Posts Tagged ‘MMORPG’

The RPG Scrollbars: Old Habitats Die Hard

There’s no better way to cause trouble than to talk about ‘firsts’. Say for instance that King’s Quest IV featured the first female adventure character, and you’re probably going to be drowned out by some pedant waving a copy of Infocom’s Plundered Hearts in your face. That pedant may even be me. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the folly of calling, say, Everquest the first MMO and leaving it without some very quick clarification. The extent of the first M in MMORPG, the importance of success over existence, the jump between mainframe and computer and all manner of other stuff makes it tricky to plant a flag everyone can actually agree deserves to be there.

But there aren’t many games with a better claim than Lucasarts’ Habitat, the latest classic game to get a fancy modern revival project. It definitely deserves it.

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Heading back to World Of Warcraft with Nostalrius

Last week saw the return of World of Warcraft‘s most controversial server, Nostalrius. It’s a private server which aims to recreate the experience of ‘vanilla’ World of Warcraft – that is, WoW as it was at or shortly after launch, before being supplemented and re-shaped by a hundred updates and multiple expansions. Logging on, I’m told “Position in queue, 3801. Estimated time: 47 minutes”, before being ushered into a world of lag and people complaining about random disconnects. So, uh… yeah! Congratulations to the team for perfectly recreating the vanilla WoW experience!

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Wot I Think: World of Warcraft: Legion

Some grudge matches are worth waiting for. Ever since World of Warcraft [official site] launched, one of the biggest threats hanging over its head has been the return of the interdimensional demon army The Burning Legion. A force of pure chaos. An army capable of conquering a multiverse. Undefeated, except on Azeroth, but with even those victories planting the seeds of great threats like the rise of the Lich King, Arthas, and the tormented Illidan Stormrage. Now, they’re back. Bigger. Stronger. Angrier.

And campaign-wise, this is the best expansion Blizzard has ever made.

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Riders of Icarus Beta Lets You Tame Dragons, Realize Your Wildest High-Fantasy Dreams

Did you know that Riders of Icarus [official site] was getting an open beta test this week? Me neither. Apparently, it’s your typical free-to-play Korean fantasy MMORPG, and it’s now open to the public.

There is one enticing twist, though. Riders of Icarus lets you tame, ride, and fight mystical beasts, including dragons. Sold! What’s that? Becoming the veritable mother of dragons doesn’t quite do it for you? In that case, you might be pleased to know you can also drain the souls from the creatures’ bodies and use them to strengthen your weapons and abilities. That’s pretty sick in my opinion, but to each their own.

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Dual Universe Drops First Footage, Alpha Due Early 2017

Did you spot Steven chatting about the incredibly ambitious-sounding sandbox sci-fi MMORPG Dual Universe [official site] last month? In what sort-of sounds like an MMO slant on No Man’s Sky, developers Novaquark spoke of “cloud-based scalability”, “advances to voxel technologies” and a “seamless sci-fi universe made of millions of planets”, and citing Eve Online and Space Engineers as inspiration made it all sound a bit too good to be true.

One can hope, though, and while it still sounds a bit far-fetched, it’s now got some in-game footage that looks pretty neat. Look, see:

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MMO Shards Online Brings New Ideas to the Genre

Shards Online [official site] isn’t quite an MMORPG, and I think that’s great. While it’ll still have that familiar structure, Shards focuses on letting players build their own, smaller worlds to exist in instead of giving them one giant one. A new trailer to announce Shards Online’s Steam Greenlight campaign shows there’s still the basics like combat and questing, but things quickly get much more interesting when custom servers and the modding tools used to shape them are demonstrated. There’s even a system to play as monsters much like a dungeon master would in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Nifty!

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Dual Universe Is An Incredibly Ambitious Sandbox MMO

I always felt that the real strength of MMOs was in how they could parallel our own lives, and the folks making Dual Universe [official site] believe the technology is finally capable of making that happen on a grander scale. It’s ambitious as hell and years away, but Dual Universe has some interesting talent and technology pushing it forward.

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The RPG Scrollbars: EverQuest Next Killed The MMORPG

Light a candle for the genre, it’s basically done. Oh, it’ll keep ticking along, of course. This month we’ve seen Black Desert Online, there’s others on the way, and there’ll always be some audience for both the mostly Korean-born clickers and the occasional new idea. Personally I’m hoping for City of Titans to scratch that superhero itch that Champions Online sure as heck can’t, and for Shroud of the Avatar to bring back some of that Ultima magic. (Take a shot.) But as a genre to actively watch for cool stuff? Stick a fork in it. Sony- sorry, Daybreak was pretty much the last great hope of breathing life into it in any form remotely close to how Everquest did it back in the day, never mind giving it back the cultural clout from World of Warcraft’s heyday.

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World Of Wuxia: Blade And Soul

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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Valiance Online Opens Pre-Alpha Spandex People Testing

Superheroes never die. They just switch MMOs. City of Heroes might have been reduced to a bittersweet memory, but you might find some of that old glory in Valiance Online‘s open pre-alpha test phase, which happily does not require you to sign NDAs in your blood. This upcoming MMORPG is set at the tail end of the 21st century, where spandex-clad superpeople roam free-range through the fictional city of San Cielo.

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Oh So Cinematic: The Elder Scrolls Online’s Launch Trailer

Zzzap!

Alien shapes swarm across a once-majestic landscape, now fractured and ruined. An endless battlefield unfolds before our eyes. A struggle against surely-impossible odds, yet camaraderie pulls us together. Death. Chaos. Madness. We field terrible weapons which may save the day but at what cost to our our humanity? From all this, a lone hero rises, the only one who can save us all.

