Jump to content


Recently Active Forum Topics

Most Likes Received

MMO Round-Up 05.07.2013 - The Repopulation, EverQuest Next, Planetside 2, 7 Ways do Die & more!

Jul 05 2013 07:05 PM | mynsc in MMO Round-Up

MMO Round-Up restarting on Friday, July 19th at the latest, in the new by-weekly format.

The MMO Round-Up feature is morphing a bit. While I've learned quite a bit from it already and I'm having fun doing it on a daily basis, the reward over time spent ratio is far from ideal so it's hard for me to justify this being a daily thing. For example, it occupies more than half of the time I usually allocate for doing stuff on TF each day. I'm certain I can use those hours more efficiently, especially on some long-term features I've been looking at for a while now.  ;)
So considering this, the MMO Round-Up from now on will be a weekly, maybe bi-weekly column (depending on the news) and I'll focus more on "out of the ordinary" and interesting news, rather than patch notes, holiday events and other boring stuff that you probably already know if you're playing that certain game.
On a related note, this section (same as the Titan one) is still open to contributions. If you have an idea and a bit of summer free-time put aside, do let me know.  :)
General News

Defiance [new video on the Volge, the main bad guys of the Defiance universe and the protagonists of the game's newest event.]



Planetside 2 [I mentioned the new Battle Islands feature in a previous round-up. In an interview with ZAM, Matt Higby, PS2's creative director gave ample details on this new addition.] - ZAM

In terms of the map itself, Matt explained what he thought Nexus would bring that would excite PlanetSide 2 players.
Compared to our current maps, it’s a lot tighter so it allows for a lot more tactical movement, especially within the facilities and outposts. There are a lot more underground areas, places to have very focused infantry fights. We have a few areas like that in PlanetSide 2, such as Bio Labs and a lot of the facilities that have been revamped have that within them.
Because Nexus is a relatively smaller map, the density of that is a lot tighter. So if you just want to play infantry and just go from outpost to outpost, your ability to do that and remain in the action pretty much non-stop is a lot better within Nexus.

Speaking of making broadcast gameplay exciting, I wondered what steps the team at SOE was taking toward making PlanetSide 2 more effective as an eSports experience for viewers. Matt was—as always—honest in his assessment that work still needed to be done.
I consider it to be our biggest challenge; contextualizing the action in PlanetSide 2 to make a compelling viewing experience is an enormous challenge. It needs two things to come together really well, that is the observer camera system; allowing you to see not only an overview of where the world is, but also first-person views of what the player is seeing. Being able to, at a glance, see a scoreboard and the mini-map, to understand where the players are moving and what they’re accomplishing, all those pieces are really important and that’s entirely on our end to develop.

Upcoming / Beta

Final Fantasy XIV [A new gameplay video, also showcasing the PC version.]



EverQuest: Next [This is a seriously awesome compilation of EVERYTHING we know about the game so far. Everything. :o ] - EQNexus

The largest sandbox in history
Direct quote from John Smedley at SOE Live 2012
Playable version by the end of the year
Players will get their hands on an actual release version of what we're doing late [this] year - and I don't mean a beta
Uses Forgelight game engine
Currently used in Planetside 2


Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade [The dev team has planned two 1-hour AMAs for today. One has already taken place (see the link to the right) and one will take place at 4pm EST (1PM PST, 9pm UTC). Live stream below. The answers from both sessions will be posted on the game's subreddit] - Twitch VOD


Watch live video from 40kcrusade on www.twitch.tv


The Repopulation [PvP Overview - in a nutshell, EVE Online warfare with some interesting additions. Awesome.] - Official Website

PvP can range from enjoying combat in the contested regions, doing battle with your faction allies against the other main faction, or enemies as decided on by alliances with other nations in the game.The nation system is one of the core elements of The Repopulation. It can lead to numerous PvP opportunities such as the sieging or defending of cities, or battling for control of vital resources. Independent nations that we refer to as “Rogue Nations” can form their own alliances and become a bastions of peace, or a chaotic group of mercenaries attacking anything on sight.
Players begin the game as Reserve members of the military, which means that they may not attack or be attacked in Protected regions. Each of the two main factions has roughly a third of the world marked as owned and protected by their faction. Reserve military members may not attack or be attacked by rival factions while in these protected regions. There is a full complement of tiers in these protected regions, so players who wish to avoid PvP entirely, may do so on Normal servers.
You may switch to Active military at any time, but if you do so you will be unable to switch back to Reserve for a period of time. Active Military members can attack or be attacked by other Active Military members of hostile nations. Once you step outside of the protected regions and into the contested regions you are under the same rules of active military. Enemies of your faction or nation are able to attack you at will.

