To mark the occasion, Carbine Studios invited press to the equivalent of a video game debutante ball in San Francisco to see just how much the sci-fantasy sandpark MMO has grown since our last tour (nearly two years ago). I escaped my Editor-in-Chief cage to attend the event and play the game, interrogate the developers, and judge whether those anticipated awards were well-deserved after all. Enjoy the fruits of my sneak peek!
The 'biggest game on the planet': WildStar's boundless ambition
Who better to explain WildStar's philosophy and mechanics than Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney? I give my impressions of his talk, the demo, and my hands-on, then ruminate on the game's iterations, innovations, and ambitions.
Slap a rocket on a pig: WildStar's modding and PGC community
Carbine's Troy Hewitt outlines WildStar's grand plans for a massive modding community, a UI developer tool for the masses, player advisory committees, and player-generated content. "Social" is clearly not just a buzz-word.
You can't take the sky from me: WildStar's Exiles
You can't dip into a setting like WildStar's without hearing the familiar chords of Firefly's opening theme; the game's two factions brazenly mimic that IP's rustic space cowboys and refined imperial aristocracy. Here's a look at the Exiles.
Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, Previews, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, WildStar
But he's clearly no fool: "Our goal is to have the biggest game on the planet, not to have a crappy game that we shove out early." He's at ease when discussing the studio's two-year live plan, PAX East demo (there will be one), and the upcoming business model reveal ("fairly soon"), but even with closed beta coming in the next three months or so and a launch window targeted for the end of 2013, he clings to the mantra he must have learned from fellow NCsoft studio ArenaNet: "It's ready when it's ready."
It's not completely ready yet, but I did get a little tour of what is.
Gallery: WildStar Deradune Gallery
Needless to say, it was a blast, and the thought of having that experience again in a larger game world is just short of orgasmic. Alas, no one has made much of a multiplayer Skyrim mod yet, and while private servers for NWN and Neverwinter Nights 2 are still running and serving their niche communities quite capably, those are topics for another edition of MMO Burnout.
I'd like to tell you about something similar that I've been playing lately, though. It's called Multi Theft Auto.
Gallery: MMO Burnout - Multi Theft Auto
Betas, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), DUST 514, Miscellaneous
Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Economy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Opinion, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous
I recently attended a live demo and got to chat about the game with reps from Grinding Gear in Los Angeles. Read on for my take!
Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous
Grinding Gear Games begins the PoE open beta on January 23rd, 2013. This week I massacred hordes of various dark abominations with Lead Programmer Jonathan Rogers and Producer Chris Wilson in the brand-new Act III content.
And after my demo was finished, I almost felt bad for Diablo III.
Gallery: Path of Exile
Well, maybe a few other questions too, like how does it play and is it worth my time? To get some first-hand experience with the latest edition of the game, Massively sent two freelancers -- Gavin Townsley and Jeffery Wright -- to two different Path of Exile developer events last week, one in San Francisco and the other in Los Angeles. Which city won in the quest for the coolest demo? You'll just have to read both to find out.
Also, yes, I know it's not an MMO. This is MMO Burnout and I thought we were past that already.
Anyhow, I'm afraid I'm going to have to recommend the title to burned-out MMO gamers for several reasons. It's quite beautiful, quite fun, and it's the perfect getaway from the typical massively multiplayer grind.
Gallery: MMO Burnout - Rage
Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Interviews, Patches, Previews, Opinion, War, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Tanks
"The Chinese are a middle-of-the-road tree," says Paul Hobbs, content manager with Wargaming.net. "They don't excel in any one attribute. They have high firepower, a fair amount of maneuverability, and decent armor and aim speed."
And for all you MMO historians in the crowd, yes, that's the same Monolith that originally developed the late, great Matrix Online.
Gallery: MMO Burnout - Gotham City Impostors
Imagine my surprise, then, when I sat down to play Age of Wushu last week and found something utterly unlike most of the genre in every way that matters. It's difficult to compare the sprawling martial arts saga to other titles, but if you're looking for AoW's closest MMO relative, it would have to be EVE Online.
After this week's in-character story behind the cut, you can vote to choose my next move with Xel'es. Last week, you chose for him to become an Operative with Slicing, Underworld Trading, and Cybertech as his crew skills. I decided to make this week's poll something that wouldn't stop me from playing before the poll results came in, which killed a lot of potential playing time last week.
Gallery: MMO Burnout - Guns of Icarus Online
Xel'es is an opportunist. His career as an agent for the Empire has proven rewarding, but a relocation assignment on Hutta is where he plans to shine for his superiors and prove himself as more than just a simple field agent.
I've reached level 11 on Xel'es, and I'm ready to start choosing his advanced class and crafting profession (if you decide he craft). Read on past the jump to read his story and help choose where he goes from here. And be warned, there are plenty of spoilers for the Imperial Agent storyline if that's a thing that bothers you.
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