Posts Tagged ‘cryptic studios’

Cryptic are making a Magic: The Gathering MMORPG

Cryptic Studios, the creators of superhero MMORPG City of Heroes, are making a free-to-play “action MMORPG” [official site] based on Wizards of the Coasts’ mega-hit collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Publishers Perfect World Entertainment, who announced the game this week, don’t have a name for it yet, they don’t have anything to show of it (all the artwork in this post is from cards), and they can’t tell us anything about it, but… huh!

Update: Oh for… I’d missed Cryptic’s follow-up information that yep, it is an MMORPG, what a silly sausage I am. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: A Dip Into… Star Trek Online

There’s no prizes for predicting this Christmas’ biggest movie… but once everyone’s seen Alvin And The Chipmunks in The Road Chip, there’s a good chance they’ll consider checking out the new Star War as well. What better time to check in on The Old Republic and… actually, no. For as Yoda once so vaguely commented, “There is another.” I’ve been meaning to take a look at the competition, Star Trek Online [official site] for a while now, and this seems as good a time as any. After five years, is it worth signing up for an investigative tour of duty on the original final frontier?

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mounty: Neverwinter Allows You To Ride The Sport Cow


We knew that Neverwinter allowed players to ride giant spiders – that much was obvious – but a new trailer has revealed that they can also ride horses! And there was me thinking those wildly roaming quadrupeds were just for eating.

John had a rather good time with Neverwinter when he played it recently, and the game is currently in beta wot you can sign up for.
Read the rest of this entry »

Neverwinter Is Looking Orcward

After my time spent on the beta weekend with Neverwinter, I’ve been itching in my chair to get back to the game. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but then it’s a beta and they’re not meant to be, but a couple of days in Cryptic’s envisioning of the D&D realms captured a purity of both fantasy and the MMO that made me want to carry on. In the meantime, I’m applying trailer patches to my arms, the latest introducing the Orcs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Siege It: Neverwinter’s First Beta Weekend Tomorrow

They're staring in confusion at Perfect World's website.

I’ve kept Neverwinter at arm’s length. I don’t know what to think about it. I loved NWN2, and while the series more immediately lends itself to the shared world of an MMO than other BioWare properties, I’ve got those fan-nerves of seeing a completely separate studio take it on. But then that studio is Cryptic, they of the glorious City Of Heroes, so… I get in a muddle. The good news is, the first beta weekend is coming up tomorrow, so minds can start to be made.

Read the rest of this entry »

Neverwinter Is Excited About Its Great Weapon Fighter

That is a mighty weapon.
I asked Adam if the Neverwinter remake was out, and he said he thought it was. Then I checked and it turns out it’s not. We were both wrong. I was thinking of the Baldur’s Gate remake, and Adam just got confused and believed every game ever was released. The boy’s been planning a Half-Life 5 marathon, and I had to break it to him. That is the worst part of the job, believe me. He can make a puppy face like no-one else. The best bit is when I get to show you all trailers of upcoming games, especially when they toss around terms like “Great Weapon Fighter”. Click your strong internet browser and use your average eyeball lookers to watch it.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Eventful Ending: City Of Heroes

It’s a strange thing, bearing witness to the end of a world. When the final voices of Star Wars: Galaxies voices cried out and were suddenly silenced, I was oddly moved by the documentation of the event, even though I’d never played the game and am the only person on the internet who doesn’t have any particular feelings about Star Wars*. The end of City of Heroes may well create similar scenes, at once absurd and poignant, and Paragon have now shared a list of the LAST EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. One of them is a Double XP event, which seems kind of like finally getting a gym membership just as the countdown to Armageddon begins. Full list of events and timings below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Encouraging: Neverwinter’s User-Created Content

In this mission, you play from the perspective of a torch that spends all of eternity watching heroes pass, never acknowledging the crucial role it plays in their journeys.

I’m still feeling pretty on-the-fence about Cryptic’s Neverwinter MMO-that-wasn’t-but-then-was-again – primarily because 1) it’s another fantasy MMO and 2) Neverwinter Nights was kind of the greatest. But, if nothing else, Neverwinter’s looking to at least preserve a bit of the BioWare build-o-tron classic’s spirit. That is to say, you can make anything your heart desires – so long as your heart desires an MMO mission that can be designed within Neverwinter’s (impressively robust) Foundry toolset. Follow a user-created web of lies, deceit, breath-taking plot twists, intrigue, and charmingly rogue-ish quips after the break for precious, precious details.

Read the rest of this entry »

Prospering? Star Trek Online F2P This Year

Screw you guys! I wanted to be in Babylon 5.
The unstoppable march of free-to-playification continues! Cryptic’s Star Trek Online – which is published by Perfect World – will be free-to-play by the end of the year. According to this report on Perfect World’s exciting Q2 earnings call, chief financial officer Kelvin Lau told investors: “Cryptic is working on the free-to-play model for Star Trek Online. This is going to be launched by the end of this year.”

