Posts Tagged ‘ncsoft’

Blade & Soul’s Kung-Fu Is Strong (And Multiplayer)

And also blue, apparently.

When the song “Kung-Fu Fighting” comes on, I can’t help but wonder to myself “Was everybody really kung-fu fighting? And even if – in that one shining, fast-as-lightning moment – they were, are they still? Or have they moved on with their lives, back to the hum-drum doldrums of day-to-day drudgery?” It’s a sobering line of thought, to be sure. Now, though, there’s finally hope. NCSoft is offering everybody the chance to resume their dazzlingly graceful fisticuffs for the rest of eternity (or until it pulls the plug on servers, at least) with Blade & Soul, its “wildly successful Asian martial arts fantasy MMO.” How wild? So wild.

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Guild Wars Celebrates Sales Reopening With This… Thing

Guild Wars 2, obviously.

We like Guild Wars 2 quite a lot, and evidently, so does everyone else on Earth. Servers began to collapse under the sheer ferocity of unquenchable purchase-lust, so ArenaNet made a rather uncommon business decision and stopped letting people give them money. At least, directly. But now, Guild Wars 2 is back up for download, order has been restored, and I need a new excuse to riot in the streets and take more than one free sample at the grocery store. ArenaNet, meanwhile, is celebrating with a launch trailer that’s, er… hm. Maybe you should just watch it.

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Guild Wars 2’s Auction House Trading Post Lives

My only friend :(

While Guild Wars 2 is clearly pretty brillo, its early days have been somewhat hampered by an apparent bug that fouls up groups being in the same place and has meant the in-game auction house, aka Trading Post, has been offline most of the time. The latter has surprisingly been no biggie, and in some regards has meant people could get on with the business of going out there into the world rather than feverishly trying to ensure they have all the best kit all the time. As an obsessive leather crafter (and in the game) though, I would have killed for the Trading Post to have been an easy source of rawhide, if only because it would have spared me wandering the lands and brutalising all the wildlife I could possibly stick my dagger into.

No matter, the Trading Post is apparently now fully functional as of last night, which means the Great Loot Hunt is very much on. Grouping remains troubled, sadly.
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The PC Is Undead: Guild Wars 2 Ascendant

Party!

Here’s the exciting news: Guild Wars 2, a PC-only videogame, is number one at UK retail this week. Eurogamer reckon it’s the first PC game to have that honour since Football Manager 2011 and StarCraft 2 both pulled it off in 2010. (Diablo III was held off by Max Payne 3, although, as has to be qualified every bloody time with these kinds of stories, digital sales were not included, therefore the entire chart is basically irrelevant anyway.)

Here’s the confusing news: apparently it sold less than Star Wars: The Old Republic did in launch week, despite being at least twelve times better than it. However, once again this does reflect retail-only sales, so means basically nothing – especially as NCSoft have been running a digital pre-purchase scheme for the game for yonks now.
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Hang Up Your Cape: City Of Heroes To Close : (

Coo, those were the days. From 2004, that screenshot.

Snnnniiiiiiffffff. There’s a huge amount of affection for City Of Heroes at Castle Shotgun. Long before RPS was a twinkling of an idea in our collective eye, the original four of us would play CoH together. Kieron, Jim, Alec and I were the core of a team that was joined by many others, spending more time in a game together than before or since. It’s the source of the John Is A Bad Healer meme, it’s where Jim sealed his position as a tank, where Kieron proved he could only play sissy characters that died all the time, and the source of so many anecdotes. And while none of us has played the game for years – in fact, I find it pretty unrecognisable now – it still remains an enormous shame to see its servers will be switched off. And an even greater shame that NCsoft have decided to completely close down the development studio behind it – Paragon Studios.

