MMORPG gamers have two important four letter words that they’re becoming intimately familiar with. No, STFU, it’s not those. The two “words” are Rift and TERA, fantasy MMORPGs set for release during 2011. Same genre, business model (subscription) and release year are bad enough, but when you add in the fact that both titles are coming from little-known publishers/developers with their own intellectual properties, the confusion enters another level. To confound us one step further, each title started beta invitations around the same time.
But we’re humans, easily defeated by Jeopardy machines. These baffling similarities have even stupefied the infallible Amazon. The seller of anything and everything is returning Rift: Collector’s Edition as the top hit for a search of TERA. Or chips.
As we continue to cover these titles to their impeding launch you’ll learn the nitty gritty of each. Until then, here’s a cheat sheet.
Both games will be released in 2011, using the standard subscription model.
Fantasy settings with your typical WoW/EverQuest UI but in original universes.
Scantily clad, really hot female characters in “armor.”
Only a few days after revealing the Guardian profession (a Paladin archetype) for Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has been inundated with complaints that they’re catering to the Trinity crowd — those that favor classes capable of fulfilling any of MMO gaming’s three key roles. For a game that aims to break genre paradigms, such a concession would understandably be a big no-no. Game Designer Jon Peters believes this backlash to be the product of a lack of familiarity with GW2′s combat system.
In a blog post seeking to catalog all of that information in one place, Peters quotes fellow employee Isaiah Cartwright: “Our professions aren’t dedicated healers, DPS, or tanks because frankly, we built a combat system that just doesn’t allow it.” It sure isn’t easy attempting to break both the jack-of-all-trades class system and the traditional tank/healer/dps combo, so how exactly does ArenaNet plan to do it?
Healing Skill Slot — Every class has a Healing Slot where they must place an appropriate skill. Sure, not every profession will have access to the best heals, or even those with special, conditional uses, but ArenaNet plans to make using them the best way to sustain yourself. Added bonus? It should make you more aware of what’s going on in battle.
Downed, Defeated, and Revival — Any player can revive any of their allies, provided that they can get to their buddies in time. And the “Downed” state insures that just being incapacitated doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of the fight, either.
Shared Boon System — This is Guild Wars 2′s version of buffs. Though they can be applied in many different ways, those available always boil down to the same seven: Regeneration, Might, Fury, Swiftness, Protection, Vigor, and Aegis (you can probably guess what most of them do by name). World of Warcraft now does something similar, but is set up so that at least one of two or more people bringing the same buff is less useful to the group. Boons, though they don’t stack in effectiveness, do stack in terms of duration, meaning that everyone is able to contribute.
No Allied Targeting — Guild Wars 2 features a semi-action-based combat system. Though it doesn’t seem as flexible as TERA’s at the moment, it is still highly dependent on positioning and spatial awareness. That’s to say that you won’t be able to directly target your allies, and will have to rely on movement and skill to effectively deliver your helpful spells.
Diversity — That’s a bit of a loaded word, isn’t it? With Guild Wars 2‘s weapon-switching mechanic allows roles to be switched on the fly. Think “Warrior stances,” but for all classes, and with an automatic swap to appropriate equipment. Undoubtedly, there will be some restrictions, but the key is to allow players to adapt to constantly-changing situations.
Mobility — Movement. Is. Key. Skills and spells work in conjunction with movement instead of against it, and that means you might be playing GW2 more like a first-person shooter than your typical MMORPG. You’ll be able to dodge and find cover while enacting more interesting tactics than “sit in one spot and spam fireball.”
The basic philosophy seems to be, oddly enough, that all classes are Trinity classes. But instead of giving every profession access to every skill, ArenaNet is simply democratizing the more critical aspects of traditional roles — those bits that would otherwise slow down or stop the flow of combat because they are dependent on time or certain archetypes being present. In the same turn, no profession will be able to accomplish such things as healing and buffing in precisely the same way, preserving class diversity. Continue Reading
How can something be both belated and timely? When there’s a holiday involved, of course! The latest episode of the Lorecast is coming ‘atcha a little later than normal, but that’s because it’s making up for the lack of one being recorded this week (due to Thanksgiving shenanigans for us Americans, of course).