This feels like a transitional period to me. All these MMOs that launched with subscription models reconfiguring themselves to F2P, while much better contenders – such as forthcoming Tribes-but-WoW offering Firefall – wait in the wings to prove that they can do F2P from the off. Nonetheless, I expect we’re a long, long way from this all being normalised in any fashion. What “free” actually means for these games is still very much up for definition.

Champions Online Going Free-To-Play In 2011

She's burning prices!!!!!!!!

Champions: Online, the spiritual successor to City Of Heroes, has announced that it will move to a free-to-play model from the first quarter of 2011. This also involves a new closed beta test that starts on the 9th November, mostly aimed at current players, with a possibility of outsiders being let in too. There’s more super-details underneath the sentence I’m super-typing right super-now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Champions Anniversary Free Weekosity

Just using the same very silly shot of a game is probably a tribute to what Amiga Power did with Hired Guns. Probably.

It’s been a year since Champions Online went (er) Online. What are Cryptic Studios doing to celebrate? “Re-do an interview with Jim because it didn’t record first time he did it?” you say? No, you’re wrong. That’s just something they’re doing because we’re rubbish. They’re having a free week. How free? “From September 1 (at 10:00 a.m. Pacific) until September 7 (at 10:00 a.m. Pacific), you can play Champions Online absolutely free!” says their website. That’s how free it is. Go and sign up to play from scratch or continue your sadly abandoned Superchaps. Champions Online is a year old! What are we gonna do, Kool & The Gang?
Read the rest of this entry »

Going Fourth: Neverwinter Announced

Here comes the summer!

Confirming rumours from a previous point in our temporal existence, Cryptic are “do”ing a new Neverwinter game. Specifically, called “Neverwinter”. From the details in its press release and about page, it’s a persistent world Neverwinter Nights (Including content creation tools) based around co-operative groups of five (with the computer controlling the NPCs if you haven’t got the right number) plus fourth edition D&D rules (which is a definite plus for Co-op groups, I suspect) and all the character customisation that Cryptic excel at (though you are kind wonder how much variety can you get out of dudes wearing leather). Interestingly, it’s also a “multi-platform event”. Except it doesn’t mean consoles. It means a trilogy of novels and a tabletop roleplaying game. Man, I hope we don’t have to dumb the game down for those readers. It’s planned before the end of next year and I find myself tentatively excited. Yay? Yes, yay.

STO: Klingons are PvP-Powered Class


The Star Trek Online forums have thrown up news of a neat piece of design for Klingon characters. Weirdly, the link seems to work from some pages and not others, randomly taking you to their front page. Anyway, what it reveals is that Klingon’s will be PvP-focused, and while Federation classes can expect to advance through PvE missions, the Klingon player will need to do harm to his fellows if he means to progress: “Klingon Captains have the same number of skills available as their Federation counterparts, including the same professions. Your Klingon Captain can be a Science, Engineering or Tactical officer. However, they must advance through PvP, as they will not have access to the same amount of player-vs.-environment content as Federation players at launch.” I think that’s a neat idea, a kind of formalisation of role-playing in the content available to you.

Oh and what’s this? An invitation to the STO beta? I might have to investigate it for myself…

STO: Explore, Discover, And Laser Dudes


The sheer amount of promotional materials pouring out of the Cryptic/Atari for Star Trek Online seems to suggest that MMO means to come out fighting. It’s got some serious competition to go up against, even if we discount all the other bajillion games coming out in the early part of next year, there’s going to be the looming threat of The Old Republic, which threatens to suck up sci-fi fans like a space-hoover when it arrives. Nevertheless I’m quietly confident that STO is going to do well for itself. There’s just something about the setting that I think will click. If Cryptic can get the exploration and ship-management stuff right it really could be worth, er, beaming up. New trailer below.
Read the rest of this entry »

Take It To The Bridge: Star Trek Online


Having seen a bit of the ship-to-ship and man-to-alien combat in previous Star Trek Online footage, we’re still waiting to get an angle on what will be central to the game: doing diplomacy, managing your crew, commanding a Starship, and all that Federation jazz. No change in this trailer, but it’s starting to look a lot more polished than previous in-game footage. Moreover, I think it’s pretty easy to be cynical towards this, but the truth is this game is likely to light a commercial touchpaper and become very popular indeed. It’s not just a popular licence, but I think it might just be different enough as an MMO to drag people away from established games. There’s a definite thirst for interesting MMOs right now, and this is certainly going to qualify. The site is crammed with new screens, and they’re now taking beta applications.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On: Star Trek Online

As I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of the weekend at the MCM Expo. I eventually managed to tear myself away from my table and go looking for electro-entertainment. Alas, mainly console – or console versions of PC games we’ve already covered like Borderlands. And Assassin’s Creed 2, which I would have looked at, but I was scared away by the Marge Simpson cosplayer who looks as if they’d peeled Marge and was wearing her yellow skin as a skin-suit ala Silence Of the Lamb’s Buffalo Bill. However, Star Trek Online was there, and I spent some time getting familiar with what Cryptic have been up to…
Read the rest of this entry »