| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Interviews

Graphical upgrades en route for Age of Wushu

Fantasy, Historical, Interviews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

I can't believe I'm not really running the risk of being struck by lightning!  Also, I should get inside.
How do you feel about Age of Wushu's graphics? Do you think that they could really use an upgrade? It seems that they'll be getting one. Shi Hai, CEO of Snail Games, was recently interviewed in China, and a translation of that interview reveals that graphical upgrades are definitely in the works. While he declined to specify exactly what sort of upgrades would be coming, he did joke that the rumors about the Unreal 3 engine might well be true.

Shi Hai also commented on the potential of a subscription server for Age of Wushu, noting that while several free-to-play games have dabbled with the idea, they seem to inevitably wind up going back to the free-to-play model in time. He stated that the company is currently focusing on porting the game to home consoles rather than exploring the possibility of any sort of subscription server. You can read a few more translated statements at MMOCulture.

Massively Speaking Episode 300: WildStar's launch with Jeremy Gaffney

Podcasts, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

WildStar's launch day is finally here, and we've got Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney on the show to talk about the struggles and joys of getting a fledgling MMO off the ground. This is also our 300th episode, so we indulge in a bit of retrospection and celebration.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

Continue Reading

WildStar's Gaffney: 'Achievement is the love of watching bars grow, that's our industry'

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
Carbine executive producer Jeremy Gaffney is interviewed over at Gamasutra, and he has plenty of interesting things to say regarding the MMO industry and WildStar's place in it. Particularly illuminating is Gaffney's philosophy regarding progression and the journey versus the destination.
If there is a fun thing to do that is inefficient and a horribly boring thing like smacking yourself in the face with a shovel next to it that gives more XP, players will do more XP. They'll try the fun thing once or twice but then go, 'No, I can't help it. I need to hit level 50. I want my end goal more than I want my journey.' So it's very easy to have the journey trivialized.

Achievement is the love of watching bars grow -- that's our industry. I don't think there's a more fundamental human need that gets tapped into by these games than watching your bars advance, and that feeling of progression -- of being able to say, 'I am tougher than I was before.'

ESO's Sage talks justice system and new guilds, 'no firm plans' for housing [Updated]

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online, Housing, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online ship
Now that Elder Scrolls Online's Craglorn is here, ZeniMax is turning its attention to the game's delayed console release as well as future content updates. Creative director Paul Sage told IGN that players will likely see ESO's justice system prior to the introduction of the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood, though there is no date for either set of features just yet.

As for player housing, it's on the back burner. "I will tell you that when we get to player housing, and I think it's one of those things that when you have a game that's been running a long time it's one of those things you want to get to, it has to be something that's done differently and done well," Sage said. "That's about all I can tell you. We have no firm plans for anything on housing at this time."

[Update]: Here are today's Craglorn patch notes!

Massively Speaking Episode 298: WildStar's raid team

Podcasts, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

WildStar
Continuing with our series of pre-WildStar interviews, Eliot and Justin grapple with the (ahem) "hardcore" endgame of raiding as we welcome Brett Scheinert and Mike Donatelli onto the show. Hey, 36 more people on this podcast and we could actually get a group going!

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

Continue Reading

Guild Wars 2's Festival of the Four Winds launches today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Gw2
As promised, today ArenaNet will update Guild Wars 2's western servers with the Festival of the Four Winds, a Chinese-themed patch that will return the Zephyrite festival to the game and mark the game's launch in China. Says the studio,
The Zephyrites have returned to Labyrinthine Cliffs in their large-sailed flying ships to support Lion's Arch in its time of need. Although Lion's Arch suffered a devastating blow as a result of Scarlet's nefarious plans, Captain Ellen Kiel of the Captain's Council is grateful to see the Zephyrites return with their generous offer of materials and moral support. And to help reinvigorate trade and provide some joy to its citizens, the Zephyrite Master of Peace and Queen Jennah of Kryta are hosting a festival to honor Lion's Arch. Visit Labyrinthine Cliffs and experience the rush of Aspect movement skills, take part in the Sanctum Sprint, or enjoy one of the brand-new events; then take a hot-air balloon to Divinity's Reach and enjoy the reopened Crown Pavilion, including a new version of the Queen's Gauntlet, the Boss Blitz. Join Braham, Rox, Marjory, Kasmeer, Taimi, and Scruffy as they enjoy the festivities and usher in the return of Lion's Arch services!
We spoke to ArenaNet Game Design Lead Mike Zadorojny and Associate Game Director Steven Waller about the update and how players will gradually aid in the rebuilding of the Tyrian capital.

