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Game Mechanics

The Daily Grind: Are DPS meters bad for MMOs?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

DPS Meters - WoW Interface
In the comments of Eliot's Soapboxes about MMO raiding, one Massively reader declared his own most-hated element of the raiding scene: DPS meters. In MMOs that allow mods, players invariably find a way to slice and dice the combat logs with a plugin that parses who did what and how much of it, spitting those data out into a tidy list that shows who's king of DPS and who's just being "carried."

I don't think most MMO players want to see math and numbers driven from the genre in favor of rock-paper-scissors simplicity -- I sure don't, anyway; I like my crafting spreadsheets. But the vast majority of MMO combat really truly doesn't require the rotational precision of the top raiding guilds in the world, so why do we see DPS meters being trotted out for every basic dungeon? Repeatedly seeing people as numbers isn't exactly generating warmer MMO communities, and sometimes I wonder whether our obsession with judging everyone around us "by the numbers" is a crutch to help us avoid unpleasant conversations. Did we really need a DPS meter to clue us into the fact that Bob is half AFK tapping his 1 key over and over instead of paying attention to the fight? I think we knew that without the mod.

What do you guys think? Are DPS meters bad for MMOs?

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!

Arisha coming to NA Vindictus next week

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Vindictus

Last summer we told you about Arisha, the latest Vindictus mercenary and a playable character that Nexon has labeled the Sorceress of Blades. She's coming to the game's North American servers next week, according to a Nexon PR blurb. "Though Arisha's main weapon is her sword, she performs Intelligence-based attacks," the firm explains. "When she fights, she dances across the battlefield in a whirl, insulting her foes with cocky taunts before delivering the killing blow."

Arisha uses a mana system that allows for "super-fast" sword slashes and teleports and separates her from all other Vindictus mercs.

[Source: Nexon press release]

Shards lead dev talks skill caps, pickpocketing, and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Citadel Studios CEO Derek Brinkmann was interviewed by Worlds Factory this week, and the subject of course was indie sandbox Shards Online. The piece explains Shards' debt to both Neverwinter Nights and Ultima Online, the latter of which Brinkmann helped develop.

He explains Shards' current skill cap (each skill tops out at 50 while the total cap is 250) as well as everything from hirelings and tamed companions to housing, pickpocketing, and guild wars!

The Elder Scrolls Online's Undaunted Pledge system promotes daily dungeons

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guides, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
Are you wandering around The Elder Scrolls Online in a post-Update 5 haze, lost on what to do? Wander no more: ZeniMax has released a dev blog today to give you some guidance.

The guide details the pledge system of the Undaunted, whose tasks are reminiscent of daily dungeon quests in other themeparks. Starting at level 45, players can swear themselves to the Undaunted faction, which offers two daily quests to complete dungeons, one veteran and one not. Depending on how well they complete the dungeon and the difficulty of the encounter, players will be awarded reputation with the faction as well as a key to unlock a sweet chest of loot. "The Undaunted chests can contain a variety of helpful loot, from valuable Ornate items and soul gems to unique items sets and attention-grabbing shoulder pieces fashioned from the very brutes you've slain," writes ZOS.

The full guide is on the official site.

Star Citizen's latest patch adds another ship, drunk effects

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Star Citizen's latest patch is now live. Actually, it's Arena Commander's latest patch, where Arena Commander is the dogfighting and ship pornography simulator that allows players to explore various craft as Cloud Imperium developers get them "hangar-ready."

AC version 0.9.2.2 adds the Anvil Gladiator to the mix, along with a drunk effect for your hangar's liquor cabinet. CIG encourages you to "please drink responsibly."

Leaderboard: Would B2P or a sub-only server bring you back to ArcheAge?

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Leaderboard

I've been thinking about ArcheAge a lot this month, and most of what I've been thinking about it is pretty negative. XL's fantasy sandpark has more problems than any single MMO should, but despite all of them I would still enjoy it if it weren't for that godawful cash shop.

Yeah, the bugs are annoying as are some of the more pervasive exploits (flower dance griefing, really?), but underneath all that is a feature-rich virtual world I'd love to keep playing. At this point, though, the only thing that would bring me back is some sort of subscription-only server, or failing that, a buy-to-play-with-a-cosmetic-cash-shop server that doesn't sell labor potions, tax certificates, appraisals, and the like.

What about you, Leaderboard readers and disgruntled ArcheAge expats? Would you come back for a subscription-only server or a less invasive cash shop? 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!

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Origins of Malu needs your vote on Steam Greenlight

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Origins of Malu

Origins of Malu is now on Steam Greenlight, so hustle over and give it a vote if you're a fan of Burning Dog's sci-fantasy sandbox or, heck, sandboxes in general.

The long-gestating indie project is now employing a modular development schedule, and you can get a glimpse of the many game world improvements in the alpha video after the break. Don't forget to check out Massively's recent interview with producer Michael Dunham, too!

[Thanks Thomas!]

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Guild Wars 2 is revamping dailies... again

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet has just announced that it's revamping Guild Wars 2's daily achievements... again. "We want to give players the opportunity to try things they may not normally experience and feel like the rewards they earn for doing so mean something," says the studio. "Rather than [give] a generic reward for all achievements, each one will give players something that is thematically tied to the content they're playing." Completing dailies will allow players to earn everything from achievement points to fractal relics and badges of honor, depending on the daily's difficulty and type (PvE, PvP, WvW).

