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Camelot Unchained emphasizes horizontal progression, won't rule out story

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Camelot Unchained

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, on the last and final day of BSC, let's tackle character power and progression.
Massively: We're curious about how, exactly, the vertical progression will keep new players competitive. After the initial rush, new players will spend a long time being less powerful than their player enemies. What exactly is the benefit to creating the equivalent of a long level grind in a PvP game that lacks PvE? Isn't the team worried that power discrepancy might cause newcomers to wash out the same way raid gear or levels might in a game with both PvE and PvP?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Not at all. First, the horizontal nature of this game means that while the veteran player will have some scaling in his stats and abilities, the difference will be a lot less than in any MMORPG I've played. Please keep in mind one of the things I said during our Kickstarter, which is that I want a new player to be able to meet a veteran (just for example, say a six-month one) on the field in a 1:1 match. The new player needs to know he has a chance of either winning or at least putting up a good fight. Now, compare that to any other MMORPG that has meaningful PvP or RvR, and can you say the same thing? I know it wouldn't be true in any I have played.

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Camelot Unchained will feature a customizable 'component combat' system

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

CU
Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this morning, we picked his brain about the game's innovative combat system.
Massively: Can you explain why the component combat system and player design of combat abilities doesn't render the concept of classes moot?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Absolutely! Think of the combat system in the same way you would magic. As a member of a certain Realm, you might not have access to particular components, whether for magic or melee combat. Further, your class might have further restrictions in terms of combinations of components. For example, the HelBound will be able to use some healing components that pure fighter classes can't, but they won't have access to the vast majority of magical components.

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Star Conflict adds Invasion and Observer modes

Betas, Sci-Fi, Patches, PvP, PvE, Dev Diaries

Star Conflict
Gaijin Entertainment's Star Conflict was updated recently with a new Invasion and Observer mode, as well as several UI and bug fixes as the game continues its beta testing (but is technically launched on Steam) this month.

The space-based MMO's Invasion mode is described as a PvE and PvP game feature that allows players to join up against alien invaders. This includes quests, resource gathering, and crafting to work toward certain goals. Be sure to check out the video embedded after the cut below as well as the official patch notes for more information.

[Thanks to Simon for the tip!]

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Camelot Unchained isn't 'recreating WoW' with its magic system

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Business Models, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week on the game's livestreams; today, let's talk about making magic.
Massively: When developers use the word "spellbook," visions of meditating into an EverQuest-style spellbook and repeatedly switching commonly used spells come to mind. Far from creating welcome immersion, that spellbook created headaches for casters [enough that SOE changed it]. But CU's spellbook seems more like a cross between an achievement panel and a spell design tool. How else will CU's spellbook improve on the concept?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: First, I think the characterization of the EQ spellbook as a headache for casters is a very personal one. Let's keep in mind that EQ was the most successful MMORPG prior to the coming of WoW [We presume he means in the West -ed], so not everybody could have hated it. In our game, being a caster will come with some disadvantages, and having to deal with a spellbook is one of them. However, it will also come with advantages. Like so many other things in Camelot Unchained, we're not afraid to say players won't love everything. Indeed, as I've said all along, I know that certain things we are going to do will piss off some people.

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Guild Wars 2 launches Entanglement today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Launches, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 fans, prepare yourselves for some tangly living world action today as ArenaNet launches Entanglement, episode two of the ongoing second season of the game's story content. Players will continue the established plot arc that has them joining a now-familiar cast of NPCs in the newly opened zone in the Maguuma Wastes.
The lethal, fast-growing vines that have plagued the Brisban Wildlands have begun to spread. Word reaches you of trouble in the town of Prosperity, where the asuran prodigy Taimi was left alone to research the threat. Get back to Prosperity, meet up with Braham, and check in on Taimi. [...] There are secrets hidden within the newly revealed area of Dry Top, just waiting to be discovered. Learn more about the mysterious denizens lurking beyond Prospect Valley and come face-to-face with never-before-seen foes. Follow the trail you picked up in the last release and continue your search for the ley line hub. Stay wary! In Dry Top, danger and discovery go hand in hand.
Don't forget that if you can't play the episode in the next two weeks, you can log into the game and save the episode for a later date.

