It would be a rare fantasy MMO that didn't have a posse of dragons roaming the land (or flying through the skies), and Guild Wars 2 certainly does not break that trend. It doesn't mean that going head-to-head with one is any less intimidating, however.
Reader Paul sent in this little meet-and-greet with Puff, saying it was when his Asuran Mesmer first encountered a dragon. Let's just hope he remained alive to have a second encounter. Asurans often look like popcorn chicken to dragonkind.
It's not just flying lizards in this week's One Shots! What wonders await you, I wonder?
I am very sorry to say that I was informed that my position was no longer needed. Though I had many titles I was handling for Mythic, I grew to love and appreciate all the communities and only wish I could have had more time or resources to get more involved with them. Though I had only been in the position for a little over a year, I will miss a great many of you and hope that you keep in touch.
It's time once again to take a week off from looking at specific MMO soundtracks and open ourselves up to a theme instead. The topic? Battle music. Yeah, it can be some of the most obnoxious music in the game, especially after hearing it for the 3,000th time, but every once in a while I hear a piece that has some merit to it. These are the ones we want to examine today.
What makes for a good battle music track? I think it has to get you excited without being annoying or grating and not so loud or incredibly noticeable that you can't help but get tired of it sooner rather than later. It was actually pretty tricky to pull together six such tracks for this column, but I managed to do with with the help of Colonel Bugle up there. He's got the best MP3 collection around.
Gamers aren't letting up on Electronic Arts for its record and attitude. The games publisher was voted "Worst Company in America" for a second year in a row in The Consumerist's poll. EA trounced the other finalist, Bank of America, with 78% of the tallies.
The Consumerist provided commentary as to why EA earned that reputation with customers and what it could be doing to not earn this title next year. The site identified EA's three main problems as failing to provide a product people want and like, failing to sell products at reasonable prices, and failing to support its products.
If you've been playing Dark Age of Camelot for a while, odds are good that you've acquired a lot of things. You've got a set of Epic Armor, you've got tons of items clogging your bank, and you've got a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers that you don't remember buying but you now refuse to remove. The game's latest patch does not improve your slipper situation, but it does improve Epic Armor, add new Epic Weapons and Accessories, allow for remote bank access, and increase the stack limits on many items. So everything else gets better.
Does that satisfy you? No? You want to know more about the future of the game? Well, then, you can feast your eyes on a new set of community answers from the development team addressing the future update plans for the game as well as which areas will not be seeing much improvement (throwing weapons, for instance, are pretty much up the creek). So there's plenty for DAoC fans to enjoy. However, no one enjoys those bunny slippers. Seriously. Wear armor like everyone else.
The bonus weekend affects the different server rulesets in a variety of ways. All servers will generate 200% more XP and 200% more bounty points in specific areas. Realm points are also being handed out like candy, although you'll need to consult the master chart to figure out how your server benefits.
The bonus weekend goes from today (Wednesday) through Monday, January 28th.
Dark Age of Camelot has a strange soundtrack history. The game came out with an official soundtrack in 2002 that is (a) wonderful, (b) absolutely worth buying, and (c) only marginally related to the actual in-game music. There are really terrific tracks on this, such as Breton Melody and The Rap, which I do wish I could share with you. Unfortunately, Universal Music Group is quite aggressive on keeping this CD's tracks off of sites like YouTube, so you will have to take my word for it that it's worth pursuing in your own time.
Then, of course, there's the actual score that's heard in the game, and that's what we'll be focusing on today. The original score and the first expansion was composed by Rik Schaffer of Womb Music. Schaffer worked with the team to come up with a multi-track format so that DAoC could weave together songs based on where you were and what was going on all around you. "It's a really neat system that provides a real sense of atmosphere as you are playing -- almost like a movie soundtrack," said Producer Matt Firor in a 2002 interview.
We've got a lot of musical ground to cover, so let's start moving!
I am a complete sucker for three things: novelty soft drink flavors, Tom Servo's singing voice in MST3K, and end-of-the-year lists. Egads, I love the end of the year just for the lists alone. Everyone does them (copycats!), and I like to see how my opinions stack up against them. Plus, often I learn of cool things that happened or came out during the past year that I missed.
So this is my list. My end-of-2012 list. I am devoting the 26th Perfect Ten of 2012 to the top 10 moments in MMO gaming and blogging. It was a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and looking back, I don't think I could've predicted half of the major events that happened in this industry. That's what I like about this gig: It keeps me on my toes.
