Posts Tagged ‘raids’

Destiny Endgame Designed like MMORPG Encounters

31 July 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
My father still asks me to pause games.

My father still asks me to pause games.

If you didn’t play Destiny during its recent beta then you may be surprised to hear that the game is kind of a big deal. Activision really wants you to know that some 4.6 million gamers made it the biggest beta test for a console game in the history of the entire known universe. So early in testing and clearly still under development players did miss out on a variety of expected features. Chief amongst them, the ever important endgame activities. Raids being dubbed as one of the pillars of the shared-world shooter.

Bungie is keeping the exact details of raiding close to its chest still, but Luke Smith did dish a bit to IGN. The way he coyly describes them sets an idea of fighting a TERA-sized boss with guns in my head despite his efforts to not used MMORPG nomenclature. Big monsters, unique abilities and fire squads are all in the mix. These multi-hour adventures will require everything the term raid dreams up in your head, complex battles, strategy and bio breaks. Matchmaking will not be supported for raids because of this complexity. Something that Smith acknowledges as a risk.

This long-time raiding is beginning to get far more interested in Bungie’s upcoming creation. How about you? Do you think the company will manage to pull off an encounter the magnitude of Ragnaros in a shooter? Will the lack of matchmaking be reversed?

LotRO: Rider of Rohan Delay Doesn’t Hold Back New Instances

27 November 2012 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

No gamer ever enjoys a delay, but many of us begrudgingly accept them expecting the title to be better for it. Turbine Entertainment, makers of Lord of the Rings Online does not have a history of this activity, so the delay of Riders of Rohan was unexpected. However, at the time of the delay the developer promised that the follow-up instance content would make its 2012 release, so as not to stall the entire content plan. At least, not entirely.

Instead of delaying everything to the expected release in February 2013, those forging their own stories alongside the Fellowship can experience the opening sequences of RoR instance content. Later this week, Update 9: Against the Shadow will debut on the Bullroarer test server. Included in the updates and bug fixes will be three instances:

  • Iorbar’s Peak (Misty Mountains / Stone Giants-3-man)
  • Webs of the Scuttledells (Mirkwood 3-man)
  • Seat of the Great Goblin (Goblintown 3-man)

Community Manager Rick Heaton has highlighted that purchasers of RoR will receive the entire instance cluster for free (as expected). The aforementioned group is expected to be live in December. Hit the jump for details on Part 2 and its release date. Continue Reading

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?

 

Embracing the Endgame

17 February 2012 | 3 Comments » | Mike

Over at Bio Break, Syp wrote today about how he’s never been a fan of end-game content, finding it repetitive and entirely different from the journey to the level-cap.  He goes on to say that after finally hitting the level-cap with his Agent in SWTOR, he’s ready to re-roll with a new character and start over, stating, “The alt itch is so strong that it’s almost irresistible, and I’m giddy at the prospect of trying a different class, storyline, and faction

I, however, am the exact opposite; having never re-rolled an alt, and the very prospect of having to do so, sends shivers down my spine. To me, the end-game is the game. Although, I will admit that it is repetitive, and needs an update in the biggest way.

The way I look at it is everyone starts off as a child. As you level and grow-up, you learn new things, then one day you hit the level cap and are finally able to do everything you have itched to do such as: drive a car, vote, pay taxes, work, and buy a drink.

Think of games like League of Legends or Modern Warfare. They both have a leveling system and repetitive gameplay; but millions of people absolutely love it and play for years. So what’s the secret to their success? It’s the competitiveness of playing against other players. Today’s MMORPG, even on the PvP servers, are really co-op oriented games.  SWTOR just took this to the next level, and basically turned it into a single-player experience. You group with friends and fight NPCs all day. How fun would either MW or LoL possibly be, if you played against bots all day? Zero. Neither of those games would be around today if that was the case.

It’s the people who make games fun, and over the last decade MMORPGs have been slowly separating players from each other in-turn for more NPC interaction in the form of collecting points and badges through group quests, raids, and PvP zones.

I do agree with Syp on one point: that end-game content should’t be different from the content that comes before it. End-game content should be a continuation of the game where skill becomes the dominant means to victory.

WoW Trading Card Game: Dungeoneering with BFK, DM & SM

6 January 2012 | No Comments » | Randy Denosha

Ever wanted to raid Shadowfang Keep? Wanted to show Scarlet Commander Mograine who is the boss? Thought it would be awesome to play against The Deadmines? Then the three newest dungeon decks for the WoW TCG are here to help you!