Nations can take control of plots of land in contested regions to build cities. Once a plot of land is taken, the nation and those in charge of the city can increase the size of the city by providing resources for the city and structures to help the city prosper and grow. As the city grows, it will be better suited to defend itself.
Cities can also be used to launch sieges on rival nations. We'll cover sieges in detail in a future article, but suffice to say that the sieging process will require careful planning, and will be window based so you won’t wake up to find your hard work completely lost. The risk of losing a city is very real though. Nations would be wise to form alliances, and not alienate themselves from the rest of the server. Cities provide defense to friendly players, as well as being hubs for shopping, entertainment and missions.

Videos / Pics

Opinions / Interviews

 10 Franchises that would make great MMOs [A pretty terrible list, but with a few gems on it like Fallout and Planescape Torment.] - Massively

7. Enter Player One
OK, Ernest Cline's geek novel about a group of gamers in the near-future who compete online to become the successors of a massive software company might be the least-known item on this list. Still, it's absolutely perfect for an MMO conversion because the book is about an MMO to end all MMOs. The online game, OASIS, is every game and virtual world and sandbox experience known to humanity, and the fact that it's about leveling up, collecting loot, building forts, staging massive PvP battles, and fighting evil corporations makes this an irresistible notion.


 Have traditional MMOs had their time? [In other words, have publishers and devs FINALLY realize that the WoW model is not a good bet for the future or even the present? About time.. Now I just hope they don't go over-board with MOBAs and Shooters. What? Too late for that? Oh well.. ] - Eurogamer

"I don't see the traditional MMO having much of a chance in the future, but games that bring tons of people together - they're definitely going to exist. So you'll have a subset of it, but I'm hoping it will diversify a little bit more," he elaborates. "Definitely you're not going to have the big subscription-based MMOs any more - those are dead."

DayZ and Minecraft came from nothing. They were creations of one brain in each case, built quickly and cheaply. They blossomed because they were new, risky and built on the creativity and participation of their players more so than their creators; although they weren't blank slates, they weren't staid, monolithic theme park MMOs trying to please everybody either. They had what came to be acknowledged as a tightly focused appeal, despite their many players and shared worlds, and that is now catching; Camelot Unchained, for example, is a Kickstarter MMO with a budget of $5 million and an unwavering focus on a niche audience that wants a hardcore PVP game. In some respects it's risky and uncompromising, but it seems wise to the lessons learned by its most recent peers, which is exciting.


 Skybox pleasures [When's the last time you looked up in an MMO? I remember being floored by Outland's sky, but ever since I can't really remember any other MMO world that impressed me with its background. Here's a short look on the skyboxes of a few popular games.] - GamingSF







Rift has some very beautiful backdrops, the view from Meridian across towards Lantern Hook in the Droughtlands for instance. The game makes very good use of night and day cycles, plus some impressive weather effects (e.g. blizzards in the Iron Pine Peaks). The most spectacular use of the skybox though is the River of Souls ‘Milky Way’ style effect that featured in the first post launch live event and since in the Raid / Chronicle of the same name.

