They said it would happen in the ancient texts of May 2013, and lo, it has come to pass. RIFT, the previously not free MMO is now a free MMO. And they promise “no trials, no tricks and no traps.”
It seems that Neverwinter’s had a bit of a weekend. The game was offline for five or six hours after very naughty players discovered an exploit that allowed them to make billions of the game’s in-game currency, Astral Diamonds. While that may at first seem problematic, but not too serious, this in-game currency can be used to buy “Zen” from other players, Perfect World’s virtual currency bought with real-world money. This sudden flooding of Astral Diamonds into the game’s economy broken everything. So the publisher is scrambling to fix things. By turning back time.
We had Craig wipe his grubby hands all over The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot last week, and he came away feeling rather positive. So that’s good. But what does it look like when all the screenshots come rapidly, one after the other, in some sort of “moving picture”. We have the technology.
“RF Online” are words that sow fear into my heart. 160 years ago, in 2006, I had yet to come to the realisation that “No!” was the only sensible answer to, “Would you like to review this MMO for meagre freelance pay?” So it was I took on the task of RF Online, a Korean MMO that put the “grrrrrrr” in “grind”. It is with… confusion, really, that I notice an open beta is beginning for a game called RF Online 1.5.
Rising like a hideously mutated phoenix from the ashes of STALKER 2 is Survarium. Although, as is well established in Jim’s interview with the team from earlier this year, the F2P MMO is deliberately a very different game. And now it’s a game for whose alpha you can register.
RPS Feature FINISH NOW! $49,823
ARPGs, as I’ve argued before, are the ultimate in comfort gaming. That half-involved click-click-clicking occupies all the parts of your brain that are otherwise used for worrying, while also offering you the opportunity to gobble up a podcast, or natter away on IM at the same time. So what about something free-to-play? I’ve never tried one before, generally having enough of the full blown, free-from-gouging versions to occupy my time as it is. But this week I kept seeing the name KingsRoad appear, and thought I’d give it a click. Can a browser-based F2P Diablo clone occupy my time in the same way?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun is read by over 92% of the Earth’s population, and our most frequent readers are in the top 15% most attractive people on Earth! Yes, we all love statistics we don’t provide any evidence for. There’s so much fun to be had. Ubisoft have also been revelling in that fun, by telling GI.biz that they experience “93-95% piracy” rates. Which is odd, what with all their boasting that their always-awful DRM has been so darned effective at combating piracy. How incredibly confusing! Anyway, this, says bossman Yves Guillemot, is why they’re heading down the path of F2P games.
EA have cut out a few months of post-launch uhming-and-ahhing by reworking the previously announced Command & Conquer Generals 2 as a free-to-play game, ditching the name and dropping the price. Or, as their press release states: “Today at gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair and event for interactive games and entertainment, Electronic Arts Inc. took a bold step to spearhead the industry’s digital revolution and announced Command & Conquer.” Ahem. “Bold”?
PlanetSide 2 has a CGI trailer. And of course it’s as pointless as all other CGI trailers. But I post it more to say, look, Sony are spending enough money on this game for there to be pointless CGI trailers. And weirdly, as much of a waste of that money as it was, and as galling as it must be for the developers to ponder what they could have done with the cash, it makes me realise that this is a game the flailing PS3 owner is taking seriously. If you see what I mean.
If you can ignore the bizarre choice to spend 30 seconds showing the faces of a crowd looking at a screen showing Neverwinter footage you can’t see, then the video below will eventually show some “pre-alpha” (which I always thought meant drawings on a whiteboard) in-game content for the Cryptic MMO.
RPS Feature Don't Just Stand There
Yesterday, we all poured one out and strummed our acoustic guitars in the irradiated rain for STALKER 2. From its ashes, however, Survarium has risen. Be warned, though: this isn’t STALKER 2.5. It’s a brave new MMOFPS world, and the newly christened Vostok Games has no intention of treading water. So then, will it be different? Probably. Will it be excellent? Hopefully. And will it be interesting? Absolutely. Excited, but also a bit hesitant, I mined Vostok’s Oleg Yavorsky for as much info as I could before he had to run off and continue, you know, launching a brand new game company.
I’ve been waiting for a large-scale sci-fi MMO shooter ever since the original Planetside, and it looks like 2012 will do it’s best to provide. Before I fuel up Firefall’s jetpacks, or scrawl penises over Planetside 2’s map, it looks like I’ll be dropping into Line of Defense: of all those games, it’s the first with a release date, end of June, so I’d imagine the beta form that I just signed up to will deliver me from orbit to the action a tad sooner than the others. You know what? I’ve just noticed all those are free-to-play*. I mean, I knew that all were, but lumping them all together makes it quite the thing. As is the not-at-all-MMO-but -rather-shooty Tribes: Ascend. I wonder if I’ll ever need to pay for a shooter ever again? Line of Defense trailer is herein, btw.
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While I doubt there’s a game out there that will ever match a certain cartoon shooter’s hold on me, I will pop into any example of that particular niche and have a nosey, asking hard questions like: ‘Why is this not TF2?’, ‘Has anyone played TF2?’, and ‘I have a hat in TF2, do you?’ Loadout is not TF2, but it’s not it in the best possible way: it’s cartoonish, but with a level of violence that makes even an animated death connoisseur like me look around and hope people haven’t spotted me giggling at it. The trailer below has some examples of the implausible bodily harm you can wreak (38 seconds in is just eww), and a peek into the heavy customisation options: you can build your own character and roll your own guns.
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