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.
Defiance [new video on the Volge, the main bad guys of the Defiance universe and the protagonists of the game's newest event.]
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.
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
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
The Repopulation [PvP Overview - in a nutshell, EVE Online warfare with some interesting additions. Awesome.] - Official Website
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.
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
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
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.
Player Controlled Progression [random vs controlled upgrades to a player's char. Which is better in which situations.] - Gamasutra
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
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)
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).
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.
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