Posts Tagged ‘Cryptic’

Champions Online Free-To-Playness Dated


It was announced back in 2010 that Champions Online would be moving to a free-to-play model, but that has now been dated: JANUARY 25TH IS THE DATE. Needless to say, you can keep subscribing to unlock loads of the content that will now be available via the “C-Store”, or you can play for free and buy various content packs with micro-cash. Here’s an FAQ that may answer and questions you might have. I link to that because can’t answer them, not accurately anyway, but if you do want to ask questions in the comments below I’ll have a wild stab at answering them when I wake up in the morning. Or I might just forget, or idly blog links to Minecraft texture packs instead. Anyway, you can already play some of Champions for free, because there is a trial mode thing, or “demo”. Hooray!

You will remember, of course, that Champions Online wasn’t as much fun as City Of Heroes, which was a shame, but that’s life, eh?

Cryptic Messages: Emmert Talks Neverwinter


It’s been fascinating to watch the MMO scene evolving over the past couple of years, and seeing the various players stepping away from traditional models. Now it seems to be Cryptic’s turn. After City Of Heroes, Champions and Star Trek, they are now looking at creating something a little different: Neverwinter, a D&D game that appeals to both the adventurer and the Dungeon Master, relying as it does on an amalgam of Cryptic’s own content and user-generated dungeons for its ongoing adventures. Cryptic’s bossman Jack Emmert has already spoken in interviews about how he felt that Champions and Star Trek lacked polish, and in this interview he speaks about what that realisation means for Neverwinter, and why this game represents a new era for the company that originally set out to make MMOs.

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Star Trek Online Season 2 Goes Boldly Forth

A nice fixer-upper, said the estate agent.

(trad.) Anyway, a big content patch for Star Trek Online has gone live. Subtitle “Ancient Enemies”, we speculate it involves some enemies of ancientness. A scan of the content seems to confirm this, with a whole load of new Klingon missions involving the return of the Fek’ihri. Oh God, I hate those Fek’ihri. They really are shits. Perhaps more interesting to my Star-Trek-Online inexperienced-eyes is the new option for the Federation – that of joining the Dilplomatic corp, going on first contact missions and generally not setting phasers-to-kill. Also, a new alien race, regular episodes with a new neutral race (“Deferi”) and the introduction of the gambling game Dabo. You can still try the demo, or have a gape at the new trailer, which shows very little latinum-betting and chatting, but a whole lot of the ancients being enemies. Hence, boom-booms.

Oh – and, as a bonus extra news, Bill Roper’s departed Cryptic after a couple of years.
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An Hour With… Star Trek Online

I’m a space captain, ma! Yeah, it’s amazing – I was only an Ensign 20 minutes ago, but they’ve given me my own ship already! I’m going to fly it into the sun and see what happens – I expect it will be lovely and warm there, so the crew will surely be delighted.

STO made me feel pretty important pretty quickly. I like that, even if it seems like open foolishness on the Federation’s part. I was deeply curious to try this here MMO back when it was in beta, but knew that sitting down with an MMO can be like giving a vampire permission to enter my home. Danger! Danger! However, as I currently have a work calendar more frighteningly empty than the soul of Haliburton executive, I quite literally have nothing better to do – I can justify getting my Captain’s Log on for a little while. As the title states, this isn’t a review: it’s just me dicking about in the first hour of the game then deciding if I want to continue playing or not. If I was going to give it a score, though, it’d be eight fourths out of C.
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Atonement For Champions Online?

I’m not convinced many, if any, of our regular readers are still playing superheroic MMO Champions Online – general interest seemed to dry up pretty soon after release. Would love to hear some earnest talk about what it’s like these days, though – are the servers busy, is there plenty to do at the high-end, has it managed to diversify its quests yet? CO was probably the biggest disappointment of last year’s games for me – not a critical failure, but meatless enough that it killed my plans to spend a couple of merry months in an online world stone dead. At least Cryptic aren’t throwing in the supertowel yet – they’re continuing to tinker under the hood (although earlier attempts at that pissed fans off royally), plus they’ve just revealed the first expansion’s in the works… If they had any sense, they’d call it CHAMPIONS ONLINE VS SIR BIFF BIFFINGTON III OF THE MEGA-BIFFINGTONS. They haven’t announced the name yet, so it’s not too late – CAMPAIGN! CAMPAIGN! CAMPAIGN!
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Star Trek Online Open Beta Key NOW CLOSED

They're all rushing to their emails!

Update: And STOP! All 1000 have just gone. You’ll know if you were successful very soon.