We discuss, as always, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion and — more specifically — the impending patch which will flip the switch on The Shattering! Make sure to listen to my impressions of the new Troll starting area! Episode 28 also marks the return of a voice you may have missed since we merged podcasts: Pixiestixy! So please, come join us for some girl time as we sit in rocking chairs around the fire, knitting baby blankets with oversized needles, and crow about the latest news in the world of MMORPGS and whatever baked goods we’ve produced most recently.
So, listen to it now, or (if you’re from the United States) save it for that car/train/airplane trip home later this week! As a bit of extra incentive for doing so, we have some beta keys for Rifts: Planes of Telara, and somewhere in the podcast, we tell you how you can score one! Show notes are after the break.
Mordil and Stormkiller must have plotted my untimely demise together. Stormkiller, popularly known as the “Yawning Ferret,” has captured his second contest crown thanks to his witty inclusion of the DS/Wii franchise Trauma Center. The caption was such a complete 180 to the expected jargon that it caught us all by surprise, pulling a unanimous victory.
However, Stormkiller apparently does not want to reap the rewards. In lieu of going to the second place finisher, we’ve decided to let Stormkiller name the award winner, although Stormkiller will go down in the records books as wearing the official crown. Stormkiller’s choice will receive a copy of Fallen Earth, the difficult-to-find Riot Singed skin, a beta key to a Trion Worlds game, a WoW loot card and more.
All you other contestants better start grovelling or bribing Stormkiller.
Want some free SWAG? Good, here’s your chance to earn it. Calm down, this contest isn’t as complicated or challenging as our E3 contest. The reward for winning will still be enticing. It just won’t arrive in a large box as part of a menagerie of items.
The task is simple. That picture, that one up there ^^, is without a caption. Your duty, should you chose to accept it, is to leave a comment with the best caption you can come up with (be sure to use a real e-mail address!). It can be inventive, witty, eyebrow-raising or unusual. Whatever gets the Lore Hounds to react will be deemed the winner.
A little background information: We’re hanging with a Trion Worlds booth babe showcasing Rift: Planes of Telara.
Most of the rewards for winning The Finale will be digital, so everyone should enter. If you’re outside of the United States, you’ll forfeit the physical prize(s). Fear not, the major prize does not need shipping. As far as I know, there are no region restrictions on the digital SWAG. Loot includes a highly sought after League of Legends Singed Skin, another entire MMOG, a Rift comic and a WoW loot card.
Your mission starts now. You have four days (October 7) before time runs out.
/me lights fuse, runs.
For those who cannot survive without PAX Prime content: Never fear. Mordil has saved the day by living near PAX, and having nothing better to do but upload photos after a day at the convention.
Some of you may not follow iTZKooPA on twitter, but apparently there were some difficulties with getting the videos posted ASAP. I, however, was invited to tag along and snap a few photos. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV, AION, Force Unleashed II, HALO: Reach, Back to the Future (great scott, Telltale Games, great scott), and much more await you past the jump!
Do note that this is only a portion of what I took, and that the rest will be used as we continue our coverage of PAX 10.
I will not be there, unfortunately, to take photos on Day 3. Hope you guys enjoy the sights! I know I did. Oh, and don’t forget to check out our extensive video coverage of the event once, you know, all the kinks get sorted out! Continue Reading
I oh-so-casually strolled in to the Trion Worlds booth with absolutely no expectations. I had heard of the company thanks to the impressive announcement of Telara at E3 2009, but never followed up on the fantasy MMORPG. What a difference a year makes.
The game re-announced a few weeks ago as Rift: Planes of Telara, a subscription based MMORPG. The announcement came complete with a kicking new trailer, one that caught the eyes of the MMOcast. The above interview showcases the stellar graphics, touches upon the deep backstory and of course, the titular rift game mechanic.
Why yes, I did feel like a gnome standing (on my tippy-toes) next to Nick.