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ArenaNot: Guild Wars 2 Permabans, Direct Sales Halted


ArenaNet has permanently banned 3000 players for exploiting a weapon-reselling bug. Seems a bit harsh for just messing with virtual economics? ArenaNet say it’s a statement of intent. Speaking on reddit, lead producer Chris Whiteside said: “We take our community and the integrity of the game very seriously, and want to be clear that intentionally exploiting the game is unacceptable… The players we banned were certainly intentionally and repeatedly exploiting a bug in the game. We intended to send a very clear message that exploiting the game in this way will not be tolerated, and we believe this message now has been well understood.” UPDATE: These bans can now be appealed via the game’s support process.

Blimey. And these are some bold moves from the company: ArenaNet have even stopped selling the game directly from their site until they have things sorted for existing players. This does not stop you from buying it via other outlets, however.
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Impressions: Levels 1-15 In Guild Wars 2

Edit – the grouping issue has been officially explained as a bug rather than design.

One thing: my three days (and counting) in Guild Wars 2 were comfortably the most gripped I’ve been by a new MMO since those heady, early days in World Warcraft.

Another thing: it’s got the most serious design flaw I believe I’ve ever seen in any MMO.
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Head In The Clouds: Wildstar’s Player-Owned Houses

Me, right now.
Carbine’s science fiction Wild West MMO Wildstar certainly has a lot of promise. The colourful, bold art style is lovely for a start, but then when you read up on some of the more esoteric aspects that have been announced for it, there’s some potential for it to be interesting. It’s not stepping out of the quest-based mould, granted, but it seems to have enough character to stand up as something singular in the MMO landscape. The new trailer detailing player-housing – plots of lands that can be turned into floating islands of player-erected buildings and furniture – does nothing to dispel that feeling. Go take a look, below.
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WildStar’s Group Combat Looks Sort Of Familiar

I wonder if creatures with needles for legs ever get needle phobias.

Many moons ago, I got the chance to play WildStar. It was kind of a surreal experience for me. I mean, I wanted to be delighted. There were gorgeous vistas and Han-Solo-esque gunmen and surprisingly dark references to the film Alien and brilliant tweaks to the traditional MMO formula. It was like a diligent student with purple hair and bunny ears for some reason that had trained under WoW – and then surpassed it. But, even with dodge-heavy multi-lane combat, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this cartoony sci-fi-fantasy galaxy far, far away was actually Azeroth’s next door neighbor. Group combat – tank-healer-DPS “holy trinity” and all – does look fairly exciting, though. Let it caress your giant, strangely out-of-character anime eyeballs after the break.

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The Paths To Glory: Wildstar

Admission: I’d forgotten that Wildstar existed until I watched a new video for the game today. I’m very glad to be reminded though because it looks like that rarest of things, an MMORPG that I might want to play for more than five minutes. The video shows giant monsters, death ray spewing robotfaces acting as an environmental hazard and demonstrates some of the capabilities for each possible ‘path’ players can follow. Read more about that concept in Alec’s interview or go right ahead and watch the video.

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Free For All: Aion And Everquest

Aion and on and on
I’m starting to view the paid-for period of an MMO’s life as the pre-pubescent stage: the inevitability of growth into F2P is starting to look like it’s in the DNA. Both Everquest and Aion are noticing other MMOs, worrying about their acne and taking an interest in clothes. Aion in particular is experiencing a growth spurt, finally readying version 3.0 for everyone to play.
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Pre-Purchasing Guarantees Access To Guild Wars 2 Beta

Hnng. Hnng! HNNNNNNNNGGGGG!
Like everyone else, I’m eager to set foot into Guild Wars 2 as early as possible. I wastched from the outside as people enjoyed the first closed beta weekend and I’m determined to not be left out again. Now I can’t tell if this is manipulative or extremely nice, but ArenaNet have announced that those who pre-order the game from April 10th will be given access to the game’s weekend beta events, as well as a three-day head start when the game eventually launches. That exact date is still under wraps. What’s not still a secret is what you get when you pre-purchase, and now I have an expensive decision to make.

EDIT: there’s a difference between pre-purchasing and pre-ordering. Pre-orders, ie: putting money down, will only get you one-day headstart. To get the three days and beta access you need to buy it outright.
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Fly My Pretties: AION Goes F2P On 28th Feb

I think that would make walking impractical.