We like to think we take care of you. For instance, if you were ever in trouble, we’d maybe look up from what we were doing. We also like to give you magical presents. So today we’ve got 1000 keys for the Star Trek Online open beta to give away. (All gone.)

We’re going to give them to the first 1000 people to email us at compo@rockpapershotgun.com (making sure to use the subject line “I would like to be a Star Trek Online Beta-zoid” or you definitely won’t get a key), nothing more complicated than that. So be quick, or be sad. Then so soon as the fine folk at Cryptic send them out, you’ll find out if you have free access to the open beta for the game until the 26th January. RPS subscribers have already had their chance to reserve a key, by the way. If you’d like to be a part of that exclusive crowd, you can click here.

Star Trek Online is out on the 29th of Jan, and you can find out more about it here.

Star Trek Online’s Multi-Spocks

Hello! How are you? Uh-huh, yep, right, right. Me too! Yeah! Anyway, enough about that. Here’s a few missed trailers for Star Trek Online, which is as much to remind myself that I’ve got a beta key lurking somewhere in my inbox as anything else. My PC’s been dead – a case of motherboard lupus – since just before Christmas, see, and it’s only been back on its unreliable feet as of today. Which leaves me with a dilemma. Where to start? What to catch up on? That unfinished campaign in Dragon Age, the TF2 updates, the first L4D2 mods, finally getting around to learning Solium Infernum, the raft of tantalising indie games that have clogged up the RPS inbox over Christmas, or just staring at my email program for six hours with blinking? All good options. But I really would like to try STO.
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Attack Of The Foreheads: STO’s Klingons

Another peek at Cryptic’s upcoming Star Trek Online, this time focusing on the Klingons and their motives for wanting to smack the Federation’s ships up. They sound angry. Was it because they were left out of the new movie? I’d be sad about that, if I was a Klingon. Doesn’t seem fair, really.

Not quite sure why the guy in this trailer sounds like a disgruntled Yoda, however. And I’m presuming it’s CGI rather than in-game, but I can’t tell anymore. I’ve been tricked so many times before! I can’t trust anyone!
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Need A Hero: Champions Free Weekend

I admit, I do like this screenshot.

Just a hyper-quick post on this, as it had somehow slipped my mind. The recently-released Superhero MMO Champions Online is free to play this weekend. All the details are here, including their Blood Moon Halloween event. And if you want a taste of what it’s like, here’s our What I Think. Who’s still playing Champions? How’s it changed since then?

Star Trek Online: The Next Next Generation

Is that a Borg thing? Probably. Exciting!

Cryptic must really be feeling the pressure with their upcoming Star Trek MMO – it now has to both live up to the success of JJ Abram’s Pretty People In Space reboot and shrug off the so-so reviews which their last game, Champions Online, is tarred with. Their most recent response, oddly, is to really play up to the Star Trek hardcore…
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A Killing Moon: Champions Update Announced

I used to be a werewolf. I remain to be a werewolf.

This broke yesterday, but I thought was worth giving a nod towards. Showing some kind of developmental superspeed, Cryptic have announced the first update for Champions, which is due for late October. And being that period… well, Halloween. It’s actually thematically right on in terms of the superhero zeitgeist, with both Marvel and DC having stories around zombie superheroes. Some people call this Superhero Decadence, and – oh – I’m going to have words with them sooner or later. Anyway – there’s lots of battling fallen heroes, becoming infected as a zombie in PvP, Werewolves and a new powerset based around Celestial power. More details here. At the least, already giving players something to look forward to strikes me as good marketing.

Neverwinter Online vs D&D Online Argy-Bargy

Vorpal short sword +2 vs sinister publishers

Something is rotten in the state of pretend online roleplaying universes. Atari, or at least what’s left of it these days, remains license holder for most videogamilial adaptations of Dungeons & Dragons properties, most notably Forgotten Realms titles including Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. They also publish the Turbine-developed Dungeons & Dragons Online, which is shortly to be relaunched as the free-to-play DDO Unlimited. Only Turbine reckon Atari’s gearing up for betrayal…
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Cryptic To Make Neverwinter Nights MMO?