MMO Design

Player Controlled Progression [random vs controlled upgrades to a player's char. Which is better in which situations.] - Gamasutra

In the past I've talked about progression in game design by defining it as short-term and long-term. Where short-term represented minor or constant changes like new equipment. And long-term were major changes that affected how the player continues to play such as runes in Diablo 3.
However we can further break down progression based on the amount of control the player has over it and as always, there are specific advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Misc / Off-Topic

7 Ways To Die [A Survival Horror Open World Crafting Sandbox Game. :O I'm pretty sure they managed to hit every buzz word there is in this space. It's hard to say how close to this description the game will land (it's still in Alpha), but it's interesting nonetheless and definitely worth keeping track of.] - Official Website with more info



Blizzard's San Diego Comic-Con Schedule [A sizeable presence, with heavy focus on World of Wacraft and with panels on Blizzard's art, storylines and licensed products.] - Official Blog

World of Warcraft Tribute Signings (UDON booth #4529)
A selection of top-flight artists will be on hand to sign and maybe even sketch in your copy of World of Warcraft Tribute. Tribute artists scheduled to appear include Justin Bechtold, Kevin Cameron, Sean Galloway, Matt Grigsby, Dax Gordine, Gregory Higerd, Don Ho, Edwin Huang, Arun Naina, AJ Nazzaro, Laura Rivera, Emmanuel Fuentes, Patrick Scullin, and Arnold Tsang. (Subject to change)

Blizzard Licensing Panel (Hall 6BCF)
Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP Story and Franchise Development) and a team of esteemed guests reveal never-before-seen licensed products and plans for 2013/2014. Talk to the designers, writers and artists as we dig into toys, novels, comics, statues, and more. Panel and extended game Q&A session moderated by Kat Hunter (host of BlizzCon coverage on DIRECTV).

Community Pulse


Daily AMA: Got any questions about today's news or MMOs in general? Leave them in the comments. You'll probably get quick and awesome answers from TF's members, but if not, I'll give it my best to give you an answer in tomorrow's article.


Stream Highlight: PingWingTV - WoW raiding, good music and awesome rants. 
Featured TF Forum Thread: Is Blizzard being unfair?

Read story →    3 comments    (forum thread)    *****   

MMO Round-Up 04.07.2013 - Guild Wars 2, Firefall, Wildstar, Twitch & more!

Jul 04 2013 05:52 PM | mynsc in MMO Round-Up

General News

Guild Wars 2 [Significant changes to the Achievement System - reward structure added and also major modifications to the UI] - Official Website



Every point that you’ve earned while adventuring across Tyria will count towards exciting rewards, including:
Exclusive armor and weapon skin unlocks – including Radiant armor, Hellfire armor, and the Zenith weapon set.
Permanent account bonuses—permanent boosts to Magic Find, experience from kills, karma gain, and more. Earn achievement points on any character and get rewards for all of your characters.
Currencies – gold, gems, karma, and laurels.
PvP Rewards—skins and glory boosters.
WvW Rewards—use Badges of Honor and siege blueprints to help push your server to victory.
Utility Items—Instant Repair Canisters, Revive Orbs, powerful boosters, and more.
Unique Titles—show off your dedication to your fellow players.


Dragon's Prophet [SOE's newest MMO to receive its first major update since entering Open Beta about a month ago] - Official Website

The celebration of the annual Ancient Shadow Festival begins today in remembrance of the great Warthorne who sacrificed his life during the Second Dragon War. You can take part in this commemorative event by solving a series of quests and being rewarded with a unique title. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for Auratians to learn more about their deep past.
While the heat of summer encompasses Europe, a sign of what’s to come is emerging in the frozen landscape of Wintertide. Winter is well and truly coming to Auratia. Trample through this snowy new region with your dragons and explore three new dungeons.

If all that wasn’t enough, you will soon be able to move into your very own home with the new "dream islands", utilize new commands to interact with your dragon in different ways and experience an increased level cap of 70.


Guild Wars 2 [No expansion planned for the game. Pretty weird considering it's on a B2P model. I guess the in-game store is pretty successful.] - Eurogamer

"So right now we're not really looking at expansions as an option," lead content designer Mike Zadorojny told me on his visit to London last week.
"It's something that's on the table but it's not something we're focused on, because what we want to do is - our idea here is that with Living World, we can do what expansions would have done but do it on a more regular basis."
I pressed him to tell me whether there would be a Guild Wars 2 expansion this year and he shook his head to indicate no. What about next year, I asked?
"If we do this right," he answered, "we will probably never do an expansion and everything will be going into this Living World strategy."