The studio is also rolling out a new achievement track that replaces the old monthlies system and rewards players just for logging in. "One way to think of this is like a holiday calendar that gives you a new present from ArenaNet each day," the devs write. "There are 28 individual rewards on the track, each one building toward an epic chest containing a permanent 1% increase to account gold find and your choice of either ascended crafting materials, materials necessary for crafting your legendary weapon (including mystic clovers), an additional sum of laurels, or tomes of knowledge."

Yesterday, the studio revealed that the ongoing season two plotline will be on hiatus through the holidays, being replaced by Wintersday. Season two resumes on January 13th.

Experiencing Legends PvE with the DC Universe Online devs

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online

DC Universe Online fans who've long wanted Legends PvE learned at SOE Live that the feature was finally on its way to the game. And now patience is about to pay off! Legends PvE is launching with GU43, along with plenty of other goodies like new underwater bases and a new legends character. There's even something for the PvPers: revamped arena award rules. Executive Producer Larry Liberty and Creative Director Jens Andersen recently led a media tour of this upcoming content, showcasing Deathstroke in all his Legends glory along with sharing a few other tidbits of news (like the release window for Amazon Fury Part II). As Liberty put it, "Game Update 43 wound up becoming quite a bit bigger than we initially anticipated."

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Eliotropes land in Dofus and Wakfu

Fantasy, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Dofus, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

I don't see anything.  Where am I supposed to be looking?  I'm not seeing it.
The Eliotropes are coming! Wait, sorry, that's not quite right; the Eliotropes are here if you're playing Wakfu. They're also here if you're playing Dofus. Yes, both of the games based on the same lore are getting the same class on the same day. The class also promises to be a tricky one, as it's centered around making use of martial arts attacks projected over long distances through a series of portals.

Eliotropes can serve as healers and positioners in the game's combat system, launching powerful assaults through portals and slipping through those same portals to evade damage. But enemies can also use these portals for transport, making the class a bit more tricky to play well. Check out the videos on the new class just past the break because this new option is already here. And there. Lots of places, really.

[Source: Ankama press release]

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Bless Online adds mounts in closed beta

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items

I'm on a mount!  I'm on a... wait, someone did this parody already, didn't they?  Never mind.
It's disheartening to play an MMO that forces your character to walk everywhere like an animal. Much better to get an actual animal to do all the walking for you, yes? Thankfully Bless Online will allow players to do exactly that, with the game's current closed beta test adding 30 mounts for players to use as their personal transport tools.

Mounts in the game can be obtained via NPC trainers, via quests, or via finding and taming certain creatures out in the wild. They're also not meant as mere cosmetic variations, as each one supposedly has unique skills and attributes once you climb on its back. It looks as if flying mounts will be available in the future, giving players all sorts of different ways to get from point A to point B without having to rely on something so undignified as actually walking there.

Here's everything new and noteworthy in EVE's Rhea patch

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Still wondering what's under the hood of EVE Online's Rhea patch? You must've missed all those CCP dev blogs, then. In any case, wonder no more, thanks to this newly released video that takes you on a tour of the sci-fi sandbox's newest features including PBR rendering, the new Thera system, 100 new wormhole systems, and more.

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SWTOR releases Shadow of Revan trailer to celebrate official launch

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
Early access for Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan expansion technically opened last week, but for non-subscribers, the formal digital launch date is today. Predictably, BioWare has released a new trailer to coincide with the official launch. Spoilers: Revan, lightsabers, ominous proclamations, etc.

Massively's Larry Everett explored the plotline and soloability of the expansion in his column last week. Enjoy the trailer below.

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Black Desert's latest trailers tour the massive open world

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Black Desert

Black Desert
How about another round of Black Desert videos? Daum's released a pair of them today. The first is over 12 minutes of extensive, dizzying fly-over of the seamless open world. The second, shorter video is a bit harder to parse if you don't read Korean, but there's a lot of running and jumping and sailing and playing drums and blowing up boulders and stealing sheep and milking cows and getting kicked in the face by cows and why are you looking at me like that?

The action-sandbox enters closed beta in South Korea next week. Daum has already uploaded videos featuring the game's combat and non-combat activities. Enjoy today's vids!

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The Daily Grind: Would you have played a Diablo MMO?

Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, OARPG

Diablo 3
A few weeks ago, Blizzard content designer Kevin Martens admitted that the studio once considered turning the Diablo IP loose on an MMORPG. It's off the table now, but it still got me wistful. I've been strangely attached to the Diablo franchise and its clones for a very long time. Seriously, it's not even possible to pry the Torchlight series or Titan Quest off my harddrive. But Diablo itself just has a compelling, gritty gloom to the world that would make an MMO version a welcome in a genre that's obsessed with bright and happy fantasy worlds.

Massively's Brendan Drain once opined that Path of Exile is the sequel that Diablo II deserved, but is it MMO enough to count here? Would you have played a Diablo MMORPG, and what would you want it to look like?

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!

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