Posts Tagged ‘ncsoft’

Rezzed: Look Directly At Wildstar


I tried to play Wildstar at Rezzed, which had the least pushy crowds of any convention I’ve been at. Nevertheless, I didn’t manage to get onto the bank of PCs. The players there were curled over the keyboards in the manner of a lion protecting a delicious carcass. I’d approach, there’d be a low growl that I first felt then heard, then my throat would be casually swiped from my neck and the player would return to Carbine’s world. Thankfully the Surgeon Simulator booth was pretty close, and a quick graft restored my larynx. But the Wildstar players did seem particularly engrossed. A less slashy environment to experience the game was the Rezzed developer session, which I’ve embedded below.
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Viewed Prior To Release: Wildstar


We sent Brendan to see Wildstar. This is his report.

A lot of good games have come from pitting the player against ‘the frontier’. (What is Minecraft, for instance, if not a blocky representation of a pre-civilisation?) On paper, the MMO genre seems perfectly suited to the frontier, since it could so easily harness real human nastiness to provide the sense of danger and lawlessness. Some MMOs, like EVE, embrace that interpretation of the wild, at the expense of giving new and inexperienced players an easy ride. On the other hand, WildStar – a new project by NCSOFT currently in beta – is shaping up to be a much more conventional, welcoming game world. A place where the frontier is a cartoon one.
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Guild Wars 1 Development To Be Halted, Automated

Rare is the MMO that continues to thrive alongside its direct successor – or, for that matter, get a direct successor at all. By all accounts, the original Guild Wars lived a good, long life. It loved, it lost, it learned violin, it saw the ocean one last time. Also, I don’t know why I’m talking about it in the past tense, because it’s not dead yet. True, ArenaNet’s already itsy bitsy GW1 live team is moving on to bigger, less eight-year-old things, but unlike NCsoft stablemate City of Heroes, these guilds will war on. How? Robots. Find out more about your imminent ice-cold oppression after the break.

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What Could Have Been: Paragon Nearly Bought Itself

Sigh.

City of Heroes is no more. Paragon perished, and with it, so did a home away from home for many colorful victims of radiation overdose. It was a sad day at RPS’ nuclear-powered space base, and not just because it meant the Justice League became our closest orbital neighbors. You’ll remember, though, that fans certainly didn’t go down without a THOOMKAPOWBIFFZOTT-ing fight. But, until now, we didn’t really know the other side of the story. Unsurprisingly, Paragon was waging a war of its own, and it was trying every last trick in the book to stay afloat. The part we never heard about, however, is how close the house that City of Heroes built came to pulling it off.

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Guilder: Guild Wars 2 Offers Guilds Gilded Guild Missions


ArenaNet made a bunch of handsome noises about their support of the titular guilds of Guild Wars 2 when they brought us their impossibly beautiful subscription-free MMO, and they’re starting to make good on them. Guild missions will be unlockable missions that are part of the guild tech tree – giving the groups more questy content that they can do to bolster their ability to high-five, fist-bump, and all the other things that people do in groups. ArenaNet explain a bit more about this in their video, which is below here.
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Paths of Glory: A Wildstar Preview

Recently I played several hours of NCSoft’s next big MMORPG, Wildstar. Developed by an MMO supergroup of sorts, with ex-Blizzard and Mythic folk staffing its highly experienced team, it aims to make this oddly static genre fresh again. WE SHALL SEE.
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Not Wildman: NCSoft’s MMO Wildstar Out This Year

NCSoft’s next big MMO, Wildstar, has been quiet for the best part of the year, and this is of course because it’s been on a fantastic voyage to the bottom of the sea, tutoring giant squid, blue whales and starfish in the ways of levelling up and crafting. Either that or they wanted to develop a load more of the game before showing it off again. I went to see and play Carbine Studios’ sci-fi/fantasy mash-up, which aims to be a deconstruction and then new reconstruction of MMORPG tropes, last week, and I’ll have a full report on that for you late next week.

In the meantime, today they’re telling the world about one of their two opposing, tri-race factions, and pledging to get the game out in 2013.
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The Fear Balloon Cometh: GW2’s Winter Event Detailed

Better not cry/better not pout/I WILL EAT YOUR CHILDREN.

A couple weeks ago, Jim brought attention to the fact that holiday cheer in Tyria is often eclipsed by the scariest parade float balloon any world has ever known. And when I say “eclipsed,” I mean it. Guild Wars 2‘s toymaker workshop is quite capable of blotting out the sun. But what purpose does such a titanic sky nightmare actually serve? Well, it belches out toys for children, naturally. And occasionally, those toys come to life in a frenzied bid to commandeer the massive humanoid airship and take over the world. But it sounds like things will be quite pleasant otherwise. Discover what exactly an “arsenal of gaiety” entails after the break.

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Guild Wars 2’s Festive Nightmare Winter Fear Balloon


We Earthpeople might face abject terror each Christmas when a supernatural fat man dressed in red tries to stuff himself down all our chimneys at once, but spare a thought for the denizens of Tyria, who must face being given things they don’t want or need by a nightmarish airship (pictured). The Guild Wars 2 site explains this impending abomination in their precis for the “Wintersday” event which will take place between December 14th and January 3rd: “This year the city of Lion’s Arch will host the asuran Toymaker Tixx as their special Wintersday guest of honor. Before Tixx arrives in Lion’s Arch in his massive airship toy workshop, he’ll visit every major city in Tyria to deliver Wintersday toys and holiday cheer.”

Brr.

Fractal Rock: Guild Wars 2’s New Mini-Dungeons

It was like this when I got here. I swear!

AAAAAH TOO MUCH GUILD WARS 2. But then, I suppose ArenaNet’s adding quite a lot of fairly novel content with its Lost Shores event, so there’s a decent deal of ground to cover. So cover it we will. Exhaustively. On today’s docket is the Fractals of the Mist dungeon, which actually takes the form of multiple itsy-bitsy baby dungeons. Now, when I put it that way, they sound cute as the dickens. In reality, however, Fractals is more like one of those giant horrifying spiders that carry writhing tangles of young on their backs. Each mini-dungeon scales and gets progressively tougher at higher levels. And then, of course, there’s the matter of that whole Ascended gear brouhaha. Take a brief tour after the break.

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Endgame Plus: ArenaNet Explains GW2 Gear Progression

I've always wondered if things can see and/or aim while firing lasers out of their eyes. I think this image answers my question.

So this is potentially a bit problematic. Once upon a time, ArenaNet prided itself on taking the “end” out of endgame in Guild Wars 2. And admittedly, it’s not like Tyria’s baddest beasties and best quests are suddenly making a beeline for the back of the bus. But ArenaNet is moving full-steam ahead with that oh-so-restrictive of popular MMO practices: gear checking. Put simply, if your stuff’s not up to snuff, the upcoming Fractals of the Mists dungeon will eventually chew you up and spit you out. The solution? A brand new “Ascended” gear tier that’ll allow for special upgrades that mitigate progress-slowing (and in tougher cases, halting) debuffs.

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Absolutely Crabulous: Guild Wars 2’s Lost Shores Event

FIGHT ME FOR I AM LARGE.

How do you feel about giant crabs? I ask this because they tend to be quite a divisive subject (I’ve lost a good many friends over debates about the merits of their anachronistic cultural leanings and gigantic torso-cleaving claws), yet Guild Wars 2 is tackling it head-on. Lost Shores – which kicks off on November 16th and runs until the 18th – is a colossal “once in a lifetime” world event that centers around said colossal crustaceans. They’ll invade, they’ll fight, and they might even do a fun dance number to a mash-up of the decade’s most memorable showtunes. Meanwhile, some of the less-crab-focused new additions – like a series of “fractal” mini-dungeons – sound quite interesting. Delve into the break’s mysterious depths for more.

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Please, Sir, Can I Have Some Lore: City Of Heroes

The various strands of most fictional worlds fit together like melted Duplo and hunting knives, particularly when they have multiple authors and are inspired by the mad multiverses of super hero comicdom. City of Heroes is set to become a ghost town on November 30th and with closure fast approaching, Gamerzines notice that Paragon have taken to the forums to provide some closure of a different sort. You want lore? Here’s your lore.

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The End: NCsoft Responds To Save City Of Heroes

WAIT. Everyone, stop. Wanna just meet in the middle and hug it out for a while? Come on now. We've had a good run.

Recently, I spoke with folks behind the Save City of Heroes movement, and they were absolutely delightful. Intelligent, calm, organized, passionate, motivated, etc. If any qualities could actually manage to wrest an MMO from Death’s clammy grip, you’d figure those would do the trick. And, as it turns out, all the in-game and real-world events certainly got NCsoft’s attention. But now, after an agonizing wait, the recently “restructured” MMO behemoth has finally fired back. Unfortunately, it turns out that no news was good news. Sorry, everyone: No more (City of) heroes.

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A Sack Of Cats: A Guild Wars 2 War Story, Pt.2


(Part one.)

You are looking at my Guild Wars 2 character, a necromancer from a bloodline of great Defenders of Ascalon, standing proudly before his guild banner. A descendant of great heroes, who once lay forgotten and hopeless in the dirt like a sack of cats – now restored to the glory that is his birthright.

But how did he arrive there? How did he achieve this?
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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.

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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.

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The Fight To Save City Of Heroes

The official meticulously articulated RPS stance on City of Heroes’ upcoming closure is this face :( Legions of superpowered super-fans, of course, share that sentiment – whether we’re talking eight-year crime-biffing veterans or recent arrivals from the stagnant shores of normalcy. Out of the blue, NCsoft announced that it was pulling the plug, and many folks started feeling understandably Hulk smashy. But while videogame fandoms have become somewhat notorious for taking what they want by embittered force, the Save City of Heroes movement has managed to stow pitchforks and mob mentalities in favor of fundraisers and 5,000-person in-game rallies. Will that be enough, though? I spoke to campaign coordinator Tony Vazquez about the rather astonishing effort and touched bases with Paragon Studios and NCsoft to see if it’s made an impact.

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