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Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Clicking around in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Three weeks into our Choose My Adventure adventure, I'm not sure what to make of Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman. The game boasts a deep literary pedigree and markets itself on its wuxia themes and combat-oriented design. It has a rich, beautiful world that is dripping with powerful design cues and historical influences. Like all PWE games, it is slick and easy to pick up and play.

Swordsman is a well-made MMORPG. It is mechanically sound and conceptually solid. So why am I so bored?

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Choose My Adventure: Cracking whips in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
In last week's Choose My Adventure poll, I asked two simple questions of the Massively community: Which gender should our character be in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman, and what path should that character take among the game's 10 available schools of combat? The result was a resounding win for the female-character-exclusive Five Venoms school (probably because whips) and for the creation of a female character.

Since the polls closed on Saturday, I've created our character and spent a little time with Swordsman's intro sequence, tutorial missions, and the earliest chapters of its main storyline. I've whipped a bunch of dudes, summoned giant frogs, and set a few horses on fire. And while it's early yet to declare Swordsman a success, failure, or mediocre in-betweener, thus far I would describe the experience as decidedly mixed.

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Choose My Adventure: The proud wanderers of Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Since commandeering Choose My Adventure in August, I've been on something of a sci-fi rampage. First we took a second look at a post-release Firefall; then we spaced out with a beta build of Frontier's Elite: Dangerous. And while spaceships and rocket boots are certainly wonderful things, Choose My Adventure is as much about investigating new worlds and new genres as it is about checking out new games. Thus, it's time to leave the world of science fiction behind in search of something a bit more classical.

This month, we're adventuring into Imperial China -- as far from deployable sentry guns and pulse lasers as possible -- with Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman.

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Choose My Adventure: Basically Han Solo in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous eventually launches, I'm guessing there will be two primary types of pilots cruising its vast expanses: quiet, peaceful types who enjoy exploring and courier-ing, and destructive, violent types who prefer interacting with NPCs and other players via pulse lasers. Elite's loose structure has room for other archetypes, though, such as the savvy trader working the marketplace and the under-the-radar smuggler who lives on the wrong side of the law but avoids drawing attention to himself. Being peaceful doesn't mean you have to be lawful.

Last week's Choose My Adventure poll set me on the path of the smuggler, challenging me to secure illegal goods and to sneak those goods by the feds to net a healthy profit.

Results were mixed.

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Choose My Adventure: Exploring exploration via Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Being an explorer is overrated. Sure, Lewis and Clark are remembered as bold adventurers who set out across the untamed American west, charting charts and mapping maps and becoming famous along the way. It's less memorable that the expedition frequently feasted on dogs, slept with more locals than a touring indie rock band, and included at least one accidental butt shooting. In other words, between an explorer and fame there lies a whole lot of gristle.

Last week, Choose My Adventure voters set me on the exploration path in Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous. While exploration hasn't yet been implemented as a viable career, it's still a thing you can do just because you feel like doing it. It's also a pretty great way to see your life end in a cacophony of flames and shrapnel or to find yourself staring at a map in complete and utter confusion.

Still, it beats roasting a Labrador and passing it around the campfire.

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Choose My Adventure: I am Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Space is not a very good place for people to hang out. Humans have a specific list of things that are needed for survival, and space is in a continual state of being fresh out of all of them. Thus, the space race isn't just about firing objects into the universe and seeing how far they can go but about building contraptions that deliver enough tender love and care to keep folks alive for the journey. Space travel is immensely expensive and complicated; humanity is still decades or even centuries away from easily accessible personal spacecraft.

Space sims like Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous let you skip ahead a bit to see what things might be like when launching yourself into space will come with all the grandiosity of running to the store for some bread. "Yeah, you have a spaceship," Elite says, "but what exactly do you intend to do with it?"

In this, the second week of our Elite-focused Choose My Adventure, we'll be seeking an answer to that very question.

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Choose My Adventure: It's lonely out in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG

Elite: Dangerous
In 1990, hurtling across the edge of our solar system at around 40,000 miles per hour, NASA's Voyager 1 space probe performed a quick rotation and snapped a parting photograph of the planet on which it had been conceived, built, and launched. The resulting image, known as the Pale Blue Dot photo, features a tiny Earth surrounded on all sides by an infinite blackness. It was this image, transmitted a distance of 3.7 billion miles at the speed of light, that inspired Carl Sagan to write, "There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world."

In other words, space is big. Really big. And it is into this great unknown, this unimaginable void wrapped in darkness and silence, that Choose My Adventure now boldly goes via Elite: Dangerous, a crowdfunded space simulator (no, not that crowdfunded space simulator) from Frontier Developments. With 55 star systems and 38,000 cubic light-years of space to explore, Elite's Beta 1 release should offer us plenty of freedom to sate our interstellar cravings and to thrive or die as an independent pilot.

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Choose My Adventure: Firefall as it stands

Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Firefall, MMORPG

Firefall
As I noted in the first week of this month's truncated Choose My Adventure, Firefall is finally an honest to goodness real-life video game. The extended extended beta is over, the launch trailer has released, and the game has been cut loose into the world. One might argue that Red 5 is now officially out of excuses; if something isn't satisfactory in Firefall, it must be unsatisfactory by design. We have stepped beyond the point where "it's a beta" is a fair explanation of the game's rougher edges.

Because what we're dealing with is theoretically intended to be a full retail product, it's not useful to talk about what Firefall used to be, nor is it useful to speculate on what Firefall might become. The only honest evaluation of the game, if evaluation is the goal, must center on the current iteration of the product, the one that Red 5 considered complete enough to release as the finished version of its vision. Is Firefall, in its current state, worth playing? Does it offer enough content to keep players engaged? Is it finally delivering on the promise we have glimpsed in its systems?

For the first time since my initial encounter with the game in early 2013, I'd say the answer is yes.

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Choose My Adventure: The distraught wives of Firefall

Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Firefall, MMORPG

"There is no problem in this world a gun can't solve." These words, to my knowledge, are never explicitly stated in Firefall. There's no wise-in-his-grizzledness war veteran to rub his stubbled chin, frown into the distance, and impart such wisdom upon the player. But make no mistake, Firefall's world is one in which most tough situations are resolved with the thunderclap of gunfire. In Firefall's New Eden, violence really is the answer.

In last week's Choose My Adventure column, I asked you to help guide my path through this dangerous world, to give my character an identity, a role to play, and a purpose to fulfill. Votes were cast; suggestions were made. I've since created a new character and blasted my way through the re-re-re-re-designed tutorial/opening experience. And while I am, as always, having a wonderful time, I still can't get over my one recurring Fireball criticism: I'm shooting a lots of stuff but I don't care or know why.

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Choose My Adventure: Firefall is finally a real game

Sci-Fi, Polls, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Firefall

Forgive me, Massively readers, for I have sinned. It has been six months since my last Choose My Adventure. Luckily, absolution is readily available via a 50-pound desktop computer, a mostly stable internet connection powered by one of the most hated companies in the United States, and three or four Hail Proudmoores. In summary: I have stared into the face of an eternal offline purgatory, clenched my teeth, and growled, "Not today."

No, today I'm going to play Firefall. And you're coming with me.

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Choose My Adventure: Hunting for trouble (and riches) in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Video, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

Bouncing between alpha and beta has hindered progress in ArcheAge for Massively's MJ, but it hasn't diminished the fun. As per last week's vote, she spent the past weekend in beta, checking out life on the other continent as an Elf. Now, with the next beta a whole week away, it's back to alpha life as a Firran. But that doesn't mean it's a lonely life! MJ found a spot for her little farm and has been raising some goslings as she continues her crafting and trade exploits. And there's also this thing about joining a guild... we're sure she could find some more trouble to get into with friends. Perhaps she'll even finally make it to prison! Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for MJ's final two-hour CMA Live adventure.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, July 55th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: The crafty side of life in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Polls, Video, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

Choose My Adventure:  The crafty side of life in ArcheAge
After last week's exciting dungeon and boating adventure, Massvely's MJ was ready to settle into the quiet life of crafting in ArcheAge. And crafting can definitely be a whole way of life, taking all your time, attention, and funds. If you want to specialize in multiple crafts, it can gobble up that much more!

Since you voted for MJ to try all the crafting, she's been trying to dabble in everything. However, getting all the various materials necessary for all the different professions turned out to be quite the undertaking, so she's been paying special attention to armor (which tied for first in votes) and housing items (which came in second). Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to see the crafty side of life in ArcheAge and help direct MJ's two-hour adventures during this CMA Live. Then don't forget to vote and direct next week's (and this weekend's) adventures!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Adventuring in ArcheAge

Betas, Fantasy, Polls, Video, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

Although ArcheAge has many different things to do, you decided that Massively's MJ should continue her adventures with quests, so that's what she's been doing. After showing off her favorite spot in game and brilliantly demonstrating death by jellyfish, she's been running to and fro delivering notes, assembling statues, and killing whatever vermin are bothering the locals. And there's certainly no lack of vermin!

During those questing adventures MJ has come across a dungeon, and she's looking forward to taking you inside. Hopefully she'll find other in-game companions to enter with her as well, else she'll surely experience death in a new and spectacular way! If she's alone, will you still have her enter? Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to decide her fate live! And don't forget to participate in the next vote to decide which crafting profession MJ should pursue next week.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Forever Firran in ArcheAge's alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

Welcome to the first official all-stream version of Choose My Adventure, where Massively's MJ will delve deeper into ArcheAge on two-hour adventures that you help direct. She's continuing to explore the world as the feline Firran as directed by the last round of voting. But now the adventures are ramping up and she's picking up the pace, so what direction shall she go?

There's no need to only quest if you want XP; you can also gather, craft, and farm. You can focus on land adventures or brave the high seas. There's plenty of choice involved, and the choice is yours. Join us live at 4:00 p.m. EDT and help decide what MJ does, then vote in the poll to determine next week's leveling path! The polls closes at 11:59 P.M. Monday, June 8th.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, July 4th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Choose My Adventure moves to ArcheAge

Betas, Fantasy, Polls, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

If you've wanted the chance to direct Massively's MJ in her ArcheAge adventures, here's that chance! Choose My Adventure is hooking up with The Stream Team for a full month of viewer-driven escapades in the sandbox's alpha. First up, choosing which race she'll play for the two-hour adventures throughout July. Should MJ be a humanesque Nuian or Harani, an elegant Elf, or remain as a feline Firran? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to try and convince the other viewers to support your choice, then vote in the poll below!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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