Sales of Guild Wars 2 are officially 3 million, a slightly cobwebbed number accurate only as far as January 2013. NCSoft typically shuts down questions about sales, as it did again when I asked, but as the PR was going through the motions of saying, "When we hit another milestone that we've got in our heads...", I interrupted with "5 million?" and with a laugh he replied: "There will be another milestone coming up pretty shortly."

Upcoming / Beta

Firefall [I mentioned before that the game will finally enter Open Beta on July 9th. To mark the occasion, Red 5 is planning an impressive live event. They call it Firefall Fest and it includes personalities from all corners fo the gaming world (Day9 will be there too for example!) and it will be streamed on Twitch.] - Firefall Fest Official Page + Twitch Channel

Throughout the livestream, our community team will be providing some amazing prizes from our friends at AMD and Razer, as well as some unreleased ingame items that will be available July 9th!
Just for logging in during Firefall Fest, you’ll receive your very own Red 5 Studios warpaint, to celebrate the open beta launch of Firefall!


The Elder Scrolls Online [A new wave of beta invites (check your email :o) and a closer look at the making of Kwarma (insectoid creatures quite prevalent in the Elder Scrolls universe)] - Official Website



Pathfinder Online [Crafting explained and damn, it's quite the story. Definitely an MMO to keep track of if crafting is your thing.] - Goblinworks

The player-driven economy is at the very heart of the game design for Pathfinder Online. The economy and the drive for territorial control are two sides of the same coin. Why do you need to control territory? To sustain and expand your economic resources. Why do you need to expand your economic resources? To improve and advance the infrastructure of your territory. Working in a feedback loop, these elements create the engine of drama that gives players something interesting to do within the virtual world of Pathfinder Online.
A key aspect of the player-driven economy is crafting. Our long-term goal is that virtually every meaningful object in the game will be crafted by player characters. The weapons you fight with, the armor you wear, the tools you use, and the buildings you construct will all be derived from the efforts of player characters.

We want people to be able to harvest from the first day they create a character until the last day they play that character. Harvesting is something useful you can always do. You can become more efficient at harvesting, and you may be able to harvest more resources with more character skill, but there is always going to be a way to make some income by harvesting even the lowest-level resources. We want the lowest-level resources to be a major part of the economy so that they are always valuable.
We want players to have to make trades to create many of the processed components and finished crafted items. We want to avoid situations where settlements are self-sufficient, able to harvest all the resources they need in the local area. Instead, we want to create a situation where processing and crafting involve resources that come from many different regions, so that trade is required for the economy to function. You will need to consider how to obtain the supplies of resources you need, and factor that into your choices about war and peace.
We want players to have the ability to demonstrate mastery of the crafting system by creating items with a wide variety of power levels.


Wildstar [Details about the Addon system. Not as many as we'd want, but from the short story we're being offered it's clear that Carbine's support for this feature is without restraints.] - Official Website


Wildstar's first Addon


Even so, two weeks ago was especially exciting for those of us on the UI team, because we were paid a visit by our very first beta Addon creator. For those of you who have been following WildStar, you know that UI customization/modification is one of the key features that we think is essential to WildStar’s success. We are so committed to this philosophy that we are including a fully-featured Addon development tool with every installation of WildStar. The UI engine, called Apollo, and that tool, called Houston, not only allow you to easily create your own Addons to extend WildStar’s UI, but it also gives players full access to all of the Carbine-authored source code, and even allows players to completely replace our UI with their own.

Guides / Tips / Giveaways

Age of Wushu [It may not be the best MMO, but Age of Wushu really feels different and it definitely has its own unique style. For example, in what other MMO would a guide to parkour be relevant or possible?] - Massively

Flying is governed by Flying Skill points, which most people colloquially refer to as the "flight meter." This meter has a maximum base value of 150 points and regenerates based on how much is remaining. You recover ten points per five seconds if it is above 100, five points if it is between 51 and 100, and two points if it is below 50. For maximum efficiency, you want to keep it between 101 and 140 while you're traveling.
Flying skills consume differing amounts of meter. Double jumping consumes seven points, airdashing consumes 15, triple jumping 10, and sliding (Wild Goose Flying Skill) 13. Wall running consumes a small amount at set intervals while it's active.

