| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: A bit of TERA sightseeing

Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, TERA, MMORPG

TERA
There's no question that TERA is one of the most beautiful MMOs on the market. Its open world features gorgeous terrain, cool set pieces, and lots of variation for the screenshot-obsessed. So when Choose My Adventure's voters elected to send me exploring last week, I was more than happy to oblige. I wouldn't accomplish much Fate of Arun stuff, but at least I'd get to see some sights!

I also, somehow, learned a bit more about the Warrior class and how to effectively deploy it in combat. It's been a long, hard crawl, but I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of my combo abilities and my evasion techniques. I'm definitely dying less and even occasionally having moments when I feel totally in control of the actions my character is taking and the reasoning behind them. I almost feel... good.

Until the next BAM smacks me down, of course.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: Air travel is not very safe in TERA

Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, TERA, MMORPG

TERA
Massively multiplayer online games are collections of interlocking systems. A character's skills allow her to interact with the world, interacting with the world gives her experience points, experience points give her levels, levels give her skills, and so on. Inventory, items, professions, quests, and social interactions are also systems, layered on top of the core combat and gameplay mechanics.
When you have mastery over an MMO, you don't just have mastery over skill rotations; you have mastery over all of the systems underneath. By the time a normal person hits 60 in En Masse's TERA, for example, that person can probably tell the difference between good gear and bad gear, organize a character's inventory, and use the game's menus. This is the stuff you take for granted when you've been playing an MMO for weeks, months, or years.

Leaping into expansion content with a near-max-level character but little core game experience is, thus, not very smart. But I did it anyway, charging into TERA's Fate of Arun with a brand-new-yet-level-60 Castanic Warrior for Choose My Adventure.

It went okay.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: TERA's Fate of Arun

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

TERA
As was mentioned many times during our end-of-year awards and the comments surrounding them, 2014 was a much better year for adding to existing properties than releasing new ones. Some of the biggest launches of the year came in the form of expansions like Rift's Nightmare Tide, Star Trek Online's Delta Rising, and Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan. Choose My Adventure even took the expansion route last month by investigating World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor.

En Masse's TERA, too, received a huge update in 2014, though it launched with significantly less fanfare than some of the other major expansions of the year. Fate of Arun introduced new zones, added new dungeons, and raised the level cap (as expansions are wont to do). It also brought a new game mode in The Coliseum, a PvP/PvE hybrid arena-type thing. Perhaps most notably when compared to the other expansions of 2014, Fate of Arun is free to all TERA players.

Since TERA so often flies under the radar with MMO fans, I thought it might be fun to dedicate this month's CMA to Fate of Arun. So get ready because it's time to start slaying some big-ass monsters.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: World of Warcraft High

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft launched on November 23rd, 2004. For anyone having a hard time putting that date into context, consider this: My sister, who's now in college, was eight years old when WoW's gates first opened. Some of our readers with nice jobs and adorable children were still in middle school or high school. I've personally been playing WoW off and on since 2005, giving me about nine years of history with the game.

This month's Choose My Adventure was two parts adventure and one part nostalgia. And as it turns out, sometimes the past really does belong in the past.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: On autopilot in World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Life as a shadow Priest in World of Warcraft is pretty mellow. Mostly you bounce around from quest to quest and enemy to enemy, ticking off objectives by murdering orcs with dark magic and scaring everyone with your spooky shadow face. It's not a career path I'd recommend for your average citizen, but if you're looking to become an instigator in the clan wars of Warlords of Draenor, there are worse paths to take.

We accomplished quite a bit this week in Choose My Adventure. Our Blood Elf Priest gained a couple of levels, DPSed his very first Warlords of Draenor dungeon, and completed the Frostfire Ridge set of story quests. And while it's all been very, very good, I'm still having a hard time connecting to this latest World of Warcraft expansion.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: World of Warcraft and the shadowy priest

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

It's been one week since Choose My Adventure's voters sent me on the path of darkness in World of Warcraft, daring me to cast off my healing roots and adventure forward as a Priest who deals only in shadow. I've gained a couple of levels, tinkered with my garrison, and killed hundreds and hundreds of orcs. I've even managed to work out some of last week's confusion, finding a spell rotation that works for me and laying waste to any PvE enemies that cross my path.

I've also completed about a million quests, Warlords of Draenor-style.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: I am so confused in World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Last week's Choose My Adventure polls for World of Warcraft set me on a very unexpected path. Male Blood Elf? Really? If you had asked me to predict the result of the class/race/gender/faction polls, I would have been extremely super-wrong. I thought for sure Massively's readership was full of carebear Alliance sympathizers who spend their WoW hours hosting hug parties in Darnassus.

Anyway. This week saw me creating our new character, using the included-with-Warlords of Draenor instant level 90 character boost, and diving through the Dark Portal to experience the starting moments of Blizzard Entertainment's latest bundle of WoW content.

It was... something.

Continue Reading

The Stream Team: World of Warcraft's instant 90

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Choose My Adventure is heading into World of Warcraft this month, and it all begins with the creation of a brand-new character that will immediately receive an instant boost to level 90. Join Massively's Mike Foster as he investigates the instant-leveling process and explores the tutorial system Blizzard has put in place to explain dozens of skills to a fledgling WoW player.