About once a year I like to take a look back at Dark Age of Camelot, the classic PvP MMO by Mythic Entertainment, just to reassure myself that older MMOs are still some of the best around. Dark Age of Camelot comes from that older crop of titles like Asheron's Call and EverQuest, games that still shine despite their age. Of course the next logical question is, "If these games are still so good, why aren't more of us still playing them?" There's an easy answer, really. First of all, we don't spend time sitting around listening to our favorite albums or watching our favorite movies constantly, but we still appreciate them, possibly more than we did when we first found them. Next, all games are finite for us as individuals. There is no MMO that offers endless content if we take away the endless player-made content that comes from roleplay or exploration.
No matter how good a game like Dark Age of Camelot was and still is, many of us have already experienced it quite a bit. It's only human to become slightly bored with something we've played with time and again. But once again, I've spent a week in a game that shows it's always a good thing to check back on our favorites. They just might surprise you all over again.
With the changes, Albion residents can roll Inconnu Minstrels and Half Ogre Maulers, Midgardians can make Kobold Berserkers and Troll Maulers, and Hibernians can unleash Lurikeen Blademasters and Firbolg Maulers.
Massively is getting ready to celebrate DAoC's 11th anniversary with Rise and Shiny this coming Sunday, so don't miss it!
One of the greatest things about the mobile market is the reappearance of older, single-player titles that are now being introduced to a new generation. Tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming go-to gaming devices offering not only more powerful processors and bigger screens but access to the internet and huge stores of digital goodies. Recently, I've been playing through titles I've missed, like Broken Sword, a point-and-click adventure game from 1996. Touch devices are proving to be perfect for many older-style games. We're simply replacing the mouse with the finger, and the move feels natural.
I would love to, personally. I think it would be pretty cool. I think somebody kind of joked around and said you know when somebody's 90 years old, they're going to be in an old folk's home playing UO on their phone. [...] That kind of sums us up.
There are many MMOs that I could see offering a mobile version. Would it be better or worse for these classic titles?
It's been a long time coming for MMO fans, this day. Guild Wars 2's launch isn't just a special occasion in the community; it's the rebirth of civilization itself. It will usher in a golden era of peace, prosperity, and jumping. Bree and Justin are weeping with joy, their tears glistening with the hope of a bright future of gaming. Other games will fall at ArenaNet's feet in tribute, begging for mere permission to continue living.
Just warning you: We might be talking a bit about GW2 today. It is... unavoidable.
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So you've captured a Relic in Dark Age of Camelot. The challenge is finding a spot to keep it, since it's obviously a big draw for enemy players. But the latest patch makes it a little bit easier to defend your captured Relics in non-Relic Keeps by adding in special Relic Guards. These defenders spawn in the same keep as a captured Relic to aid its defense, but they also spawn at lower levels as the number of total Relics controlled by a given realm grows.
The patch also brings along major changes for Maulers and Realm abilities, both of which should change existing player strategies significantly. Last but not least, the patch adds several new resist tokens to existing realm vendors and tinkers with values for the existing resistance spells. All in all, these changes should help shake up the existing balance of power in the game and force new strategies to come to light.
It's amazing to me how quickly the industry has shifted to where we don't just welcome free-to-play as a business model in MMOs -- we downright expect it. Take a look in the comments of any new MMO that dares to launch with a subscription-only model: People will be tripping over each other in an attempt to predict just when said game will break down and admit that it needs F2P. Whether or not BioWare's admission that it's looking into F2P for Star Wars: The Old Republic surprised you or not, it's a sign that no game is immune to the allure, dollar signs, and downright necessity of the popularity and flexibility of this model.
I think this brings a pressing question to bear in the field of classic MMOs: Will they survive without free-to-play? It's a pretty important question for a few reasons. One, a surprising majority of remaining sub-only MMOs are older ones; two, people now expect free in games they try; and three, players aren't exactly flocking to classic MMOs anyway.
This week I want to explore the conundrum that these games are in and why some players may have blinders on when it comes to the fate of their favorite games.
Some people no doubt see the venerable Dark Age of Camelot as a relic. But you know what's even more of a relic? The game's Relics. These powerful items have received an overhaul in the latest patch; the items have been moved to central locations in each Realm that cannot be captured or claimed. Players carrying Relics have also become more visible and slightly less mobile, and special Envoys have been added to help defend Relics from capture.
The patch also updates several class abilities. Bonedancers get a new spell to target a region on the ground, while Friars and Valewalkers both gain a rear snare. On the flip side, toxic direct damage poisons have all seen a slight downgrade in effectiveness for balance reasons. Dark Age of Camelot players can see the full list of changes in the patch notes, and while it's not a major content patch, the changes should spice up the game's ongoing realm warfare.