Videos / Pics

Opinions / Interviews

Firefall Preview: The Miracle Patch? [FF has been through so many iterations, it's hard to believe that one more will make it completely right, but according to the author, the game is definitely on the right path and all the fixes and improvements Red 5 has ready for the debut of the Open Beta will make the game a solid option for any player] - MMORPGcom

The New User Experience
One of Firefall’s biggest hurdles is that, despite being a traditionally-controlled shooter, everything else about this MMO is different from other games in its chosen genre.  Everything from progression to the crafting, the mission system to unlocking regions of the map... it’s all done a bit different than anyone is used to.  And throughout the several years I’ve been participating in Firefall’s beta, I’ve watched its tutorial go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Finally, just a couple of weeks before its big “launch”, the team’s nailed the art of easing players into the game.  I’d highly suggest starting anew if you’ve been away for awhile, because so much has changed in recent months.


 What Makes A Game An MMO? [A very good question, with a decent answer provided by the author. He also applies the definition to the 3 console MMOs that have made a big splash at E3 this year] - Age's Gaming

Destiny: It’s been called an MMO from the beginning and it definitely is one. The Borderlands/Halo type of world looks insanely vast. You can join people to take on bases and other fun objectives. Destiny hands down gets the verdict of legit MMO from me.

Misc / Off-Topic

Link Twitch to your Steam account [DOTA2 will probably get a boost in the numbers of viewers after this, just as Call of Duty got thanks to the connection with XBOX. Anyway, this is a really important move for Twitch, maybe the biggest one yet. Steam is THE place for PC Gamers and bringing Twitch there I'm sure will prove as a huge milestone.] - Twitch Blog

This will come as great news to Dota 2 fans as this will allow you to be eligible for tournament item drops while watching Twitch streams, so long as you own the ticket for that event. No longer will you have to to choose between watching events on either DotaTV or Twitch, and risk missing out on your in-game rewards.


GOG.com - #NoDRM SUMMER SALE FINALE [I've mentioned it before but I will do it again now, because it's the final day and there are some seriously awesome deals there.] - GOG



Community Pulse


Daily AMA: Got any questions about today's news or MMOs in general? Leave them in the comments. You'll probably get quick and awesome answers from TF's members, but if not, I'll give it my best to give you an answer in tomorrow's article.
Stream Highlight: MassivelyTV - The official channel of the popular MMO blog. I don't really like the way they're doing the streams (rigid one hour episode and each time I tune in they're just leveling low level chars), but they do go through many different MMOs, so it's a good channel for discovering new games.
Featured TF Forum Thread: The Repopulation %5BMT%5D - sci-fi sandbox, 3 factions, plenty non-combat activities

Read story →    3 comments    (forum thread)    -----   

MMO Round-Up 03.07.2013 - Wurm, Guild Wars 2, Firefall, Outcast & more!

Jul 03 2013 05:12 PM | mynsc in MMO Round-Up

General News

Wurm Online [Dev Diary with some of the lead designers of the game. They talk about the recent 1.1 patch that contained performance improvements, new and shinier graphics, new monsters and fences! :D They may not put much effort into marketing and hype, but make no mistake: Wurm is a unique MMO in many, many ways. For example, here's a comment I found on Massively that gives you a hint of how much freedom and possibilities you can find in it.] - Massively

This is the only game where I found a cave full of gold, mined for a while, then logged back in to find myself trapped in a caved-in goldmine. I then succeeded in digging myself out and getting lost in a forest where I was devoured by ravenous spiders. This all while people rode horses by standing on top of them. I ended up putting the game down because I didn't have enough time to really enjoy settling down with my shack and garden.



Age of Wushu (NA) [The release date for its first expansion, Legends of Mount Hua, has been pushed back a bit and is now set to August 8. Check the link for all the features that will be debuting with this new expansion, or watch the trailer below.] - Official Website



CCP [Interview with the company's CEO and with their new Product Development lead, Sean Decker. Coming from EA, he created quite the commotion in the EVE community, so I guess they felt the need to clarify some issues, like EVE's business model for example.] - Massively

Sean is to be the head of product development across all of CCP's games, not just the free-to-play titles, but I wouldn't worry about EVE going free to play any time soon. "I don't think [free-to-play] is the be all and end all business model," Sean told me, adding that he understands that the subscription model better fits some games.

