you can find a selection of the new digitized environments, monsters and avatars. Continue Reading
2 November 2012
| | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
Earlier today Hi-Rez Studios put the Norse trickster live on the Closed Beta servers. After teasing the new god and the “megapatch” itself over the course of the week, they’re both playable after a rather hefty 200+ MB patch. The addition of Loki brings the Norse pantheon up to six playable gods and the grand total to 26. Hi-Rez Studios plans on launching at 30 gods, so there’s just four more expected.
Loki is all well and good, but not megapatch could ride upon a single god’s shoulders. The MOBA is receiving yet-another new mode with this patch, adding an Arena option to Joust and the standard MOBA laning mode, now known as ‘Conquest.’ Arena games are anticipated to last a short 15 minutes, making it bit-sized SMITE gameplay when you’re in a time crunch but still need your fix. In other pure content news, a pair of basic skins have been added, one for Loki and a fitting guise for the fire god Agni.
There aren’t many god-based buffs or debuffs in this patch. Hi-Rez Studios instead focused on balancing purchasable abilities. Rounding out the current crop are Reveal and Turn Minions. Reveal does not allow you to look anywhere, instead it grants the user with larger visual range on the minimap. Turn Minions allows the caster to mind control enemy minions. Both abilities offer benefits while on cooldown. Reveal gives a 12% increase to ward vision and Turn Minions buffs all nearby friendlies with +20 magical and physical protection. Over half a dozen abilities were altered in this patch.
Hit the jump for the full patch notes and learn about all the gods at the SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained column. Continue Reading
23 January 2012
| | LHStaff
Last week BioWare released a video of Game Director James Ohlen talking about some upcoming changes to Star Wars: The Old Republic, one of which was the Legacy System.
Up until now, we knew that the the Legacy system would create a sort of family tree for your main and alt characters and they would gain some sort of benefits. I for one assumed the benefits would be non-combat such as cosmetic gear, titles, mounts or something along those lines, however in the video James clearly states that all characters will gain new abilities and powers.
Being someone that has never played an alt character and who doesn’t plan to, this Legacy System completely gimps players who choose to stick with a single character. The Legacy System almost forces players to start over with an alt in order to remain competitive with other players.
Since SWTOR is all about story and is the game’s main focus, it’s no wonder BioWare would put in place a system that puts a huge incentive for players to start over. However for those of us who are not alt-players, this system makes it pointless to continue playing as we would do so with a permanently gimped character.
What BioWare is trying to do is add replay value to a genre that quite frankly doesn’t need it. Incentivising players to start over should be the last thing any MMORPG should do as the game itself should be engaging enough for players to continue logging in even after completely the story. However when you create a game that has the same old game mechanics and endgame as every MMORPG of the last decade, getting players to start-over is probably the only way to keep your subscribers.
4 April 2011
| | iTZKooPA
Hours of fun. Serious!
A recent trend in video games, all of them, has been the increasing need to instantly gratify the players. From Achievement Points for watching the opening video to rewards for logging in to a game, the industry has made it rain. And often. Purists hate it, and I see the reasoning behind that stance, but there’s as much justification for the opposing view. It gets the endorphins to flood our brain, providing us with a first impression of elated joy thanks to the digital door prize.
Rift, in association with dozens of other MMORPGs, has its own brand of instant gratification. The title is relatively easy to level in, giving access to tons of spells, equipment and abilities early on. Nothing new, really. Rifts, the game’s crowning feature, suck players in before their tenth ding, followed by dungeons, circa level 15. An odd flip to the expected. The title’s Soul System unlocks early, giving players another unique toy to play with. One I’ve had much fun with analyzing, selecting, recapitulating on a single point and reverting ad nauseam.
What? Speccing is gratification to some!
After leveling two characters to this point, due to a guild mix up, it hit me how front-loaded the title is. It’s been a fun ride, but I am starting to wonder if I’m going to be held for the long haul. Re-rolling has put me substantially behind the leveling curve, so I need some help on this one. Does Rift have more to offer me down the road? Does the sense of instant gratification dissipate into nothingness? Did Trion Worlds manage to keep the novelty going by pacing itself, releasing new and interesting features (perhaps better quests?) during the adventure to level cap? Or is it all front-loaded, with little beyond new abilities, spells and dungeons (read, same old, same old) to keep me to the end of the journey?