In the realm of rumour right now, but Variety are reporting that sources have told them that the now Atari-owned Crytic are working on a Neverwinter Nights MMO for a 2011 release. In fact – I quote – “this reportedly was the primary reason Atari was interested in acquiring Cryptic late last year”. This would make three MMOs currently in development at Cryptic, which is quite the workload. This doesn’t actually surprise me that much, as last year when interviewing Jack Emmert about Champions, he talked about how it’s totally possible to make an MMO in 2 years – just not from scratch. He talks about lessons learned and knowledge, but here’s an interesting quote: “Here’s a business tip. Don’t keep building new engines. Take an engine, and improve it. Make three, four, five games out of it before you need to reboot. That’s a business thing”. More as it emerges, but it’s an interesting one to speculate on. NWN was never just a D&D RPG – level creation and virtual DMing was very much part of it. If they’re developing it, surely Cryptic will have to push this angle?

NYCC MMO Footage Part 2: Champions Online

Does it look less cel-shaded?

Following on from this morning’s demonstration of Star Trek Online’s character creator, there’s finally more footage of Champions Online. Since Kieron brought you the definitive coverage of the game so far last July, it’s been pretty quiet. However, a very brief glimpse appeared at New York Comic Con, and it’s below.

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No Time For Losers – Champions Beta Sign-Up

A man, fighting a bug in a beta, yesterday.

Champions Online is taking registrations for its closed beta. Is it that time already? Blimey. And hurrah. If you want to apply to be one of the early few to fight crime and bugs, you need to head over to Cryptic’s site, sign up an account, and then apply. While the game is also coming out on 360, the beta is PC only (at this stage at least). You can read all about the game in our extensive coverage here. Or, if you’re really lazy, here’s some video footage of the whole superhero thing in action which we haven’t linked to yet.
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Boldly Going Where 1 Developer Has Gone Before


After a troubled few years in development at now-defunct studio Perpetual Entertainment (oh, the terrible irony of the name), Star Trek Online recently fell into the strong but tender (like a mother lioness, or a warrior vicar) hands of Cryptic Studios. Who promptly dazzled us with environment art. Sigh.

On Sunday though, we’ll get to see what the game’s like. It’s the official Star Trek Convention in Vegas at the weekend, which sounds a little like a lost chapter from Fear & Loathing but pertinently will also feature the first in-game footage of STO. Introduced by none other than Leonard “the cosmic ballet continues” Nimoy. Big leagues, baby.

Fortunately, us proles can watch the unveiling from afar, with a webcast due to appear here at 1.30pm PDT on the 10th August. Which is, I believe, 9.30pm in Her Majesty’s Royal Imperial Kindgom of England-land time.

They Are The Champions Online: The Game’s Afoot

Annoyingly, all my interviews were done with the new voice-recorder I bought just before going to Cryptic from a tourist trap shop which was really expensive and utterly shit. So I have to transcribe crackles while going... HUH? a lot. Man, are you still reading this? Are you drunk?Los Gatos is the Beverly Hills of The San Francisco satellites. It’s not just home of people who really fancy a posh ZIP code, however. It’s also Cryptic Studios’ base. The veterans of the City of Heroes games are giving their first, real public showing of now-to-be-2K-distributed Champions to a selected band of gentlemen of the press. For some reason, I was invited. Spooks.

Since I’ve interviewed anyone who didn’t actively run away from me, I’ve a whole week of content to amuse you. But let’s start a little more general than that. Here’s an Jack Emmert and John Needham quote-packed overview of their action-influenced take on the MMO game, Cryptic’s love of the Champions pen-and-paper RPG, the tranquil-yet-troublesome expanse of Monster Island and what they have planned after Champions…
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Midnight Strikes: City of Heroes Issue 12

Alec can do this. It's amazing. He just walks into the pub and goes GLOW!!!!! and we have to cover our eyes.

I’ve been meaning to post that the twelfth expansion (“Issue”) for City of Heroes was about to go live for a while now. In fact, so long, that it has gone live, and anyone can actually play it. It’s called Midnight Hour and introduces a new organisation (“The Midnight Squad – aka The Midnighters, which the Authority may want a word about, so we’ll move swiftly on before someone gets their brains punched right out). To celebrate, beneath the cut we have its promo videos, our first impressions from our City-of-heroes insider and a completely gratuitous Wilson Pickett song.
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Champions Online Q&A Decoded

She's no Warwych, that's for sure.

There’s one sort of press-release which we don’t tend to do anything with – the standardized Q&A. Reposting someone else’s questions? Pur-lease. However, when Champions Online’s Q&A came through the pipe, including some of the first real information about Cryptic’s new superhero MMO it left 3/4 of RPS completely befuddled. Because – like most gamers – they don’t have the Champions-Pen-and-paper-RPG specific knowledge which a lot of these assume. So I thought doing a little directors commentary on them may be somewhat useful. So I did. Yes.
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