Posts Tagged ‘ncsoft’

Martial Arts MMORPG Blade & Soul Due In January

Blade & Soul [official site] is a pretty-looking free-to-play MMORPG with fantasy martial arts flair. What’s mostly caught my eye, though, is that this week’s announcement of a full and proper European and North American launch – January 19th, calendar-keepers – comes more than seven years after we first posted about it. It’s important to close your stories; if you post an announcement, gotta post about the release. People in comments get real worked up about unclosed things, I’ve found (

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Guild Wars 2: Heart Of Thorns Expansion Released

Guild Wars 2 was always subscription-free, but since August you don’t even need to buy it to play. That’s kinda free-to-play, but sorta not, since the base game hasn’t been filled with loads of extra microtransaction bits to squeeze players. What won’t be free is its expansions, and today the first of those arrived. Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns [official site] launched this morning. Doing all the usual expansion things – new areas, a new class, new enemies, new items, and so on – Heart of Thorns costs £35.

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Wot I Think: WildStar Reloaded

Released in June last year, WildStar’s player count didn’t so much dwindle as vanish into the nether. Despite comic book stylings and zany humour, logging on was a lot like touring a nursing home, the party atmosphere muted by the aspect of Death trailing behind and checking his watch. Or if not death, then the spectre of the game’s inevitable free-to-play conversion.

For the past few days I’ve been relearning the ropes in WildStar Reloaded [official site], which isn’t a shot in the arm so much as a new bionic hip. Quaint trappings like the subscription fee have been removed, but developers Carbine have gone much further, also overhauling and streamlining the game in umpteen different ways. Here’s wot I think after a hectic opening week.

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WildStar Is Free-To-Play As Of Today

After a few weeks of running on test servers, WildStar [official site] is officially free-to-play as of today. That means you can play the scifi western MMO without a subscription, though existing subscribers who keep paying will get various bonuses and extras to reward them for their loyalty. Hop below for a finely animated CG launch trailer.

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Giveaway: 5000 WildStar EU Closed Beta keys

WildStar [official site] is going free-to-play, breaking loose from the shackles of a subscription model in order to let new players through the front doors for nothing. Before that happens, NCSoft are running a closed beta for the new version of the game, and we’ve got 5000 keys to giveaway if you want to try it out. Hop below to find out how to get one.

Update: Please note that all codes are EU specific and so will not work from other regions. Apologies for the inconvenience; we weren’t initially told.

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Dancing Like A: WildStar Going F2P This Month

Giorgio Moroder and Foxes’ jumpy discodance song Wildstar was probably not the inspiration for Carbine’s MMORPG WildStar [official site] (the MMO came first – but that’s the only reason this can’t be true), but Wildstar has the same bouncy, fun tone that seemed to set WildStar apart from oh-so-serious other WoW fangames. I’ve wanted to check WildStar out but don’t have the attention/inattention span to warrant buying MMORPGs. Good news, Alice! This morning you’ve managed to both wedge a fun pop song into a post and discover that you’ll get to play WildStar soon.

Its switch to free-to-play will come on September 29th, say publishers NCSoft.

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City Of Heroes Reborn

Three years ago, I wrote an epitaph for NCSoft’s axed superhero MMO City of Heroes, and for my beloved character within it.

“The City of Heroes has been closed down forever, and so The Entomologist is dead. Does he still exist on some dusty server, or have the bytes that made him been wiped forever? It doesn’t matter. There’ll be no Jean Gray resurrection for him.”

I was wrong.

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Remembering City Of Heroes

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

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

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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