The folks at Hidden Path were generous enough to provide me with a key to get some hands-on experience with Windborne, but I'd like to make special mention of the fact that the game is currently part of Steam's Early Release program, which of course means that it's still unfinished and under constant development. With that in mind, I dived into Windborne's world of mystical floating islands, and I've got more than a few thoughts about the game, where it's going, and where it needs to be.
In many ways, Hearthstone is absolutely tailor-fit for mobile gaming. It requires minimal manipulation; poking, holding, and the occasional swipe is about as complex as the physical mechanics get. It's a turn-based thinker's game that gives you ample time to plot your strategy and get a few other things done between moves. On an iPad, that's pretty easy; I would read a book while my opponent took his/her/its turn.
The game actually kept me up past my bedtime because of the "just one more match" temptation, which tells me that the magic that fueled my interest in this game in beta is roaring more now than ever. But how does it actually handle on Apple's devices?
Meanwhile, ArenaNet has posted that the patch's promised megaserver tech is slowly rolling out to key zones. Here's what's been activated so far: The Grove, Heart of the Mist, Black Citadel, Timberline Falls, Southsun Cove, Rata Sum, Straits of Devastation, Fields of Ruin, Brisban Wildlands, Hoelbrak, Iron Marches, Blazeridge Steppes, and Dredgehaunt Cliffs. [Update: Lion's Arch, Lornar's Pass, Kessex Hills, Diessa Plateau, and Metrica Province were just converted this afternoon, according to the official site.]
Enjoy the primer video after the break!
And even though I'm playing it as a single-player game still at this point, it's not a single-player Elder Scrolls game. I'm dying way too much for that.
Not So Massively: Heroes of the Storm's new heroes, Dawngate's beta launch, and Diablo III's latest patch
Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Hearthstone
- Star Citizen's Erin Roberts chatted with us at PAX East and confirmed Linux support.
- Heroes of the Storm revealed four new heroes -- Brightwing, Zagara, Li li and Murky -- along with a dev blog on hero lethality, wipe news, and a brand-new trailer, embedded below.
- Dawngate went into a community open beta, complete with a new trailer, also embedded below.
- SMITE unveiled two new playable gods, Bastet and Kumbhakarna.
- Diablo III patched crafting material drops and resplendent treasure in its 2.0.4 update.
- We got our hands on Infinite Crisis at PAX East.
Of course, soon thereafter I fell victim to the eternal nemesis of Green Lantern -- enormous red-hued turrets surrounded by support drones. But I did all right.
MOBAs are not really my cup of tea, but superheroes are in a big way. I hadn't gotten a chance to play Infinite Crisis before now, but on the show floor at PAX East this year, I was given the chance to sit down and get a coaching session from one of the more experienced members of the team while I smashed heads. So I picked up Atomic Green Lantern and walked in fully expecting to fail left and right. To my pleasant surprise, the whole thing played out much better than I had expected, making excellent use of the license and providing a fun match all around.
As it turns out, the reasons to not do that are quite simple: The boss encounter at the cargo dropoff requires two people, and you need to actually retain control of the point rather than just wing to it at full speed. So I may have sent my ship crashing to the ground in a tumble of burning wood and broken steel. (By "may have" I of course mean "I definitely did this.")
This isn't a failing on the part of the game, just a failing on my part for trying to bull-rush through something. But it's still fun; the game gives players a variety of things to do while they're busy crewing the various stations across the ship. And it's just one place the developers are going with the game.
The character you created for me is a male Khajiit Nightblade from the Ebonheart Pact. I will be playing him for the rest of the month from the perspective of a veteran MMO gamer who is excited to see what this year's triple-A MMO can bring to the table not only for MMO fans but for fans of the Elder Scrolls series. This week's article will be an introduction to the character and more polls for you to vote on to help this character progress in the early game.
Game: The Elder Scrolls Online
Host: Shawn Schuster
Date: Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT
Enjoy our Stream Team video below.
My fifth day in Elder Scrolls Online was a bit more subdued than the previous four. I'm currently floating around Glenumbra between levels 12 and 13, waiting on my healer and tanker friends to catch up so that we can run Spindleclutch, also known as ESO's first proper Daggerfall Covenant PvE dungeon. There are numerous public crypts available for exploration and pillage prior, but Spindleclutch is the first big-boy boss-based four-man.
But I didn't feel like pugging it last night, so instead I started crafting.
When it came back up, the first thing I did was load into Doshia's Lair outside Daggerfall with a pickup group that intended to finish a Fighter's Guild quest called Anchors From the Harbour. Unfortunately none of us could see the others' avatars inside the instance, so after several attempts at reloading and relogging, we abandoned ship [Ed. note: Yes it's a solo quest, which wasn't in any way made clear to the group trying to enter it!].
While additional data like this has caused me to reassess my earlier observations about ESO's smooth (pre-)launch, it hasn't affected my overall enjoyment of the game. In fact, ESO would need quite a few more bugs and several more days of downtime to qualify as a "bad" launch. If you disagree, well, I question how many MMO launches you've actually experienced.
But I've purchased the game now and have been enjoying myself this week during early access. Of course, I'm still saving the good stuff for this column, and I don't plan to release my impressions until a future article, but I'll reiterate that I'm very excited about this next month.
Now I'm working my way northeast through the wilds of Glenumbra, stopping occasionally to assist the citizens of Deleyn's Mill and clean up the Vale of the Guardians.
The other part of it stems from the fact that ESO has an absurd amount of build customizability. I'm glad it has only four classes instead of six or eight because six or eight would probably send me over the decisional paralysis edge and into some sort of fugue state. I think for the purposes of this launch week diary -- and my own sanity -- I'm just going to stick with my Redguard Nightblade and forge ahead. There. Done.
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