|Massively's hands-on with WildStar's character creation
Eliot tinkers with character customization, judging WildStar's somewhere between the extremes of World of Warcraft and City of Heroes. Expect an expert opinion on hair styles and body sliders.
|Massively's hands-on with WildStar's housing system
In the wake of the latest housing demo, Gavin explains the differences between sockets, plugs, and buff boards, and then repeats rumors of a strip club for small stuffed animals.
|Massively's hands-on with WildStar's Engineer
Justin is a sucker for Engineers: "This is my rifle and this is my gun; this is for fighting and this is for statistical improvements that help my gearscore for the inevitable raid gating."
|Massively's hands-on with WildStar's Medic
Eliot covers the feel of WildStar's hard-to-master melee healer and his role in the overall environment: "Sure, I had moments of frustration, but I certainly wasn't ever bored."
All right, that's the first thing everyone does: You have to make a character, but I was playing that to win, people.
Character creation in MMOs usually falls short of what's offered in games like The Sims and Saints Row IV. At the low end you have games like Final Fantasy XI (pick a race, pick a face, pick a hair color, am I seriously done now?), and at the high end you've got Champions Online or the dearly departed City of Heroes. WildStar does not hit the high end, but it does do some things pretty nicely, even if it also misses some opportunities.
The fact is that I don't really hate your bog-standard Warriors or Mages or whatever. But the classes that really get me interested are classes that demand that you explain what they do and how someone came up with that concept. Guild Wars has the Dervish, World of Warcraft has the Shaman, Final Fantasy XI has the Corsair -- they're flavorful, they're unique, and they're just plain neat.
Combine that with my love of melee and WildStar's Medic had me from hello. I really like getting into the paint with things, I like the idea of a healer focused on getting up close and dancing, and I love the idea that medic balance between being doctors and technological shock troops. So jumping into the beta, I was happy to dive into the shoes of the doctor and start doing a whole lot of harm to anyone and everyone who opposed the Dominion.
In the course of the most recent press beta, I scored some hands-on time with both new classes and glimpsed the newest changes to housing at a press event last week. The two new classes, Medic and Engineer, add variety to the healing and tanking game, while housing improvements turn homemaking into more than just a hobby. The upcoming MMO from Carbine Studios and NCsoft is turning out to be one rich frontier, ripe with potential for anyone looking for a new MMO home.
WildStar's Engineer almost sounded too good to be true to me: a heavy armor-wearing ranged class that could DPS or tank while fielding combat robots. There might have been mention of a mech suit as well, but by that point I was twitching on the floor after suffering a happiness seizure. But would this perfect match on paper meet up to the cold, colorful reality when I got into the game? There was only one way to find out. Honey, take the kids out for the next two days, for I have space clobbering to do!
Game time? Cash shop goodies? Something else?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!
Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
Enjoy our Steam Team video below.
Boleyn explains how RIFT's weather is determined by where your character is standing, and consequently how this presented a problem when coupled with the fact that the game's raindrops and snowflakes "neither have nor respond to collision" due to performance considerations.
The solution for dimensional weather, then, is something called weather-blockers, which will be "brought live as craftable items" in RIFT's 2.6 update. Click through the links below to read further details.
This time around the team is introducing several things that players have never seen before, starting with the Blue Lantern Corps, twin sentient planets Mogo and Ranx, and a new Red Light power called Rage. Coming up on top of the DLC will be Armories, displays that players can place in their lairs or hideouts not only to display favorite looks, but to allow players to switch between loadouts and looks on the fly, in the field!
So, how will all of this work?
Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EST to find out.
Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Enjoy our Steam Team video below.
So much has happened since that first meeting. I am very, very aware of all of the drama concerning the developers -- the name changes, the patches, the community issues, and so on. I am not writing this to discuss that part of the story. My specific goal over the last couple of weeks was to see whether playing on a private, paid-for server would give me a different experience than Massively's Mike Foster's. During his time with the game at launch he was, to put it mildly, miserable.
