Fallen Earth has a steep learning curve. It's not hard to die a horrible death in Fallen Earth because you simply didn't have even the slightest clue what you were doing. But life doesn't have to be short and brutal in the wasteland. In fact, you can eke out a decent living and make quite a name for yourself. There are a few things you can do to minimize the bewilderment you will face once you emerge from the LifeNet pod for the first time into the unforgiving desolation of the apocalypse. After reading this guide, you are likely to be heard saying things like: "Y'know what? The apocalypse isn't all that bad." and "I wish this place were just a little more dangerous."
Every game has a group of number-crunchers that want to get the most out of a character build. Whether you call them min-maxers, power gamers or munchkins, they are intrinsic to any RPG system ever made. They are the direct antithesis of the roleplayer, and often referred to as roll-players. There is a very clear-cut process to maximize your character's power in Fallen Earth. This process is called "Spinning the Wheel". When I use the term "wheel", I am referring to the faction wheel. While some do choose to spin the wheel, most players usually flip the wheel. I'll explain the difference later.
So what does the wheelspin do for you? It gives you about 30 extra AP and unlocks all the mutation lines. The important thing here is that you will be noticeably better than those who don't bother to do it. Why would you do it, and how do you do it? Read on.
The original plan was to outright scrap the old content, but when the team got their hands on the volume of content, they decided instead to do an overhaul. That means that the original Nym content remains in the new questline, which has been vastly expanded and ties more personally to Nym himself. There's also a number of new optional bosses and collections added in the chain, to challenge and interest players of all stripes. Star Wars Galaxies has put a great deal of energy into the overhaul, no doubt hoping that people will be anxious to take a ride in the park.
There's been some buzz surrounding the upcoming free-to-play title Aika, a large-scale PvP game with some interesting features (which turn normally mature bloggers into immature children due to pronunciation, but that's not the point.) The game's first closed beta went fairly well, and as a result a second phase is planned, running from February 24th through March 2nd. It's not a long test phase, but it's going to bring several elements into the game that weren't available during the first phase.
Full-scale castle sieges are one of the major additions to this part of testing, allowing players to take control of the heart of the game's five nations. Similar to the setup of Lineage II's sieges, the leader of the victorious guild will attain the title of Lord Marshal and be responsible for coordinating further attacks for dominance. The PvP isn't all that's being stirred up, however -- more solo areas and content will be added throughout the world, ranging from the crags of Mt. Hessian to the snake-filled Tabazra desert to the city of Cirrugor nestled high among the clouds.
The game certainly seems on-track for its projected "official" launch in the spring. Aika fans will want to keep a close eye on the game as it prepares for the full opening, and definitely should get ready to register for their entry into the second closed beta test.
Massively has been following the development of the sci-fi MMO Black Prophecy very closely, and was pleased that the title's developer Reakktor Media wanted to do a series of focused Q&As with us on several aspects of the game. Our last such Q&A started at the beginning with character creation, but in our second installment of the Black Prophecy interview series we discussed the game's mission design. To that end, we posed some questions to Lorenz Dames, the Lead Game Designer on Black Prophecy.
Lorenz explained a great deal about how Reakktor is approaching solo content vs. group-oriented gameplay. He also told us how Reakktor Media is merging the completion of mission objectives with dogfighting your fellow players through PvP missions, where other players will try to counter your efforts to complete goals. Our interview should provide Black Prophecy fans with a solid overview of the game's mission design, which will be an essential aspect of the sci-fi MMO's gameplay.
Gallery: Black Prophecy
Mercedes Lackey (known for her series of fantasy novels set in Valdemar), Troy Hickman (known for the meta-superhero series Common Grounds), and Austin Grossman (longtime writer of video games and author of Soon I Will Be Invincible) make up the next batch of guest writers crafting their own arcs in City of Heroes. Two of the arcs should be live today (assuming you're reading this on January 26th), according to a small supplementary piece which includes a few words from Sean McCann. It's good to see the game continuing to emphasize and enhance the experience of user-created content, and players should look forward to some high-profile names continuing to take their swing at it.
In this probative opinion piece, I delve into the roles we play in MMOs and the things developers often do wrong when designing an immersive game experience.
In this probative opinion piece, I look at why we need repetitive gameplay in MMOs and the various ways developers disguise grind to keep the game entertaining.
Update: Link to page 2 fixed. Thanks Brian!
The latest Earthrise Question of the Week is all about quests in the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMO. "Central to the PvE experience, quests in Earthrise are designed to help introduce the players to the tense cultural and political scene that shapes the two conflicting factions fighting for control over the island of Enterra," explains Moll, the game's Community Manager.
There are faction-specific quests unique to either Continoma or Noir, but Earthrise's game mechanics will let players defect to a rival faction to experience another walk of life on Enterra island. Switching allegiances will not be a trivial matter, however, and the consequences a player assumes for doing so will limit how often most characters defect.
