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Interviews

Shroud of the Avatar's Richard Garriott and Starr Long on MMO community

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Interviews, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Shroud of the Avatar

Some Assembly Required:  Garriott and Long interview shows Shroud of the Avatar wins at community
If you've been making a list of sandbox features and checking it twice, chances are you'll find many of those items in Shroud of the Avatar. And if player-generated content and a great community are near the top of that list, then this crowdfunded title might very well be the present you want to get yourself! While still under development, this sandbox has already grown exponentially from its humble beginnings of a chicken in a room to a current state that includes a bevy of features -- with more arriving like clockwork every monthly update. And plenty of those features are tools and systems that allow players to make the game a personalized experience for themselves and others.

What about Shroud of the Avatar makes it so great for player-generated content? What makes the community great? And how has Steam affected the game? I sat down with Portalarium's Richard Garriott and Starr Long to talk about the move to Steam, updates, PGC, and the amazing community that's supporting the game. These guys had so much to share that this is only part one!

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Camelot Unchained's Mark Jacobs on the warrior class and development transparency

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained
City State Entertainment -- an indie studio that's becoming better known to our readers, I imagine, after it ran away with our poll for best studio last week -- has today posted its first class concept reveal. The tentatively named Drengr is the Viking warrior class, and in its long design document, the studio has outlined just how the archetype fits into the proposed Path system that will govern character development in the crowdfunded RvR MMORPG.

We spoke to CSE's Mark Jacobs about the Path system, warrior reveal, and the impact of transparency on the game development process. Enjoy the interview below!

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Landmark's PvE arrives today; SOE shifts to EQ Next full-time in 2015

Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

We've waited a long time for the chance to have our faces eaten off by vicious monsters in Landmark, and now that opportunity is almost here! After a bit of delay, the infamous PvE patch is heading into our favorite sandbox today. This is seriously going to be a game-changer. Of all the patches throughout the whole year, this one is the biggest -- surpassing the August PvP update and even the original alpha launch, at least according to Creative Director Dave Georgeson. And he's not kidding! I got to check out Landmark's new mobs, linking and triggering, armors, props, and more with Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels. I didn't think it was possible to be even more excited for this patch, but I am! Can I hear a squeeeee?!

Oh, and for everyone who is waiting anxiously for EverQuest Next news, here's a tidbit from Georgeson you might enjoy:
When we get to those game mastering systems [after the start of the year] that means we are working on EQN full time. Because those are the systems we need for EQN, and that's what we're building when we're building those game mastering tools. So we're so close to transitioning the team almost entirely to EQN, and then we'll take the elements that we build for EQN and port them over into Landmark, but our focus will shift almost entirely to EQN after the new year.

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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!

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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Carbine's Chad Moore on WildStar's fresh focus on lore

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Lore, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Sure, you could make some jokes about corresponding events, but that just seems like a series of cheap shots.
There's a big focus on WildStar's lore recently. Aside from the big lore drops, dubbed "Loremageddon" by Carbine Studios, the game's official site has begun releasing a series of short stories detailing important moments in the game's history, from the first space voyage of the Cassian people to dealing with the Genesis Prime now. That's a lot of storytelling, the sort that should be continuing on well into next year.

We had a chance to sit down and ask a few questions of creative director Chad Moore regarding what we've seen thus far for the game and what the goals are with this renewed focus on the game's setting and story. If you'd like to know a little more about the setting and what players can expect from the ongoing history lesson, check out the interview just past the break. There's also a new story available today detailing the first contact between the Cassians and the Eldan.

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Massively Interview: Marvel Heroes' Magneto makes his mark

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Classes, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

http://massively.joystiq.com/category/the-stream-team/
Heroes are all well and good, but there is plenty of fan love for the villains. There's just something about those bad boys and girls redeeming themselves that makes those characters so interesting. Gazillion knows this and has responded by releasing Magneto, the latest of the playable villains, to the Marvel Heroes lineup. Fans of Professor Xavier's long-time nemesis/friend can now jump in and command the forces of magnetism to defeat foes and destroy the environment. We chatted with Creative Designer and Community Manager Ryan Collins about this latest addition. We even gleaned a few snippets about the upcoming Axis One-Shots and got a release time-frame for the Spider Girl enhanced costume.

For those who want to see Magneto in action, we've also included his official trailer. You can also tune in to Massively TV on Monday, December 8th, at 9:00 p.m. EST to watch him live.

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WoW, Guild Wars 2, and ArcheAge are ZergID users' top games

Betas, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous

ZergID
Back in November, we told you about ZergID, a new social networking website aimed specifically at MMO players who are looking for guilds (or friends from games past) across the MMOverse. We spoke to one of the project's founders, Scott Katz, to get more information on how the service's beta is shaping up.

Massively: How many guilds have signed up since the launch of beta?

Scott Katz, co-founder, Zerg Inc.: We have more than 650 guilds currently signed up for the site, with more joining each day.

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Tree of Savior might be getting published here according to an unofficial interview

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, News Items

We're big fans!  Please let us play the game?
Tree of Savior got a pretty strong showing at G-star 2014, where the staff announced that Nexon will be handling the publishing duties for the game in its native country. But what about worldwide releases? There might be hope yet. A fansite for the game has posted an interview with members of the imcGAMES staff who asked to remain anonymous. These anonymous interviewees state that the company is still looking into worldwide partners and has considered simply publishing the game itself in foreign markets.

