Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West. As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment.Polygon's unnamed source says around 60 Carbine Studios employees were let go; we don't yet know how hard the other teams were hit.
Moving forward, we will continue to focus on our core development capabilities and the intellectual properties (WildStar, Aion, Lineage, and Guild Wars franchises) that have made NCSOFT what it is today. However, we are looking to move into new business segments like mobile and tablet games as well as explore emerging technologies.
Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors.
You can't deny that this is Guild Wars to its very core, as composer Jeremy Soule only adds on to the franchise's legacy rather than supplants it with a different direction. Even so, it represents a mastery that wasn't quite there in past albums. If I listened to this soundtrack without knowing its source, I would have pegged it as a major motion picture release rather than a video game with angry bears.
It was definitely a difficult score to pick a mere six examples from; I'd recommend that soundtrack enthusiasts listen through its entirety. For a Guild Wars 2 player, it's really interesting to go back and hear the early versions of tracks that Soule would later reprise for the sequel.
World of Warcraft, Anarchy Online, City of Heroes, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Fallen Earth, Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous
I would scarcely say that my resume is one of the most robust you'll ever see; I'm sure plenty of you have played more than I. However, I like to think that I've had a journey over the course of a decade or so that's shaped who I am as a gamer. Since it's my birthday today, I'm going to share 10 of those influential MMOs with you and what they've done for me. You're going to get me cake.
ArenaNet receives very frequent requests to revive the setting of Guild Wars: Factions in GW2, and between GW2's Chinese release, the level of mystery surrounding season two of the living world, and the return of the Zephyrites, it's natural that people would start talking about Cantha again. It might seem baffling that ArenaNet hasn't rushed to steer the living world story in such an obviously popular direction, but unfortunately it's not as simple as loading us on the next airship and flying away to Seitung Harbor -- at least not yet.
When you think about it, the proliferation of time travel quests makes a lot of sense from a developer viewpoint. There is a ton of lore that goes into each one of these virtual worlds, but for the most part the players are affixed to a very specific (and unmoving) point in time. Hopping about in time is a great way to experience other eras and actually see history instead of just reading it in a quest box. Plus, if done right, these quests can be quite memorable.
Yes, Guild Wars 1 is having a party, and you're invited. Though the anniversary update was originally scheduled to begin on April 22nd, a note from Joe Kimmes on the official wiki mentions that a fortuitous typo led to the event's partial stealth-implementation on April 2nd instead, so while you'll have to wait until next week for the complete event, players are reporting that bonus items have been dropping all month and that some of the minigames are underway as of today.
The official site is silent about the anniversary so far, but the login screen announces the festivities:
The party is on for the anniversary of Guild Wars! Starting April 22nd at Noon Pacific (-7 GMT), we open Shing Jea Boardwalk, Dragon Arena, and the Rollerbeetle Races. In addition, Birthday Cupcakes and many other special items will drop all throughout this weeklong event.
World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter
I think a good goof has to have several qualities to make it truly memorable. It needs to be original. It needs to be actually amusing, whether or not you "fell for it." And it needs to tweak our expectations and understanding of how MMOs work. Sometimes there are even important ideas that emerge from these jokes that could, indeed, make these titles better.
So let's go through my favorite MMO April Fools pranks of all time, as catalogued by yours truly!
Reader Crazyrabbit63 (probably not his real name) sent in this WildStar picture to kickstart our fun this week: "This is my Chua, BuzzCracker, sitting in his kiddie pool and relaxing after a long day of hunting Exiles across Nexus. After a few minutes in the water, BuzzCracker realized he had too many Spicy Jabbits for lunch!"
If diminutive pools aren't your thing, we've got the excitement of both Hell and singing mushrooms after the break!
If you missed earlier parts of this series, check out themes #40-31 and #30-21. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!
On his Facebook page, Soule responded to a fan's query about his future projects: "No, I won't be returning to Guild Wars. EverQuest has an exclusive with me for the future projects that involve MMOs. [Guild Wars] was a good experience over many years. As with all good things, it had to come to an end."
Soule was the main composer for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. He has also contributed to The Elder Scrolls Online main theme but will not be doing any other music for that title.
[Thanks to Bogotter for the tip!]
[Update 3/12/2014: Soule's agent has contacted us to clarify that his exclusivity to the EverQuest games is lime-limited and is unrelated to his abbreviated work on ESO. We may yet see him return to the Elder Scrolls franchise in the future!]
With some of our older graphical MMOs approaching their 20th anniversaries, the question of what studios should do with aging titles is becoming very important. It's not just important for the games in question but as a precedent to the population of games that will one day become just as old.
Lately we've seen different studios act on this topic in a wide variety of ways, all of which I find fascinating. Some of these games have seen tragic ends, while others may be entering into the enjoyable golden years. If nothing else, it's shown me that there isn't just one set answer for this and that some devs are hoping to do the right thing by their companies and their players.
These are the features that studios would much rather you forget were mentioned in the first place, although this is the internet and the internet never forgets. Well, players who latch on to everything devs say as absolute truth never forget.
Sometimes things happen along the way in development. Studios run out of time to get in all of the features and have to prioritize which make the cut and which do not. Features end up not testing as well as hoped and the studio quietly drops them because the PR hit for the features not going in is much less than the disaster that they might cause. And some developers like to flap their gums and spout brainstorm ideas that send the actual programmers and designers back at the company into spasms of agony when they try to figure out how to make them work.
Today let's go through 10 features that were talked up but never delivered in MMOs!
Here's Strain on the announcement:
Today, I'm very happy to announce that Patrick has joined Undead Labs, and will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with Team Zed as we dive into the development of...well, what's next, and beyond.Undead Labs recently struck a multi-game agreement with Microsoft, paving the way for the studio to continue work on the Class4 project.
Nightfall has a special significance for me in that it was my starting point for actually going through the entirety of the game prior to Guild Wars 2's release. While I've never been a fan of desert and Middle Eastern settings, I must admit that Jeremy Soule's return to the score isn't something to be ignored. Perhaps there aren't as many stand-out tracks as in the previous campaigns, but on the whole the score is well above-average compared to many MMO soundtracks.
Reader Sean submitted this particular gem: "I used to play quite a bit of Champions Online from closed beta through about four months after launch. Before the dark times. Before the patches. Here I am laying the smackdown on Foxbat during his 15 minutes of fame -- surely not what he had in mind."
Ha ha! Surely not there, Sean! Now for a word from our sponsors, and by that we mean more excellent player-submitted screenshots.
Posted on Oct 30th 2014 8:00PM
Posted on Oct 30th 2014 7:00PM
Posted on Oct 30th 2014 12:00PM