ArenaNet has also released new screenshots for the event's launch; enjoy them below.

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Camelot Unchained's use-based stat system will trade grind for immersion

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
This week, the folks at City State Entertainment have a massive game mechanics infodump planned for Camelot Unchained fans as part of its "batshit-crazy" reveal week. A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being presented to backers this week on Twitch, so to coincide with today's announcements, we asked about the mechanics of the sandbox's proposed stat system. Enjoy the reveal and the interview!
Massively: Can you explain the thinking behind allowing players to fall into "gotcha" builds, unwittingly creating characters that simply will not perform well in the game? By the same token, does the studio not anticipate the preset classes to result in attendant cookie cutter stat builds?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: We've been very clear from the beginning of the Kickstarter that we are going to allow players to create builds that aren't 'ideal' for their class or even race selection. Now, having said this, we've also been clear we will present plenty of information so they can make informed choices. I want to give players the freedom to play a race/class/stat combination that is not ideal, but to also warn them and give them the ability to read lots of information at the same time. We are also considering giving out a limited respec after creation just in case, for example, you quickly realize trying to play a Luchorpan tank that you made as small and weak as possible wasn't a great idea.

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Elder Scrolls' Sage explains new Champion alternate advancement

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online creative director Paul Sage released a lot of interesting info about the future of the game on a recent ESO Off the Record videocast. Sage talks about everything from the new Dragonstar Arena in Craglorn to an Imperial City three-vs.-three PvP map to guild management and class balance additions to extensive VR changes.

The veteran rank tweaks are so huge that they'll be rolled out in phases, the first of which debuted earlier this week and featured "lower difficulty" in existing VR zones. Phase two will remove veteran points in favor of normal XP and will also include increased PvP XP. Phase three will completely replace the current VR system with the Champion System, which involves alternate advancement that Sage compares to the AA system in EverQuest II.

That's not all, either, as Sage's interview runs for nearly two hours. You can watch the whole thing after the cut. If you don't have time for that, Dulfy has published a summary transcript.

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ArcheAge Korea getting 1.7, new PvE and PvP content next week

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

While Western ArcheAge fans are getting all hot and bothered by Trion's upcoming closed beta, it's worth remembering that XLGAMES' sandpark has been live in its native Korea for a while now. As such, it's scheduled to receive a version update (1.7) next week that will add new PvE and PvP content. There's an aquatic world boss called Leviathan in the works, as well as something called Attack of the Abyss that features PvP capture-and-defend objectives as well as PvE pirate ghost ships.

The update will also feature a new PvP area called Dew Plains. You can view trailers for Leviathan, Attack of the Abyss, and Dew Plains after the break.

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Dino-survival: Hands-on with Beasts of Prey's early access alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Post-Apocalyptic, Crafting, Buy-to-Play

Beasts of Prey
When I first dived into the horror-survival genre, I knew there would be zombies, but I never expected dinosaurs. You don't get much bigger than a T-Rex stomping around your neighborhood (though I am still waiting for an underwater survival game that randomly has blue whales unintentionally ruining your kelp fort as they hunt for krill). When dinosaurs started to replace zombies, I knew that my inner child would drag me in, even if I once again had to pay for alpha.

It's this very idea of "paid alpha" that inspired me to tackle not one but two titles from the newly spawned dino-survival based genre. Apologists will say that it's just alpha, but the reality is that you get only one launch, and to me, launch is you start letting people buy your game and don't hold them under an NDA. With this in mind, I decided to try my hand at both Beasts of Prey and The Stomping Land to see which, if either, feels the most deserving of my time (and money). Today, I'll start with BoP.

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The Daily Grind: Do you tend to believe dev statements?

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind, Dungeons

Fangorn waterfall
Lord of the Rings Online community manager Rick Heaton created a stir recently when he said that raiders are few and far between in Middle-earth. After he explained that Turbine's data show raiders, PvPers, and forum posters as tiny fringe groups, he ended his announcement with the following statement.

"I fully appreciate and understand you won't believe a word of this. That's perfectly fine. It doesn't change the facts of the matter."

Predictably, a slew of comments ensued in which Heaton was accused of lying. Plenty of commenters, both on the Turbine forums and here on Massively, then posited that of course there are no raiders because LotRO's raid content sucks, Turbine's definition of "raider" is different from the commonly accepted definition (whatever that is), and dozens of other reasons. Which leads to an interesting question regarding official dev statements. Do you tend to believe them? Even when they irritate you or don't align with your personal wishes for a given game?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

LotRO's Paths of the Dead coming July 14

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play

Got MMO plans for next week? If you're a Tolkien buff you might want to reconsider them, since Turbine is publishing Lord of the Rings Online's Paths of the Dead update on Monday. The firm has unveiled a new section of the game's official website that details all the Update 14 content. It includes a level cap bump to 100, the continuation of the epic story, a new essence system, and three new regions that expand the game's footprint into Gondor.

Paths of the Dead is free for VIP players or available for purchase via the West Gondor quest pack in the game's cash shop.

Don't forget to check out Massively's hands-on preview for more specifics!

I saw a real Jedi in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sci-Fi, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMO Travelogue

This is a Consular's saber, but whatever
Let me tell you about this Jedi Guardian named Nayelii. She lives on Star Wars: The Old Republic's Ebon Hawk server. She could actually be a he, but the avatar (and the name) seemed female, so that's the pronoun I'm going with at the moment.

I say "seemed" because Nayelii was wearing hooded robes, it's fairly dark through most of the Kuat Drive Yards flashpoint, and I tend to play dungeons with my camera at max range. Anyway, that's all beside the point because last weekend Nayelii put on what is unequivocally the best tanking performance I've seen in all my years playing MMORPGs.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2's Gates of Maguuma is a leap forward

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Skritt just got real.
A few months passed between season one of Guild Wars 2's living world story and the start of season two, and the first content release of the new arc was going to have to make a big splash, no matter what it turned out to contain. Fans grumbled warily about the chances of being asked to repair road signs for weeks while waiting for the meat of the story, and ArenaNet played its cards close to the vest. Teasers, speculation, and season one recaps were all we had to quench our thirst for GW2's second season. We were parched, moving endlessly through a vast wasteland of -- wait, there's a metaphor here. Hold on, it's coming to me.

Anyway, we've been delivered to an oasis: The Gates of Maguuma are open, and we've taken our first steps into a new region of Tyria. Along with several other media representatives, I was invited to take a developer-led tour of the new Dry Top zone and story content. Does it live up to the anticipation? The answer necessarily contains spoilers, so read on at your peril, mortal.

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Tree of Savior devs talks classes and more

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries

The latest Tree of Savior dev blog touches on a few of the game's 80-odd classes including the Linker, the Psychokino, the Sadhu, and the Necromancer. You can probably guess what's involved with that last one, but the previous three seem pretty unique. The Sadhu uses "out-of-body" skills while the Psychokino employes telekinesis. The Linker chains mobs together so that they'll "receive damages or debuffs simultaneously," according to blog author and developer Hakkyu Kim.

There are bits and bobs about Tree of Savior's non-combat classes, too, as well as info about the game's music and a class-focused video. Click past the cut to give it a look!

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The Daily Grind: Are there any long-term MMO goals that you plan to complete in 2014?

Sci-Fi, Classes, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I managed to finish another couple of class stories thanks to Star Wars: The Old Republic's double XP week. Though the game has been out for nearly three years, getting through all eight arcs is taking a while since I dabble in so many other MMOs.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, and I think that even without another double XP event, I'll finally be finished before the end of the year. What about you, Massively readers? Are there any long-term MMO goals you plan to complete in 2014?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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