The chaos begins at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Sunday, December 7, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: Can't stop the World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
It's been 10 years since Blizzard Entertainment launched World of Warcraft and ignited the great MMO gold rush of the aughts. In that time, World of Warcraft has grown into something more than a game; it's a cultural icon, an immensely valuable piece of intellectual property, and a brooding presence any new MMO has to consider before launch. WoW has gravity.

Just when World of Warcraft's numbers start to slide and the naysayers start planning their "WoW is dead" parties, Blizzard finds a way to make WoW resurgent. Warlords of Draenor, WoW's fifth expansion, launched late last month, bringing three million subscribers back into the game's warm embrace. For those keeping score: That's more subscribers than most MMOs ever see at their peaks.

Warlords of Draenor reworks some core World of Warcraft systems, changes up character models, implements a version of housing, and more. And with so many people returning to check it out, there's no better time for Choose My Adventure to join the fray.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: The final Final Fantasy

Fantasy, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
It's amazing how time flies when you're punching things. Just a few weeks ago our Choose My Adventure-forged Final Fantasy XIV pugilist was an aspiring adventurer with no pants; today, she's a certified hero (still with no pants). It's been an impressive ride to say the least. Square Enix has done some things so phenomenally right it's hard to believe the studio botched the game so badly the first time around.

Final Fantasy XIV is definitely a traditional fantasy MMO. But it makes enough changes and innovates in enough places to make itself feel unique and compelling. If I had to pay a subscription for a game (which I hate doing), FFXIV would be the one to get my credit card number.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: Final Fantasy XIV's thaumaturgery

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
One of the more frustrating elements of helming Choose My Adventure is that I start every game with hopeless incompetence and spend four weeks trying desperately to reach some level of understanding with that game's core mechanics. MMO players take for granted the basic masteries they have over the systems they command and forget that the first 20 or so levels of any new game are usually spent in a fog of half-understandings and misconceptions.

Because it's so difficult to continually learn a game's idiosyncrasies, I was a bit wary of last week's Choose My Adventure polls. Having just grown comfortable with our Miqo'te Pugilist and the basic rotations that power her damage, I found the thought of taking on an entirely new class fairly intimidating. Aren't Thaumaturges hard to play? Don't they have confusing ability combos and weird buffs?

Luckily, Final Fantasy XIV understands the challenge in switching classes and isn't afraid to babysit you while you re-learn the ropes.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: So much punching in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Consoles, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

Final Fantasy XIV
Last week's Choose My Adventure polls on Final Fantasy XIV were very close. With a few more votes in one direction instead of another, we'd be playing a Roegadyn arcanist or a Lalafell thaumaturge. Unfortunately for people who hate human-animal hybrids, voters selected a Miqo'te pugilist by the hair on a cat's tail (Is this a saying? It should be a saying). Consider our character's cat ears the Massively version of growing a Movember moustache.

With our hero forged and her job chosen, it's time to start adventuring.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: Final Fantasying

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
Final Fantasy, born in 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System, is Square-Enix's most successful franchise with over 100 million units sold in its 27-year history. Final Fantasy is essentially a constant in the games industry; there is always a current Final Fantasy game, and there is always an anticipated Final Fantasy game. No matter the day or time, thousands of people across the globe are playing one Final Fantasy or another. Final Fantasy is a Big Deal.

That's not to say everything has been sunshine and roses for the series. Fans are passionate about the brand and have had some less than stellar reactions to certain decisions in various iterations of the franchise. Perhaps the most notorious story in all of Final Fantasyland was the launch, un-launch, and re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV, which has been discussed in great depth here at Massively.

It's been over a year since Final Fantasy XIV became Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. And with a new expansion on the way and the massive patch 2.4 freshly live, there's no better time to leap into this title to see what we can see in this month's edition of Choose My Adventure.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: Closing off our time in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
I've spent quite a bit of time in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman this month. Thanks to the unique layout of October 2014, Swordsman ended up getting an extra week compared to most Choose My Adventure endeavors. And while I'm ready to move on to the next game, it was nice to have some extended time with Swordsman before sending it to that magic hard drive in the sky. Sometimes a few extra days can give you time to see things in a game you didn't see before.

Swordsman is definitely a game that grows on you. The experience continually improves. If you're willing to stick through the slow opening and limited early experience, there's a pretty interesting game waiting to be discovered.

Continue Reading

Choose My Adventure: The once and future Swordsman

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

Swordsman
For the last three weeks, I've been whipping and kicking every bad guy I can find in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman in the hopes of understanding this peculiar wuxia MMORPG. My Choose My Adventure experience thus far has been mixed; I've enjoyed Swordsman's theme and setting, but its mechanics and hard-to-follow narrative have made the experience a touch less manageable. Swordsman from 1-30 seems at best like an extended tutorial and at worst like a game that plays itself.

That's not just my opinion. All of the feedback I can find on the game seems to point in one direction: Swordsman's early levels aren't the main attraction. The real Swordsman exists in PvP (unlocked at level 30), guild quests (unlocked at level 35), and instances (unlocked at 15 -- not bad). Last week's combat discipline discovery at 25 further cemented the idea that Swordsman is a game designed to reward players who stick through the initial grind.

I didn't have much time to play this last week, but I did get a chance to sit down with PWE product manager Gabrielle Heiland to talk about Swordsman's first expansion, the future of the game, and how Perfect World feels about the game's current "wait and see" design.

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW