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Choose My Adventure

Choose My Adventure: Deep in the dungeons of Allods Online

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Miscellaneous, Subscription, MMORPG

Allods Online
Last week, I presented Choose My Adventure voters with one simple choice: Where, exactly, should we go next in Allods Online? The community responded by sending my low-level Psionicist directly into what many consider to be a core component of the modern fantasy MMO, the instanced dungeon. Understanding how a game approaches bosses, loot, grouping, and raiding is key in understanding that game's design philosophy, so it makes sense to dip a toe or two into the instanced content Allods has to offer.

Assuming, of course, that I can find a group.

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Choose My Adventure: Allods Online's compelling crafting

Fantasy, Polls, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Livestream, Miscellaneous, Subscription, MMORPG

Allods Online
While it may seem longer due to holidays with family and other time-crunching stresses, it has been just one short week since our last jaunt into the community-chosen Allods Online. In that first glance, we created a brand-new Arisen character, gave him a few magical abilities, and set off on a course for action and adventure. Quests were completed, loot was packed up, and enemies were destroyed.

This week, based on the results of last week's Choose My Adventure polls, we slowed things down. The community elected to stop and smell the roses and to pick up a crafting profession along the way. Taking a moment to observe details in Allods Online's character and environment design helps emphasize the title's unique and attractive aesthetic, which isn't much of a surprise. But our baby steps into the title's leatherworking profession unveiled an engaging and nuanced crafting system that's sure to deliver big payoffs down the line.

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The Stream Team: Exploring the wilds of Allods Online

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Livestream, Miscellaneous, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

Allods Online
Last week's Choose My Adventure votes are in, and the community has elected to send Massively's Mike Foster on the path of exploration in Allods Online. In tonight's stream, Mike will be looking carefully at Allods's art design, checking out as many zones as he can at a low level, and talking with viewers about how Allods differs from other fantasy titles. The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Allods Online
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, December 30th, 2013
Time: 7:00 P.M. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Life as an Arisen in Allods Online

Fantasy, Polls, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Livestream, Miscellaneous, Subscription, MMORPG

Allods Online
The Massively community answered loud and clear when I asked who, what, and how I should play in Allods Online. Voters in last week's Choose My Adventure poll sent me along the path of the Empire in the shoes of an Arisen and equipped me with a Psionicist's dagger along the way. The community also favored the subscription server over the free-to-play server, with some voters claiming Allods is too "pay-to-win" on the free-to-play server and others simply expressing curiosity about whether they'd see a difference between the paid and free versions of the game.

With those voted handled and counted, my adventure had officially begun.

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The Stream Team: Choose My Adventure in Allods Online

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

Allods Online
Last week's Choose My Adventure polls sent Massively's Mike Foster on a path toward the dark side, putting him in the role of an Empire-loyal Arisen in the world of Allods Online. Join Mike as he takes his first community-chosen steps in the shoes of his new character and learns the ins and outs of this strange sci-fantasy universe. The adventure begins at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Allods Online
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, December 23rd, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Against Allods

Fantasy, Polls, Classes, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Races, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, MMORPG

Allods Online
Last week's Choose My Adventure poll turned out to be something of a landslide. A couple of tweets and forum posts were all it took for gPotato's Allods Online to emerge the very clear winner of a race that included titles like Guild Wars, Champions Online, DC Universe Online, and Defiance. And now, with the winner chosen, it's time to leap into the fray and start smashing things in the face with fireballs or mallets or whatever it is one smashes with in Allods Online.

But of course, this is a community activity. I can't simply create a character and start questing. No, dear readers, I need your help in deciding where and how this adventure begins. So let's get it started.

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Choose My Adventure: The weather outside is frightful

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

Choose My Adventure
December is here, which means it's about time to throw some logs on the fire, grab every blanket in the house, and collapse under the mantle in a freezing, sobbing heap. This week's arctic blast has left the United States feeling a lot like Northrend, but for those of us in certain parts of the country it's just the beginning of what's sure to be a long, hellish winter.

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.

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Choose My Adventure: Neverending Neverwinter story

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Neverwinter, Player-Generated Content

Choose My Adventure: Neverending Neverwinter story
Of all the things this trip to Neverwinter has shown me, the ability to continue a character's story beyond the quest that Cryptic provides stands as the greatest thing I think any online game can give us. Although I don't believe that Neverwinter (or any other game, for that matter) gives me everything that I ever hoped for, the Foundry does allow those who enjoy dungeon mastering in the classic Dungeons and Dragons sense a chance to test out their skills at creating a story within a realistic development environment.

Most writers would love to have a blank slate, a platform to do whatever they want to do, but realistically, that never happens. Every development environment contains its own limits and challenges content creators have to overcome. Sometimes the engine doesn't allow writers to do what they would like. Sometimes budgetary limits constrain the creative process. Sometimes writers forget that they are making a game and not a novel, so "fun" adds its own limits. As a writer and a gamer, I have been given a taste of what it takes to make an enjoyable quest for a gaming community.

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Choose My Adventure: Neverwinter wonderland

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Neverwinter, Player-Generated Content

Choose My Adventure: Neverwinter wonderland
When I think about what separates a good Neverwinter Foundry mission from a great Foundry mission, I have to say that it's the ambiance. Ambiance ranges from sounds to lighting to special effects. I could create the best mission ever, write the best story, but if I don't create the best ambiance for the quest, my design could fall flat. What are some of the best ways to create ambiance? Which ones should I put into this Choose My Adventure?

In my limited time in the Neverwinter Foundry, I have barely been able to scratch the surface of everything that the design tool has to offer. Of course, decorations such as a dining table in a dining room add to the atmosphere of the setting, but so does the sun shining through the window or the NPCs clapping in the next room. Today, I need your assistance in choosing the different types of ambiance for different parts of our adventure.

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The Stream Team: Building the Neverwinter dream

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, Dungeons, Neverwinter, Player-Generated Content

The Stream Team: Building the Neverwinter dream
You cannot build a quest without a battle or two, right? The Neverwinter Foundry calls these encounters, and tuning these encounters to fit your vision of the quest can require a special touch. Join Massively's Larry Everett at 1:00 p.m. EST as he adds encounters to his Choose My Adventure quest based on the suggestions from the audience.

Game: Neverwinter
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: On such a Neverwinter's day

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Neverwinter, Player-Generated Content

Choose My Adventure: On such a Neverwinter's day
This past weekend, I believe I've worked out all the mechanics I will need to complete our Neverwinter Foundry quest. It contains a total of three boss fights. I don't want to give any spoilers at this point, but I'll say that one of them has a very cool mechanic that I made using the Foundry story tree. I admit that at first I saw only the limitations of the Foundry, but after diving in full-steam this weekend, I've realized that some of the tools are quite robust.

One of my favorite tools is the dialogue tree. There are a few limitations on what dialogue can affect, but if you think outside the box as some creators have, you can actually make varying levels of difficulty for your dungeons or even allow players to bypass some content.

Today's Choose My Adventure is a bit different from the norm. I've included the first half of my script for the quest after the break. There is no poll this time, but that doesn't mean that I don't want your input. After all, we are making this Neverwinter quest together. After you've read through the script, give your suggestions on possible changes in the comments -- I will certainly consider all of them. Enjoy!

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The Stream Team: Building a foundation in the Neverwinter Foundry

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, Neverwinter, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

The Stream Team: Building a foundation in the Neverwinter Foundry
Player-generated content draws many players into multiplayer games. And if you have not seen the Foundry for Neverwinter, then you need to watch this stream. Join us at 1:00 p.m. EST as Massively's Larry Everett continues building the Choose My Adventure questline that Massively readers have helped create.

Game: Neverwinter
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Saturday, November 16th, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: A Neverwinter storm is brewing

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Neverwinter, Player-Generated Content

Choose My Adventure: A Neverwinter storm is brewing
Making a Foundry mission is difficult, but not because Neverwinter makes it difficult -- not yet, anyway. The number of elements used in creating a good mission is bigger than I had initially thought. However, we will stumble through it, as I did this weekend.

When I initially tried out the Neverwinter Foundry, there were many elements that were just clunky. I constantly had to switch from Foundry mode to 3-D-mode just to add objects, and I had to hope that they were placed correctly. With the recent changes, I can now pop into editor mode and place objects directly into the world, an amazing step forward.

The tough part comes in creating the story and building the world in which the story takes place. Today, I'd like you to help me with a few of the elements I still need to round out my story.

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Choose My Adventure: Tell me the story of Neverwinter

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Dungeons, Neverwinter, Player-Generated Content

Choose My Adventure: Week four
At your bidding, I took my first foray into the Neverwinter Foundry this weekend, and it wasn't too shabby. The Book of the Dead by Magic88255 captured the melodrama of a classic supernatural horror film and coupled it with a bit of game combat. But I think the most important thing that The Book of the Dead had to teach us was about triggers and transitions. When we eventually make our own Choose My Adventure Foundry quest, we will want to keep that sort of thing in mind. Although the overarching storyline is important, I think the little things are what differentiates good Foundry quests from the great ones.

During my livestream on Sunday, I tackled another Foundry quest to get a feel for other possibilities. I completed the runner-up from last week, Valerie's Dream. Although the storytelling was a bit weaker in this quest, the character development was great.

Both quests were fun, so examining the quest beyond just the fun-factor amazes me. I am actually astonished overall at the quality of quests being created in the Foundry. I hope I can live up to that when we create our own. Let's take a look at some of the elements that seem to make for a good Neverwinter Foundry quest.

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Choose My Adventure: If it's Neverwinter, is it Alwayssummer?

Fantasy, Classes, Lore, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Neverwinter

I had a good time this weekend in Neverwinter streaming the first part of our adventure on Massively's Twitch channel. The viewers even participated in creating my character with me based on the gender, race, and class chosen in last week's column. When sitting down to actually create a male Tiefling Control Wizard, I realized that many other relevant choices that could take multiple articles just to vote on. In fact, as was evident in the livestream, in Neverwinter's character creator, you could take over an hour to roll the ideal character.

Eventually, the stream audience settled on a medium-red Goku-lookalike named Morthos Angelbane. I don't know how canon that name is, but this is Choose My Adventure. It's not really my decision to make. However, character creation for Cryptic's Neverwinter offers some interesting choices that I feel really set the game apart from other similar games.

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