Posts Tagged ‘ncsoft’

Remembering City Of Heroes

By John Walker on July 2nd, 2015.

Sometimes you can wait too long, think it’s okay to put off saying that important thing to the game you love, and then they’re gone. Then time goes on, and it becomes less and less relevant to say. Then you never say it.

City Of Heroes shut off its servers about two and a half years ago. Alec had the sense to eulogise it then. I never got around to it. And yet my memories of the game still buzz around in my head, the fondness for the MMO that really was responsible for forming RPS, years before there was an RPS, all with no outlet. The game can’t really be included in Top X lists, since it’s unplayable. It doesn’t make good use of time or SEO to dedicate a feature to it on a major gaming website. So what to do? Waste some time, I say. Here are my memories of the long-lost City Of Heroes.

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Suck It Up, Cupcake: It’s Good That WildStar Is Going F2P

By Angus Morrison on May 28th, 2015.

Every few months I revive my World of Warcraft subscription, go poking about the old haunts and decide that yes, things were better back in my day. Then I order the local kids off my lawn and wish I had my £9.99 back. This is WildStar’s target audience: people like me who yearn for the hardcore days of yore, too jacked up on happy memories to recall that a lot of what Warcraft had going on 10 years ago was a massive arse-ache. WildStar offered 40-man raids, a lengthy pre-raid attunement process and hour-long dungeon runs to a fickle, flighty bunch on a nostalgia trip, and so, after an opening surge in rose-tinted interest, wrestling with obstacles WoW patched out years back was judged not to warrant £12 a month. Servers withered, and NCSOFT’s earnings reports took on an unhealthy pallor.

Free-to-play, Wildstar’s long-anticipated move to which was announced today, is smashing down the financial barrier to an old school reunion where the nostalgic can come and go as they please.
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Wildstar Goes Free-To-Play: Why & How It’s Happening

By Emily Gera on May 28th, 2015.

o frabjous day

When I ask Wildstar’s [official site] Chad Moore and Mike Donatelli why on earth NCSOFT would release a subscription-based MMO at a time when most other MMOs had gone free-to-play, their answer is accompanied by one particularly important factoid: Wildstar is also going free-to-play.

I found out why NCSOFT are making the switch now, and what happens next.
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Game Of Thorns: Test Out Guild Wars 2’s First Expansion

By Emily Gera on May 25th, 2015.

ArenaNet are letting seep a slow drip of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns [official site], the sequel’s first expansion pack. There’s still no release date, but starting May 26th you have a chance to test out some of the new PvE content in the closed beta – if you completed the key tasks. If not, well, you can probably watch it streamed.

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World Of Wuxia: Blade And Soul

By Emily Gera on May 20th, 2015.

What exactly is the incentive for a studio to bring another free-to-play MMO to the West?

Even among fans of these here grind-machines, the approval-rating of MMOs rises and falls with a steadiness usually reserved for politicians. But somehow NCsoft have managed to keep a stable of these games in their portfolio for years. The publishers have announced today that they’re localizing Blade And Soul [official site], its three-year-old free-to-play MMO, for North America and Europe this year, making this the fifth title from the company to launch in Asia before it releases in the West. We decided to take a closer look.

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You Can Play Guild Wars 2’s Stronghold Beta on April 14

By Emily Gera on April 12th, 2015.

It’s been a while since I dug out my copy of Guild Wars 2 [official site], but in just a couple days ArenaNet is going to start asking users to test out the new Stronghold PvP game in their Heart of Thorns expansion.

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Update Will Let You See Through The Eyes Of Your Guild Wars 2 Character

By Philippa Warr on February 26th, 2015.

Camera POW

A Guild Wars 2 [official site] patch will introduce a first-person camera mode to the MMO on 10 March.

As far as I recall the only times you get a truly unimpeded view of the landscape is when you trigger the cinematic sequences associated with activating a vista point (I have a lot of screenshots from those vistas).

After the patch is released zooming in fully while playing will switch the camera to first-person view. It’s not intended as a special option for a particular scenario, just an alternative view. This is pleasing news to me and will necessitate my return to Tyria for the equivalent of a tourist trip. I will take a sandwich and explore some areas and take all the screenshots.

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Into The Wildstar: Should You Re-Visit The Cartoon MMO?

By Tom Mayo on January 9th, 2015.