Hilmar assured me that the plan for EVE is still the same plan that was discussed at Fanfest and that fans really latched onto. He promised that nobody will be "making any big kneejerk changes to EVE" and that CCP as a company won't forget the lessons it has learned over the past few years. CCP is currently looking at options that let players "customise the game experience" without upsetting game balance. Options like ship paintjobs are still on the table, but Hilmar explained that the focus right now is on more ideas along the same lines as the dual character training option recently released in EVE's Odyssey expansion.

This year's EVE Online Fanfest included the reveal of a brand-new virtual reality dogfighter for the Oculus Rift named EVE-VR, which fans went absolutely nuts over. When asked whether this will be turned into a retail product, Hilmar confirmed that it will be one of the games under Sean's new remit, but he clarified, "Right now there are no specific plans." He added an optimistic note that CCP "took [EVE-VR] to Fanfest and E3 and the world is screaming for it."
Hilmar went on to reveal that CCP's plans to infiltrate the wide world of mobile gaming are well underway. Former EVE producer Jon Lander has taken on the task of managing the company's mobile offerings, and this year will be mostly spent preparing for next year's full-scale app development. The first apps to be released will be "cohort apps to the EVE universe," explained Hilmar, describing them as companion apps to enhance the game experience.


TERA [interview with Patrick Sun about the new Corsairs' Stronghold battleground.] - ZAM

Though the Stronghold is the most eye-catching aspect of the patch, it also lays the groundwork for the Alliance system. What do you think it will bring to the game for players?
The Stronghold patch brings a ton of changes to players, perhaps the biggest set of any patch to date.  It contains a lot of class balances players have been asking for as well as some changes to leveling and dungeons.  The Alliance system will come into play in an update later this summer, and it’s really going to evolve the political system in an awesome way.  Your objectives as a player will change, even if you’re not in a dungeon or battleground.  It’ll give you something to fight for and defend at all times, and I think the players will dig it.

Upcoming / Beta

Firefall [Trailer showcasing the newest instance added to the game, Blackwater Anomaly. P.S. The game is FINALLY going into Open Beta on July 9th.]



Wildstar [exclusive interview with  Senior PvP Systems Designer Jen Gordy] - WildstarOnline.de

3. As the appointed „Queen of WildStar PvP“, what do you like most about PvP?
My favorite aspects of PvP:

Getting a friend or group of friends to strategize with you to take down the enemy or change the tide of a battleground.


The adrenaline rushes as I’m playing in a shared zone on the PvP ruleset server: avoiding large crowds, getting jumped, or picking fights.

11. Will players be required to do a little PvP in order to get certain resources needed for special epic gear that can be crafted (e.g. certain ore from a PvP zone)?
There are PvP specific crafting ingredients. Players will find these in loot bags (rewards for public events in the map), vendors, and through salvaging PvP gear.

14. Will the „Holy Trinity“ play a crucial role in 3vs3 matches?
Through all of our arena playtesting, in beta and internally, I have seen many different variations of team makeup. Because you can choose your ability loadout before the match, a team that consisted of a Tank, Healer, and DPS in one match, may be a Healer and 2 DPS on the next. During testing, I’ve seen successful DPS trios, Tank trios, 2 Healer + DPS, 1 Healer + 2 Tank.


Runescape 3 [Release date set for 22 July! Check the link for all the new stuff that this version will bring.] - Official Website

We can also finally reveal the centrepiece content for RuneScape 3: the Battle of Lumbridge. This will be a world event of epic scale where your decisions and actions will forever shape the story of Gielinor. The future of RuneScape is in your hands.

Guides / Tips / Giveaways

MU Rebirth [Closed Beta Keys Giveaway - 100ish keys left!] - MMOSITE

Closed beta will begin after maintenance on Wednesday, July 3 at approximately 7pm (Global Server Time).