In some respects, these arcs will open up pirate faction mission running for many players, given that completion of an arc will impart a 30% standings gain towards that faction. Players have long wanted a way to repair their negative standings towards New Eden's pirate factions and this seems to be the first step towards that. Still, that standings gain won't benefit players who are particularly loathed by a given pirate faction unless the arcs can be repeated some months down the line as with standard Epic Mission Arcs.
Demon Busters in Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online are now enjoying a fresh content update, which includes motorbikes courtesy of the Shinjuku Babel mechanics. This new mode of transportation in the game allows players to travel between zones quickly and in first person perspective. Atlus has also introduced alchemy, a crafting system where players can create new objects with unusual properties. Runes that boost abilities for your demons or potions that augment your own abilities are a few possibilities with the new item mixing system. They've also released more PvE content in the form of demon friend quests, provided your friendships with the infernal powers-that-be are at the appropriate levels.
Perhaps the biggest content addition to Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online is the Team Battle system. The title's publisher Aeria Games writes: "Gather your allies and friends to crush your enemies in fast-paced, high intenseity group versus group combat for glory and god-like gear. Choose to fight solo in sided matches against other solo players, or combine your strength with others to demolish the competition in team versus team battle."
Free-to-play MMOs have been staking out an impressive share of the gaming audience, and one of their poster children is Runes of Magic. Frogster Interactive, is understandably pleased with the success that the game has enjoyed, so they've taken the time to share some interesting figures of the game's popularity.
The most recent chapter of the game, The Elven Prophecy, was released only a couple of months ago. Since then, over fifteen million quests have been completed (even more staggering when one considers that the game has recently cleared the two million mark for registered players). A quarter of a million bosses have been brought down in that span of time, as well as over sixteen million items crafted. Even allowing that some of those were likely craft grind fodder, those are impressive numbers.
Of course, one of the wonderful parts about any sort of free-to-play game is that any curiosity about the game can be satisfied by playing right away, which has no doubt contributed to the success Runes of Magic has enjoyed thus far. While it's not the biggest name in the industry, it's experiencing a groundswell of popularity, good news both for fans of the game and the business model alike.
One of the new content additions coming to EVE Online this December are Epic Mission Arcs for two of New Eden's pirate factions -- the Guristas and the Angel Cartel. Scott Holden (aka CCP Molock) is the Lead Content Creator at CCP Games who has overseen the inclusion of the new pirate missions into EVE. Holden recently discussed some of the specifics of pirate mission running with Mondes Persistants.
The epic arcs for the Guristas and Angel Cartel will offer up roughly 10-12 branching missions, says Holden. The Guristas arc will largely be based in nullsec space in Venal, but players will be able to begin in Orvolle (high security) or low security starting points like Taisy. The Angel Cartel epic mission arcs will mostly be based in the Curse region, the stomping grounds of the Cartel. Would-be devotees to the Angel cause (of sabotage, extortion, and general mayhem) will be able to embark on the faction's mission arc from solar systems like Sendaya or Konora in low sec. Surprisingly, it seems that a player doesn't need high pirate faction standings to access either the Guristas or Angel Cartel epic mission arcs. Players with good standings with empire factions will be able to jump into the pirate mission arcs via mission agents found in low security space.
We recently mentioned that Star Trek Online fans would get a chance to play through a demo of the game at Eurogamer Expo last week. One of the first reports we've read about the Star Trek Online demo comes from Oli Welsh at Eurogamer who was uniquely positioned to check out the game (it was their Expo after all.) Welsh begins by writing, "Trekkies can put one fear to rest right now: Star Trek Online feels just like Star Trek." Although this might assuage a bit of the apprehension some gamers have about trying yet another Star Trek game, Welsh is up front about the fact that the demo he played through was a contained single player experience. It's too soon to say what gameplay will feel like when hundreds of other players are thrown into the mix.
He writes about the demo's transitions between locations via warp jumps, keyboard navigation of star ships (standard WASD, with additional throttle control), and the pacing of ship combat. Welsh also walks the reader from the bridge of a Federation vessel down to the surface of a planet where Klingon opponents await. Fans of the game should read Eurogamer's hands on with Star Trek Online and may also be interested in the video footage of STO gameplay from Limited Edition, shot at this year's Eurogamer Expo (starting at 02:40. They've also captured gameplay of Global Agenda as well.) We've got a video embed of that for you after the jump.
We all go into autopilot sometimes. So, you know, we're on a marathon session to level up, and we're mostly just sort of clicking by instinct. You belatedly realize, however, that you were in the middle of a quest chain. The reason you realize this, sadly, is because you're at the penultimate stage of said quest chain, and the questgiver is making references to all the work that you've been doing to reach this point... when you don't really remember most of what you've been doing up until now. There might have been something with fish men? Or the other fish men. It's all kind of a blur, really.
Lore is important, and few people would argue that, but when have you managed to completely miss every bit of what's supposed to be going on? Did you not read up the backstory in the manual and therefore not know that the person you're fighting unleashed horrors on his own people? Did you forget about an NPC that is actually kind of important in retrospect? Or did you just steamroll through things and only find out later that there was an overarching reason for all of this?
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Posted on May 23rd 2013 12:00PM