The Elder Scrolls Online, you may have heard, launched on Friday. Our crack reviewer is still reviewing away (we slide a kipper under the locked door every time we hear Brendan’s typing slow) so we can’t tell you what it’s like quite yet, but we can show you a cinematic trailer accompanying the launch and speculate about what it’d like to be.

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Sleep Between The Stars: InSomnia

Everyone at RPS suffers from insomnia once in a while, or at least we all spend the early hours of every Tuesday morning clutching bedclothes tightly around our chests, in the grip of a sweat colder than a British summer, wondering if rolling our eyes at Call of Duty is an actual job. It’s natural to assume that a game that goes by the name Insomnia would be a survival horror game about such acts of lonely introspection but the trailer and press release for the first project from Russian studio MONO reveal something entirely different. It’s an online RPG with tactical combat and procedurally generated sandbox elements, set on a generation ship of sorts. The video is a demonstration of the tech and setting rather than an exposition-packed chunk of narrative.

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From East To Quest? Dragon Quest X PC Bound

It’s very rare to discover a game that doesn’t contain either a dragon or a quest. Take Skyrim – an entire world in which even the molecules of the air are probably made up of sulphurous dragon-guffs. Read the lore. It’s all in there. Among all the clutter of dungeons and dragons that are scattered throughout PC gaming’s past, it is perhaps surprising that the venerable Dragon Quest series is a stranger to our particular Windows on the world. All of that is about to change in September, when Dragon Quest X arrives on Windows. Unfortunately, this may not herald a new era of slime-slapping jollity – the tenth game – which is probably the 167th in the series – is an subscription-based MMO. And it’s currently only set for release in Japan.

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Meet Loremaster Lawrence: The Elder Scrolls Online

I have about as much interest in Elder Scrolls’ lore as I do in high definition photographs of infected hangnails. I’ve been playing the series since the release of Daggerfall but I’ve managed to absorb absolutely nothing about any ongoing plot or fantastic history. All that is about to change. The latest video promotion for The Elder Scrolls Online is hosted by ‘Loremaster Lawrence Schick’, who not only has an excellent job title and name, but also boasts superior facial foliage and a voice that is both wise and soothing. It is now one of my life’s ambitions to have Lawrence read The Silmarillion to me as a bedtime story.

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Crafty: Mortal Online Goes Free To Play

I’d somehow managed to avoid reading anything about Mortal Online until this morning. Upon hearing that the game’s free trial has been extended, now lasting forever, Jim directed me to this conversation about the player-driven sandbox MMORPG. He also said, “it’s a game where you spawn with just your pants” which caused my browser to instantly open a new tab and attempt to download the client. It took a couple of hours for me to get hold of it this morning due (presumably) to server errors, but now I’m all set and ready to run around in my pants. More info and a trailer below.

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Escape To New York: The Secret World’s First Raid

I’ve seen the things that are to come in The Secret World, at least some of them, and even though the present is turbulent the future seems bright, or at least as bright as global conflict, the destruction of a metropolis and the spilling over of supernatural horror onto city streets could possibly be. It’s a flame-bright future with a great deal of ash, boiling blood and smoke blotted across it. As well as witnessing the power of plotting, I’ve been dipping into Guild Wars 2 for the first time, so along with a tour taking in elements of The Secret World’s first raid, I’ve been wondering whether I have room for two MMORPGs in my life.

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Gentlemen Elementalists: The Secret World

Me and John have both probably tried to explain the way The Secret World’s classless progression works using nothing more than the power of words but it’s much easier to use visual aids as well, so I’ll hand you over to Funcom’s Martin Bruusgard and Joel Bylos who explain what kind of abilities are available and how they can be combined to make effective characters. I’ve had some experience with switching functions on the fly during my time with the game, mainly at the points when I realised I was completely inept in the role I’d been given so I went for something simpler instead. I like to think my eventual role was attractive spectator.

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Voices In The Shadows: The Secret World Interview

The setting for the interview was opulent but not packing factor 60 had been a mistake
After spending some time with The Illuminati, I escaped from The Secret World to speak to lead designer Ragnar Tørnquist about overcoming the challenges inherent in building a story-based MMO. We talked about creating coherence in a vast and varied world, the confused and confusing role of the hero in an MMO, and how it’s possible to reinvent and deconstruct a genre.

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Hands-On: The Secret World

Guess what's in the temple? DEMONS

I’ve spent the last couple of months searching the streets for signs of conspiracy, perhaps a Toynbee Tile or two bills from separate electricity companies who are clearly trying to con me out of every last penny. To resolve the troubled contents of my mind, I took another trip into The Secret World, where my every delusional thought seems quite ordinary in comparison to the oddities around me.

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The Secret World Opens Up On June 19th

This is how the world will look by June

The Secret World, Funcom’s modern day, pop culture-infused MMORPG, has just been given an official release date of June 19th. It’s a little later than some may have been expecting but it does provide plenty of time for some public beta testing. Although no dates for any opening of the beta have been provided, Ragnar Tørnquist, Funcom’s creative director and itinerary planner of the most lengthy journeys, had this to say: “The additional time will also allow us to carry out even more quality beta testing, and soon we will also be announcing several public beta events where hundreds of thousands of gamers will get to test the game prior to launch.” We’ve already played the game and spoken to the chaps behind it, and will have more coverage soon.