It’s a strange feeling coming back to WildStar. I played it when it launched back in June 2014, both for professional reasons and personal curiosity. It really did feel… different. The bright, bold aesthetic, the humour, the ambition, the fresh setting, Carbine’s pedigree, it all combined to project a powerful air of confidence about the game.

Despite myself, I was swept up in the pre-launch hype. That gorgeous Pixar-esque trailer! I started planning my characters, their races, classes and names. An Excel spreadsheet may have come into play. Unfortunately, while I very much enjoyed my colourful space western adventures on Nexus, it was surprisingly easy to untether and float away as soon as a distraction presented itself. How has WildStar changed in the past eight months or so? Is it successful? Populated? Has the original vision stayed firm, evolved, or been compromised? Let’s find out.

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Robots In The Skies: Project HON

By Adam Smith on November 20th, 2014.

Project HON is a game about mechs dropping out of the sky to have a block party. In the trailer below, you’ll see one plucky fellow rollerblading along the seafront and two clumsy chaps taking part in a breakdance competition, which takes a turn for the worse when they accidentally clobber one another with their giant flailing feet and fists. Oops! The party doesn’t stop though – everybot involved is happy to laugh it off and carry on with the festivities. One gargantuan guy takes a ride on his motorbike, which is contained within his pelvis, and the fun only stops when two lairy chumps who’ve had one too-many gallons of crude oil beat the ferrous faeces out of one another.

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Possibly Maybe: Resurrecting City Of Heroes

By Alice O'Connor on September 3rd, 2014.

That look, however, is still SO out.

Superheroes are killed off, resurrected, revamped, and rebooted all the time, but doing that to a superhero video game can take a lot more legal wrangling. When NCsoft shut down super-powered MMORPG City of Heroes and its developer, Paragon Studios, people tried to save it. Fans rallied and Paragon tried to buy itself out of NCsoft. The servers closed in November 2012. Then, last year, a studio founded by fans raised $678,189 on Kickstarter to make “spiritual successor” City of Titans. Like Growly Gus [or Wolverine, as Marvel call him in the US -ed.], they keep getting back up.

Now a group of fans say they might possibly get to resurrect City of Heroes too. Maybe. They’re in talks with NCsoft to license the name and start running CoH servers again.

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Wot I Think (Part Three): Wildstar

By Philippa Warr on June 26th, 2014.

We always feel that MMOs are difficult to review in a single article, and Wildstar is even larger than most. To give a broader sense of what playing it is like, we asked Philippa Warr to venture inside and report back in three parts (part one, part two). Part three covers player housing, long-term roleplay and the subscription fee.

There is a giant monstrous snail guarding the entrance to my space house. The house has a doormat made from bread. From that you can surmise that I’ve been experimenting with the decorating and cosmetic functions in Wildstar.

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Wot I Think (Part Two): Wildstar

By Philippa Warr on June 19th, 2014.

We always feel that MMOs are difficult to review in a single article, and Wildstar is even larger than most. To give a broader sense of what playing it is like, we asked Philippa Warr to venture inside and report back in three parts (part one). Part two covers more combat detail, and getting to grips with PvP and dungeons.

In a piece of advice likely cribbed from Game of Thrones, the Wildstar respawn narrator has just told me to “use the pointy end” while fighting. I went for the Esper class so my weapon is actually a shuriken. The whole damn thing is a pointy end and yet I’m still dead. Maybe I’ve been hitting them with the flat side.

It is at this point I decide to investigate exactly how combat works. Becoming more efficient should speed up the levelling process which in turn opens up level-gated abilities, dungeons and so on in MMO land. It should also mean I cease banging my head repeatedly against quests which are allegedly aimed at my level.

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Wot I Think (Part One): Wildstar

By Philippa Warr on June 13th, 2014.

We always feel that MMOs are difficult to review in a single article, and Wildstar is even larger than most. To give a broader sense of what playing it is like, we asked Philippa Warr to venture inside and report back in three parts. In part one, she covers the first 18 levels of combat, questing and exploration.

“Help! Bees! Bees everywhere! HELP ME!”

This recent Wildstar experience reminds me of that bit in My Girl where Macauley Culkin angers a bunch of hostile buzzbings several levels higher than him, realises his questing partner Anna Chlumsky has wandered off to sell loot and tries to escape by falling into a lake. He dies, tragically and so do I. But where Macauley Culkin stays dead and loses his glasses I am resurrected and resolve to give those weaponised bees a combat-based telling off that will become the stuff of legend.

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