On 15 November Cryptozoic released three new dungeon decks – Shadowfang Keep, Scarlet Monastery and The Deadmines. All of them offer an original twist to the group efforts that players may have been familiar with when the game was still run by Upperdeck. Where the older raids were completely controlled by one of the players, these new dungeons are played by a player who also still controls a deck of his own. Making the meat requirement that much smaller. Continue Reading

Patch 4.1 “Rise of the Zandalari” Megapost

22 April 2011 | 3 Comments » | Amatera

Whether you need a refresher or just haven’t been keeping up with it, Blizzard has put up a full post detailing every nook and cranny of the upcoming content patch. Despite my current disappointment with the state of World of Warcraft, I can’t deny the fact that packing 4.1 with new features at least partially redeems the lack of a new raid dungeon (it certainly shows they’ve been working on something). Here’s a quick summary of what to expect, with the full notes on Blizzard’s site:

Rise of the Zandalari

The days when great troll empires stretched across ancient Kalimdor are long past. Millennia of war and internal strife have stripped these nations of their power, lands, and glory. As Azeroth recovers from the destruction of the Cataclysm, the world’s divided troll populations face a bleak future. These dark times have spurred the trolls of the Zandalar, the historically wise and scholarly tribe from which all trolls originated, to take drastic action. They have embarked on a bold crusade to save their race by uniting trolls into a single mighty empire. With the Zandalari’s aid, the fallen capitals of the Gurubashi and Amani nations—Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman—are already rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.

Yet Vol’jin and his Darkspear trolls are not aligned with the Zandalari. They have sworn to stand with their Horde comrades—and even work with the Alliance—should the trolls ignite a new war on Azeroth. Soon, Vol’jin might be forced to act on his promise, for if the Gurubashi and Amani are left to their own devices, the world will know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.

Guild Challenges

Built into the Info panel of the guild user interface, Guild Challenges are weekly tasks guild groups can tackle for additional guild experience, achievements, and gold. At the top of the guild user interface Info pane, a new Guild Challenges section is displayed and broken into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds. Any guild group will qualify for Guild Challenges credit and there is a set number of times each challenge can be completed per week.

Guild Finder

Guild Finder is a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership. Whether you’re a guild leader looking to fill your ranks or a player looking for a guild that meets your strictest requirements, the Guild Finder provides an easy way to make new friends!

Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms

A new system intended to lower queue times, Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms offers additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/potion, a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount

Clearly the most important thing, though, is that this is a good indication Blizzard is ready to release the patch itself. There is a high chance we will see “Rise of the Zandalari” this coming Tuesday.

Ghostcrawler on Balancing Raid Progression and Nerfs

19 March 2011 | 3 Comments » | pixiestixy

Taking up a subject that can be a point of contention among World of Warcraft raiders, Ghostcrawler (aka lead systems designer Greg Street) posted an interesting commentary on raiding progression, difficulty, and the nerf bat.

Obviously, one’s own raiding point of view will help determine whether they approve of or disapprove of a nerf. But there’s some common sense mechanics behind it that, no matter your stance, are pretty much unavoidable.

Greg “Chostcrawler” Street on dungeon and raid nerfs

Raid encounters, to some extent, nerf themselves. This is because every week, the raid members acquire more and more gear. Secondarily, the community acquires more and more knowledge and experience, which translates into better videos, strategy guides, or even UI mods, as well as just more players who have experienced the encounters firsthand.

But it seems that this form of a natural nerf isn’t what players disapprove of. Instead, it’s the ones that take an actual hand from devs. I’m thinking of the ICC raid and gradual increase of a player’s buff for the instance. Yes, it was completely optional, but those players who wanted to stay on top of the competitive game, or those who wanted to quickly get through the content that they had already conquered without said buff, felt justified in accepting the offer. Hell, I did, too. If that’s what it took to see the content, I was all for it.

It seems the the developers have a similar stance, according to GC. Continue Reading

Adventures Abroad: Early-Morning Raiding and Other Off-Hour Fun

15 November 2010 | 2 Comments » | pixiestixy

Sweet sleep - I think Arthas has the right idea.

For me, one of the best points of playing World of Warcraft is the social aspect. I found a guild that I really meld well with, raiding is always fun and never stressful, and vent and guild chat is a total hoot. Plus, as an added bonus there is a significant number of other female players, like myself, with whom I’ve become pretty close.

So you can see why it was an easy decision for me to not switch to a European realm when I recently moved across the pond from the U.S. to Germany. You also can see the predicament I found myself in when my old West Coast raid crew decided to fire back up again after a long hiatus over the summer — chiefly, the 9-hour time difference. So while I wanted to reclaim my DPS spot with the group, I also was hesitant to commit to a raid starting at 4:30 a.m. my time when I am not a morning person.

But I couldn’t say no without at least trying. I made the raid time one fateful morning last week, and was surprisingly alert as the group (in its second night of raiding ICC for the week) made its way through the Crimson Hall, past the Frostwing Halls and, for my first time ever, up to the Lich King.

Continue Reading