Continue Reading

Nearly 300 people are working on Skyforge

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Skyforge

Skyforge
MMO Culture has posted part three of a Q&A with Allods Team and Obsidian developers. The subject is Skyforge, an upcoming sci-fantasy MMORPG that lets players become gods. Interesting interview tidbits include the size of the dev team (nearly 300 people), the lack of trash loot ("every item that you can loot in the game has its impact upon your character's powers"), and the level-free progression system.

"A leveling system is hard to manage, that is why we decided to get rid of it. Basic specification of Skyforge heroes can be compared to gear score," the team says.

Jukebox Heroes: A civil chat with Dawngate's Jeff Broadbent

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Dawngate
Massively: Today we have tea, crumpets, and the ever-so-delightful company of Composer Jeff Broadbent. Mr. Broadbent is here to talk about his work on the score for the upcoming MOBA Dawngate. So is working in the online video game world becoming a habit for you, going from PlanetSide 2 to Dawngate?

Jeff Broadbent: It does seem the online video games are becoming the norm! I am actually working on a couple of new online games also at the moment. The interesting thing about the game market today is that there are many different platforms including mobile, downloadable, online, and console, so it's quite diversified.

The Dawngate gig came about through audio director Caleb Epps. I was staying in touch with Caleb, and he let me know about a new project he was working on. He had me create a couple of demo tracks for the game, and based on that material, I was given the opportunity to score the game.

Continue Reading

Massively Speaking Episode 297: WildStar's Chad Moore

Podcasts, Interviews, Opinion, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

Chad Moore
We're on a countdown to WildStar's launch, and so we welcome Carbine Studios Creative Director Chad Moore to the show to talk about the ins and outs of life on Nexus. Eliot and Justin also check out the top news of the week and your pressing mail queries.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

Continue Reading

Braben on Elite's GTA successors and friendly competition with Star Citizen

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous alpha
Space sims are in vogue again, thanks in large part to crowdfunded darlings like Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen. Prior to the past couple of years, though, the genre was basically dead in the water aside from occasional indie gems. Elite mastermind David Braben says the lull happened because game devs and publishers lost sight of the freedom that defines space sims.

"The true successors to Elite and Frontier were the Grand Theft Auto games. For me, the setting is secondary to the feeling of freedom," Braben recently told Tech Radar. "The success of the Elite series has always been based on the freedom that players are given. It's all about individual choice in an open world -- you don't select 'pirate' or 'bounty hunter' or 'trader' from a list, you simply do what you want and events will unfold accordingly."

Braben also addresses the "friendly competition" between Elite and Star Citizen, saying that he and Chris Roberts are "both alpha backers of each other's games and both want the other to succeed."

WildStar unveils the details of raids

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Interviews, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Gather 39 of your closest friends, and... wait, do you seriously have 39 close friends?  I don't even understand how that's possible.
WildStar wants to have its raids be big. Big in size. Big in rewards. Big in engagement. Big in lots of ways, in short. The team has talked about them in passing elsewhere, most notably at PAX East 2014, but there still hasn't been a nice big info drop about raids that potential players could really sink their teeth into. Like the sort of reveal that accompanies a new DevSpeak video.

So guess what's past the cut? Go ahead, guess.