The last time I mentioned that NC Soft’s sort-of-flying MMO, AION, was going free-to-play I used the phrase, “there’s no such thing a free launch”. However, the accolades, the knighthood, the journalism awards and the general celebrity that came from such an extraordinary joke never materialised. This gross oversight should be sorted out quickly. And here’s your chance, because there’s a date for the change now, and more details of what happens if you were a subscriber. Because come the 28th February, Europeans won’t need one to get in.

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Guild News! Guild Wars 2 Server Battles Are Epic

I hope those are water balloons.
Everything I hear from Arenanet about Guild Wars 2 just baffles me. The scale of what they’re trying to achieve is so big all I can do is stare confusedly. I’m making a face right now, my eyebrows are trying to pinch the top my nose and my eyes are wide open, because I’ve been reading about their server vs server battlegrounds: two-week long fights between three servers (hundreds of people), on the biggest maps Guild Wars has. There will be siege weapons, alliances, and boss fights, and I’ll in the middle going “huh?”

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NCsoft Seek To Prevent US Release Of TERA

Those are the most disturbing gaming boobies I've seen in a while.

Why can’t we all just learn to get along? With MMO TERA finally having a release date set for May this year, and the pre-release hype building up, NCsoft have leapt in and thrown a court at the proceedings. As MMO Culture reports, a dispute over the ownership of software and artwork means that the release could be scuppered as it sinks in the mire of a legal bog. I’ve taken a look at the legal filing, and explained the details of the claims.

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Guild Wars 2 Due During Mayan Apocalypse

Eddie the Lizard here is going to taste the raw power of 2x anti-aliasing on my GeForce 560 soon, hopefully.

As every complete tool in the world has already tediously blared several dozen times, 2012 is the year we’re all going to die. I think John Cusack’s going to strangle us all or something? Hopefully we’ll get a chance to finally play the 88 billion years in the making Guild Wars 2 before then, though. NCSoft have just revealed that it’s definitely down for a 2012 release, and that there’ll be an open beta in March or April. ‘Select press’ will be allowed in at some point in February, so expect previews to land around about then. Can I be a select press, please? Also it’s my birthday in February. Also the Mayans famously prophesised that I would be allowed onto the beta of a highly-anticipated MMO sequel, and I’m almost certain they weren’t talking about Asheron’s Call III.

Yes, Guild Wars 2 Will Be Mesmerising


What that headline means, of course, is that the anticipated Mesmer is the latest (and I believe final) class reveal for Guild Wars 2. The character’s skills focus on the making and breaking of illusions, making them a tricksy and cerebral class with some of the more esoteric magical effects at their disposal. ArenaNet have released five (count ’em!) videos of the Mesmer in action, and you can watch them all below. Try watching all give simultaneously and see if your brain is different afterwards. (And gosh, isn’t GW2 just the prettiest thing?!)
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Aion Flying Free: F2P From February

Barf.

The next MMO making its inevitable way to being free-to-play is NCsoft’s Aion, the flying game that does its best to never let you fly. Come next February and you’ll not need to pay to get into the game, via the powers of Gameforge. This is, say Eurogamer, NCsoft’s plan to “boost player numbers in Europe”. In other words, people aren’t playing the disappointing Western incarnation of the MMO, and they want to reawaken the servers. And this is a long-proven method.

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To The Grindstone: Lineage II Is Now Free

Pay for premium items to skip the grind! Realise you have unlocked more grind!

Prep your nose because it is in for one almighty workout. I’m not talking about sending anyone to the Christmas party of a major investment bank, I am instead alerting you to Lineage II’s abolition of subscription payments. The MMO which Tarantino and Rodriguez paid such mixed and seemingly irrelevant homage to is now yours to try for a total cost of no pennies and only three decades of your life. The Goddess of Destruction add-on provides plenty of new content for existing players as well, details of which are scattered around here. NCsoft trumpet that no content is hidden behind paywalls but shortly go on to blither that the usual premium items will allow for speedy progression.