The Elder Scrolls Online [Race Guide for the Aldmeri Dominion faction] - TenTonHammer

The Aldmeri Dominion was formed when word came down that human supporters of Molag Bal had taken control of Imperial City in Cyrodiil. Queen Ayrenn, the High Elf ruler, built the Aldmeri Dominion with the Wood Elves, who live in the Valenwood just northeast of the Summerset Isles, and the Khajiit, whom she aided during the recent Knahaten Flu outbreak that devastated the Khajiit homeland of Elsweyr.

Videos / Pics


 What happened to Guild Wars 2 on console? [an interesting speculation article, coupled with quotes from ArenaNet and with the conclusion that GW2 might still have a console future, thanks to the arrival of the next-gen hardware and policies.] - Eurogamer

"Development for console was something that we did experiment with and try and see [if it would work]," lead content designer Mike Zadorojny told me last week.
"But we were always committed to making sure that we were PC platform first. And especially as we move towards this living world strategy where we're trying to release content as fast as we are - trying to do that on a console is extremely difficult."
In other words, the infamous red tape surrounding the consoles' online networks got in the way. ArenaNet wouldn't have the freedom to update and patch its online world at will, and that's what put ArenaNet off. "Yes," nodded Zadorojny.


 Gaming as heritage: why I’m teaching my son to use a mouse and keyboard [awesome article describing the experience of a father teaching his left-handed son to shoot stuff in Unreal Tournament, even if I don't really enjoy that it implies the mouse + keyboard pair is of the past.] - Penny Arcade Report

I don’t really care if my kids believe in God, or which god they believe in. I just hope they have some kind of belief system that gives them strength. I don’t really care if they grow up to like men or women, although a selfish part of me hopes they’re straight, just so their path in life is easier than what I’ve seen in my friends who grew up liking the same gender. But at the end of the day I just hope they find someone to love.
Most of what they do is negotiable, but not this. They need to know how to use a mouse and keyboard.


 Reflecting on The Secret World's first year [a comprehensive look at the game's first year of life. One of the most under-rated MMOs in my opinion, at least when compared with other recent titles.] - Massively



For all its flaws, the game still struggles with (PvP has always had a tough life in TSW, and there are folks who are rabid in their desire for more endgame), The Secret World has earned its loyal fanbase. Not only does it offer something different with the setting (like the investigation and sabotage missions), but it invites the community to become a part of the world. Just look at the music contest that resulted in player music being incorporated in the game. And remember when Funcom granted rewards to every player when an exploit skewed results of an in-game contest? The development team may be small, but it does seem focused on giving the players a worthwhile experience.

MMO Design

 Designing An Awesome Video Game [a small template of must-have features if you want your game to be competitive on todays's gaming scene] - Gamasutra

Good Game Essential Checklist
This list is in order of importance. Each aspect is listed here briefly, and discussed in detail afterward.
1. Responsive Controls Controls have to be close to perfect, if not perfect.
2. Watertight Concept The game has to make sense throughout.
3. Appropriate Learning Curve The game has to challenge players in a way that’s fun throughout.
4. Positive Feedback & Reward Good games are full of positive feedback for the player.
5. Frictionless User Interface The UI has to be streamlined to keep the player engaged.
6. Consistent Audio & Visual Style The audiovisual style of the game should be consistent throughout.

Misc / Off-Topic

Outcast is set to make a comeback! [Truly a game before its time. I remember being absolutely amazed by it when I played it, way back in the stone age of PC games. It's silly to expect the same thing from this potential sequel, but it's definitely a franchise that merits a resurrection.] - RPS


 YouTube Reacts to E3 2013 [ZOMG SO MCUH XBONE BIAS!!!!]


Community Pulse


Daily AMA: Got any questions about today's news or MMOs in general? Leave them in the comments. You'll probably get quick and awesome answers from TF's members, but if not, I'll give it my best to give you an answer in tomorrow's article.


Stream Highlight: EG.Jaedong - The BroodWar legend, arguably the best zerg that ever played Starcraft, has started streaming his games on a regular basis. If he doesn't make you dizzy from how quick he controls the screen, then it's definitely a must-watch!
Featured TF Forum Thread: No Blizzard All-Stars in 2013 - Impact on Blizzcon and Titan

Read story →    3 comments    (forum thread)    -----