Can video games really be good for you? Let's take a look in this week's MMO Family.
Massively reached CCP Games for comment and received the official statement below confirming that the layoffs are real and that they are from the World of Darkness team:
"CCP today made strategic adjustments to the staffing on the team working on the World of Darkness project in Atlanta that resulted in the elimination of approximately 15 positions at the company. The change was due to our evaluation of the game's design and ongoing development needs. While this was a difficult decision, CCP remains committed to the franchise and our promise to make a compelling, rich, and deep World of Darkness experience."
All of these games have a fantasy bent, and when you couple that with the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, I'm sure you can understand my dilemma. Failing some sort of uber-MMO that manages to combine all of the best features from each of these titles, I guess I'll just have to pick one for a primary game and glance longingly at the also-rans every now and again.
What about you, Massively readers? How many same-genre MMOs can you play at the same time? Two? Three? None? Vote after the cut!
Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!
This trailer is a long, dark drink of action and heavy metal riffs, as Trion Worlds attempts to sell you on the spiffy new features coming to the game. Arkbreaker is currently out, and if the trailer gets you interested, you can read our in-depth interview with Defiance's devs for more info.
Get an eyeful after the jump, Masta Breaka!
Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Aion, Guild Wars, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Casual, MMOFPS, Champions Online, DC Universe Online, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Defiance, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play
However cold it may be outside, there's always a warm, toasty inn waiting in our favorite games. MMOs also provide sunny vistas, hot deserts, and steamy swamps, all of which make great places to escape nasty real-life weather. Even when it's cold in an MMO, it's still warm at our desks. In this edition of Choose My Adventure, I'm depending on you to help me hide from the snow that's piling up outside of my window.
You don't have to send me somewhere warm, but I'd appreciate it if you send me somewhere fun.
The promotion runs until January 5th. If you want to try but don't want to feel pressured by the subscription fee, you don't have to worry; anyone who cancels during the two-week period will not be billed and will still be flagged as a Premium player. The only people ineligible are existing VIPs. So why not take the opportunity to be slaughtering orcs in style for a couple of weeks?
Additionally, guilds that level to a high enough rank can create their own towns that guild members can visit. Guild towns will spawn unique Eidolons that guild members must group up to defeat. Once defeated, those Eidolons can drop key fragments that, when combined, will allow players to summon that companion as his own.
[Source: Aeria Games press release]
I manage, though, because of the title's grindy progression and a design mandate that eschews traditional flight sim mechanics for arcade tropes aimed at gamers who wouldn't know an accelerated stall from a bathroom stall.
The drive, which included dozens of unique player-run efforts and culminated in a CCP telethon that lasted over eight hours, brought in 12,726 PLEX (equaling approximately 1060 years of playtime). The livestreamed telethon featured EVE Online devs who pledged things like head-shaving and sparring with a Tae Kwon Do champion when certain fundraising milestones were hit. Perhaps the most painful dev pledge was getting shot with one paintball for every $2,000 donated! Sprinkled throughout the telethon were other tidbits including a dev cooking competition, Q&A sessions, and more.
You can watch the follow through with the paintball pledge below, and catch the telethon in its entirety on YouTube.
[Source: CCP press release]
|Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls|
|SMITE Launch||Mar. 25, 2014|
|Destiny Launch||Sept. 9, 2014|
|Elder Scrolls Online Launch||Apr. 4, 2014|
|Warlords of Draenor||2014|
|Jef Reahard||Managing Editor|
|Shawn Schuster||Senior Editor|
|Eliot Lefebvre||Senior Contributing Editor|
|Justin Olivetti||Senior Contributing Editor|
|MJ Guthrie||Contributing Editor|
|Mike Foster||Contributing Editor|
|Matt Daniel||Contributing Editor|
|Jasmine Hruschak||Contributing Streamer|
|Richie Procopio||Contributing Streamer|
|About Team Massively | Contact Us | FAQ|
Massively Speaking Podcast
Latest episode: Tuesday, December 10th, 2013