Other revelations include the prospect of developing the game for mobile devices in the future and that the game will most likely work as a free-to-play title with a cash shop. The interview also notes that these statements may not reflect the official view of imcGAMES and are subject to change without notice. Still, the full interview is worth a look, even if you need to take everything with an appropriately sized grain of salt.

Massively Interview: Burning Dog on Origin of Malu's do-over

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Origins of Malu

When last we heard of the the indie sandbox Origins of Malu, Burning Dog Media had gone back to the drawing board for a do-over. The studio switched game engines, effectively starting the development process over again (again). But despite what some fans may fear, that isn't nearly as bad as it sounds! In fact, it's rather good news because players will be getting a far better game, and they won't have to wait very long to get it.

I sat down with Producer Michael Dunham to talk about the changes and get a look at the progress the team has made.

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Bungie's COO thinks Destiny and games like it are hard to review

Sci-Fi, Culture, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Destiny

Bungie continues to hype its Destiny shooter post-launch, with the latest bit of messenging courtesy of COO Pete Parsons and an interview at GamesIndustry.biz.

"The launch of Destiny was the starting line," Parsons says, before going on to explain how Bungie's Destiny operations center "looks like a NASA control room" and how "it's very difficult to sit down for nine hours, 11 hours, and write up a review of game like Destiny."

Parsons takes that notion a step further and asks how similar titles will be reviewed in the future when game journos face "a nearly impossible challenge" due to an inability to experience PvP, the campaign, and endgame activities on a deadline.

Massively Interview: Designing Neverwinter's Tiamat

Fantasy, Interviews, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

neverwinter
Massively: Neverwinter players are already facing off against a fearsome five-headed dragon in the game's newest module, Rise of Tiamat. To find out more about how the titular beast was created, we sat down with Senior Content Designer and Loremaster Randy Mosiondz. Randy, is this module the culmination of the game's story to date?

Randy Mosiondz: Yes, Rise of Tiamat marks the epic conclusion of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline! We introduced some notable figures featured in this plot in the Shadowmantle module. Then we had the rise of the Cult of the Dragon chronicled in the Tyranny of Dragons module with their attempts to build a hoard for Tiamat, as well as the fight with the dragon-worshipping barbarians on the island of Tuern. Finally, with Rise of Tiamat, we go to the Well of Dragons, an ancient dragon burial site where the Cult of the Dragon is attempting to lure Tiamat from the Nine Hells.

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The Repopulation devs on the mission system and non-violent gameplay

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, Housing, The Repopulation

Blogger Werit has an exclusive Q&A with Above and Beyond, the team behind upcoming sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation. In it, the developers discuss dynamic missions, which are intended to provide "purpose" to players who crave it rather than to serve as the core means of advancement through the sandbox. In fact, you don't have to do the missions at all to advance your skills, and they'll tailor themselves to your character's choices along the way. Tendencies toward greed, shadiness, and crafting, for example, will all be reflected in mission offerings. "There are taming missions, underworld (thievery/assassination/smuggling) missions, crafting and harvesting missions, etc.," say the devs.

As for non-violent gameplay, there's plenty of it:
Our game and its economy are heavily trade skill oriented. Our crafting system is very complex and has a high degree of customization. Moreover crafted equipment is the top of the line. If you never wanted to pick up a gun, it's completely possible for you to just go out and harvest, or buy resources from other players and then do your crafting. I think most players will also do a little fighting, if for no other reason than mobs will jump you while your out harvesting.

But crafting advancement is not coupled in any way with combat advancement. There are other non-combat skills, as well. Things like the entertainment line which provides long-term buffs for players. Taming mobs to be trained as mounts and sold to other players. Diplomatic skills. Different players enjoy doing different types of things. And we've tried to cater to many playing styles, rather than forcing players down a combat oriented path.
Check out the full interview at Werit's Blog.

PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta is expected by the end of the year

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

The PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 is still on track for beta before the end of this year, SOE says.

SOE's Matt Higby told Eurogamer that the nearly-two-year-old MMOFPS sandbox has been slow to arrive on the PS4 because SOE didn't want it to feel like just another cruddy console port.
"As much as it sounds like we're blowing smoke, we're working hard to release a game that feels like a full-on console experience and not just like a port. So it's taken us quite a long time to re-jigger our user interface and our controls. There's a lot that needs to get done."
The PS4 edition will also sport a slightly different business model in that microtransactions will be purchased with Marketplace Cash (as in DC Universe Online) in place of Station Cash.

More details, Eurogamer reports, are expected in December at the PlayStation Experience event.

World of Warcraft vows faster expansion development

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Interviews, Subscription

wow
Many Azerothian eyes are fixed on tomorrow's release of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, but what happens after that? Will players face a severe content drought as they just did while they wait for expansion #6?

Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas said that the team is pushing to increase the pace of expansion development: "Our goal is certainly to release expansions a little faster than we have been... we've increased the size of our team, and we feel like we're in a place where we should be able to move faster than before." He also fielded the eternal question of a hypothetical World of Warcraft 2, saying that the team would need "a different vision" and mechanics that allowed for new types of gameplay.

To help with your Warlords of Draenor countdown, Blizzard put out a few expansion-themed posters as well as an Age of Iron trailer that you can watch after the break!

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