Very good, it's the raiding video (something you could have concluded from the headline, yes), but there's more besides. We had a chance to sit down and talk with Brett Scheinert, the dungeon & raid lead developer, regarding these high-end encounters and what will set WildStar apart from other titles offering a raiding endgame. And despite what those opening lines might have made you think, it's not just about size. (It's also Spinal Tap references. You can guess which ones.)

Continue Reading

Yes, people still play Meridian 59

Fantasy, Meridian 59, Interviews

Meridian 59
Meridian 59 may not enjoy the population numbers it did almost 20 years ago, but there are still a handful of dedicated players playing every day.

A recent article at The New Yorker takes a more personal look at a few of these remaining players. "I've tried to leave the game many times over the years," admits Tim Trude, a 33-year-old player from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Tim first started playing the MMO at the age of 15. "But I always return. Some of these people I've grown up with. We have been enemies or friends forever."

The article goes on to quote other players and document a brief history of the game's development, including the source code release in 2012. Meridian 59 is looking to launch on Steam sometime this year, and its current code-maintainer is looking forward to the possibility of bringing in new players once again.

WAR40K's Miguel Caron on lore, immersion, and cloud computing

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Warhammer 40k, Buy-to-Play

War 40k
Miguel Caron is a passionate man. The former Funcom Canada CEO has moved on from The Secret World to lead the team developing Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade, and he's not shy about showing the world what's happening behind the scenes. In fact, he recently showed off an impromptu video of a fan playing the pre-alpha build at Chicago's Comic & Entertainment Expo.

Total transparency was the theme of our two-hour-long Skype chat this week as the Behavior Interactive studio head talked to me about everything from pleasing 40K lore fanatics to avoiding the "public quest curse" that plagued the original Warhammer Online MMO.

Continue Reading

Elder Scrolls Online's Craglorn zone 'harkens back to old school games'

Fantasy, Interviews, Lore, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
The folks over at ZeniMax have started a new series on the official Elder Scrolls Online website called the Loremaster's Archive, with the very first issue dedicated to the not-smelly-at-all-why-do-you-ask topic of the undead. The post differentiates between the four varieties of undead -- Reanimated, Returned, Accursed, and Abominable Miscegenations -- and provides a some backstory as to why people would pursue necromancy as a hobby.

Meanwhile, on the fansite Tamriel Foundry, there's an interview with Lead Content Designer Rich Lambert about the development of the upcoming Craglorn zone. Citing his history of extensive raiding in MMOs, Lambert said that he was excited about developing this high-level group PvE area: "It harkens back to some of the old school games, (ugh I said 'old school') where grouping was really important for survival and stuff was hard."

Lambert goes on to explain the various mechanics and specifics of how group adventures will proceed in the area, so check it out if you've hit level cap already and are ready for the next big challenge.

SOE's Jimmy Whisenhunt on the paranoia and potential of H1Z1

Betas, Horror, Interviews, Previews, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
What's more dangerous to your survival after the apocalypse: undead abominations or your fellow humans? OK, that's certainly not a new question in the zombie gaming genre, although it's not going to stop H1Z1 from asking it. In fact, there's a haze of extreme familiarity that's settled around this title, even though it's the first full MMO on this scale to tackle a zombie survival sandbox. Is it almost too familiar for its own good? Will that familiarity be an asset or a drawback? Is SOE merely trying to cash in on the DayZ craze without trying much new? Or are these assumptions blinding us to the grander plan?

To get a better feel for H1Z1, we got on the phone with Senior Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt. To start off, Whisenhunt gave us a quick summary of the game for those who aren't clued in to the whole. H1Z1 is a post-apocalyptic survival MMO that's more focused on physicality than stats. So instead of needing to level up, you'll find your initial challenges will be things like foraging for food, finding a shelter, building a campfire, and getting your hands on a weapon because everything wants to kill you. And when Whisenhunt says "everything," he means not just zombies but the environment, infection, weather, wildlife, and even other players.

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW