Weekly MMO/RPG Crockpot: “Mummies, Super Heroes, Jedi and Revamping Jumpgate” or “BioWare Bonanza, Trine Sequeled and Dungeon Siege 3″
That’s MMO slash RPG, not MMORPG. Every week all the random bits and pieces of news that I come across regarding my favorite MMOs and RPGs (or at least the ones that have piqued my curiosity) start piling up in the ‘temporary’ section of my bookmarks toolbar. This is an attempt to clean up my bookmarks.
The following is a quick list if you want to skip to something in particular:
- DC Universe Online Videos
- Dawntide Beta
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Dialogue Choices
- The Mummy Online
- Jumpgate Evolution Revamped
- End of Nations Trailer
- Lord of the Rings Online goes F2P
- Dungeon Siege 3
- Mass Effect 2: Overlord DLC
- Fallout: New Vegas Pre-order Bonuses
- Trine 2!
- Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 at E3
Here we go!
DC Universe Online Videos
The developers of DC Universe Online, recently announced to be set free upon the masses in November, released more videos this week than BioWare, and that is quite a feat to accomplish. To start off, we got the DC Universe Online – Inside the Studio – Episode 5 this week, which addresses some key questions about the upcoming MMO, such as, can players create kid heroes in the DC Universe, e.g.: Teen Titans. Not exactly my cup of tea, if you know what I mean, but the video is embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
Next up we have a short video misleadingly titled “Life on the Streets”, where the game’s creative director Jens Andersen walks us through the “super speed” power and how it plays out in both traveling through the world, scaling walls and combat. It’s very short, barely under a minute (if you take out the time for the logos etc.), and doesn’t really tell us much of anything. Worth a look, especially if you are a Jay Garrick fan! I thought “Life on the Streets” would be about the living, breathing world. Guess I was wrong!
Finally, we have “The Suicide Slums Travelogue” trailer. It has to do with The Suicide Slums, and it is in trailer format. How apt. Chris Cao, game director, walks us through the ghetto of Metropolis, that location in every major city in the world that the so-called “civilized folk” dare not trespass. There are a few threads of storyline and lore as it pertains to this section of the city, along with some fairly obvious information such as “villains can use the slums’ shadows to hide, whereas heroes can come to the slums to fight crime.” No shit. Trailer is below, it’s two minutes long, enjoy!
This is old news at this stage, considering Eliot Lefebvre already posted about it well over two weeks back. But I caught wind of it just now, so I am going to talk about it. If you have a problem with it, go read another blog you pansy! (Yes I am having a weird day.) On May 31st, that would be exactly two weeks ago, the game went into open beta.
Dawntide stands out from the crowd because its central premise promises the creation of towns, cities, societies, cultures and the whole world of Dawntide based solely on player input. This concept is very intriguing to me, and I have yet to come across a game where player interaction shapes the world categorically. A small example would be the manner in which the Wintergrasp battle is fought in Wrath of the Lich King. One team defends the fort, whereas the other assaults is with siege vehicles, trying to take down the walls which will allow them entry into the inner sanctum. Once the final wall to the fortress itself has been breached, the game is over. The tower cap also works, especially if your faction far out numbers the enemy.
Battles of this scale and scope occur all over WAR, I am sure, as towns are captured and bases razed, but as Eliot points out, “PvP” is far too often regarded synonymous with “sandbox”. I hope Dawntide focuses on player input through social interaction and world questing to shape its lands, and not how hard can you stab the next guy. Whether it actually happens remains to be seen.
I will be trying out the Dawntide open beta with in the week, and post more thoughts here.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Dialogue Choices
BioWare has long touted story and character development as the fourth pillar in MMOs as one of its major strengths. Well that is until Derek Smart came along, and left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Way to go douchebag.
Anyway, in a prior developer walk-through, BioWare explained how their NPC dialogue options were deep, engaging and laden with all manners of choice. These choices, they have now revealed, go beyond the cookie-cutter good and evil, and also delve into the flirty, whimsical, or purely cosmetic to accommodate for a greater set of play-styles and personalities. What I find really cool about the whole affair is that the dialogue options will vary for each class, allowing specific responses that may be tailored to reflect the class and lore. In addition, when grouped, multiple players will be able interact with the conversation, advancing the structured and segmented dialogue tree.
We already know SW:TOR has over 50 novels worth of dialogue and story written for it, and more is being added every day, and that every NPC in the game is fully voice-acted. So this comes as an added benefit, and one that I am really looking forward to.
Here is a quick poll, and your participation is kindly requested.
The Mummy Online
Branden Fraser is to mummies what Francis, Louis, Zoey and Bill are to zombies. With three movies shot on the premise of ancient mummies, and a spin-off starting he who dares you to smell what the rock is cooking, I suppose it was only a matter of time before there was an MMO spin-off. The game will be set in the 1930′s and feature both player versus environment and player versus player opportunities.
Universal’s Bill Kispert had this to say:
“The Mummy franchise is chock full of exotic settings, supernatural enemies, exciting quests, and over the top action. It is ripe with gameplay possibilities, and we look forward to extending our relationship with Bigpoint to bring the world of The Mummy to life for gamers.”
There you have it, as generic a launch statement as it gets which can be summed up as follows: “We think this is a cool idea, you should too.” For the record, unless I see something groundbreaking, and despite my affinity for mummies, this is likely the last time I will post about this title!
You can find more about the game at it’s official website.
Jumpgate Evolution Revamped
I am a huge fan of the Jumpgate series, so it always pains me to see the game go through so many delays. In fact, next month will mark a full year since the original estimated release date of July 2009. With deafening silence from the developer for the last several weeks, fans of the series were finally given a questionable ray of light. Executive Producer Lance Robertson wrote a detailed forum post on the game’s development.
So what is with all the delays? Apparently the development team has scrapped most of the gameplay elements in the game and replaced them completely with a new vision for what the game should act and play like. Good news I suppose, considering it will always be better to have a game revamped and restructured prior to release and not after (*cough* Alganon *cough*). This does, however, imply that the game will be inevitably delayed even further.
End of Nations Trailer
Here is a novel concept: an MMORTS. Developer Petroglyph has been working on this game for a while, and there was an interview I came across on Bitmob that shed some much-needed light on the title. Petroglyph’s Mike Legg, alongwith the core of Petroglyph, has been working on the RTS genre tracing back to Westwood’s genre-defining Command and Conquer series, and even as far back as Dune 2.
In true E3 fashion, and in order to create some hype for the title, a launch title was revealed. The title itself sets up the storyline of the game, but does not give actual gameplay footage or indication of what to expect. Good watch for the lore and background buff, terrible watch for the anyone looking for massive armies wreaking havoc on the battlefield. I fall squarely in the former category, so I thoroughly enjoyed the trailer, lack of in-game footage notwithstanding.
Lord of the Rings Online goes F2P
This is likely the biggest news in this bunch, but it has been covered to death by Rubi Bayer over at Massively, so head on over to get all the juicy details. They also sat with the development team over at Turbine for an in-depth interview.
Dungeon Siege 3
Dungeon Siege holds a special place in my heart, and that is because I absolutely loved the first one, and absolutely detested the second one. The first one needs to be put on a pedestal with a Parabolic Aluminized Reflector spotlight above it, whereas the second one needs to be fed to a pack of wild dogs, pissed upon, and buried six feet under. The first was a work of art, set in a unique world filled with mystery and twitch-based combat, whereas the second was a piece of crap so vile I couldn’t bear to get past the first few hours without throwing up. The first… well… you get the idea.
Anyway, DS3′s developers released some screenshots from the game that look suspiciously like artwork. You be the judge.
Mass Effect 2: Overlord DLC
In three days, that is June 15, 2010, the Mass Effect 2 universe will see it’s latest DLC addition in the form of Overlord. The DLC features a rogue AI and Commander Shepard’s race against time (why is always against time?) to stop it. The DLC will feature five missions set on the same planet, interspersed with more driving in the Hammerhead.
Shepard’s latest exploit will cost you a whopping 560 points, which is approximately $7. Pricey? You betcha! Worth it? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow!
Fallout: New Vegas Pre-order Bonuses
Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon and Steam are all offering some extensive lists of exclusive content if you decide to line their pockets with your hard-earned doubloons. Here is a full list:
The Classic Pack, available when you pre-order through GameStop, contains:
- Armored Vault 13 Suit – Extensively patched up and dotted with piecemeal armor, this outfit is an homage to the classic ending of the original Fallout.
- Vault 13 Canteen – This handy device is useful for staving off dehydration and providing a small amount of healing in the Mojave Wasteland.
- Weathered 10mm Pistol – A well-worn 10mm pistol that packs an extra punch despite its modest size.
- 5 Stimpaks – Food and water are good for long-term healing, but when the fighting is fierce, Stimpaks help keep Wastelanders upright.
The Tribal Pack, available when you pre-order through Amazon, contains:
- Tribal Raiding Armor – Pieced together from scraps of armor, this outfit provides protection without impacting mobility.
- Broad Machete – This heavy-bladed melee weapon does high damage against limbs and can quickly deal out a flurry of attacks.
- 5 Bleak Venom doses – Useful on any Melee Weapon, Bleak Venom makes short work of most living targets.
- 10 Throwing Spears – If you would like to silently pin an enemy’s head to a wall, Throwing Spears are the way to do it.
The Caravan Pack, available when you pre-order through Steam and Walmart, contains:
- Lightweight Leather Armor – This hand-modified suit of leather armor reduces its overall weight without impacting its ability to protect.
- Sturdy Caravan Shotgun – Despite its rough appearance, this Caravan Shotgun will reliably fire 20 gauge shells until the Brahmin come home.
- 4 Repair Kits – Useful for repairing any outfit or weapon, Repair Kits are a valuable tool for any caravaner.
- Binoculars – The Mojave Wasteland is a dangerous place, but with these trusty Binoculars you’ll be able to spot trouble coming.
The Mercenary Pack, available when you pre-order through Best Buy, contains:
- Lightweight Metal Armor – Modified for long-range travel, this Metal Armor sacrifices some protection for mobility and overall weight.
- Mercenary’s Grenade Rifle – Though similar to other 40mm Grenade Rifles in the Mojave Wasteland, this model has a faster reload cycle.
- 3 Super Stimpaks – When you absolutely, positively, need to keep your blood inside your body, Super Stimpaks fix you up in no time.
- 3 Doctors Bags – Mercenaries and broken limbs go together like Iguana-on-a-Stick and Nuka Cola. Thankfully, these Doctors Bags take a bit of sting out of the inevitable crushed skull.
I personally like the Mercenary Pack, but considering there is no best Buy within, well, a few countries of my geographical location, I suppose my doubloons are only good enough for Steam’s Caravan Pack.
Trine was a fantastic platformer. It was innovative, varied and presented you with a plethora of challenges that tested both your wits and your ability to pay attention to your surroundings. Despite the obvious solution, the game actually allowed you multiple solutions to almost every puzzle situation, which is why it stood out from the crowd.
Trine 2 has now been announced. That is all I have to report now. I will post more as more is (inevitably) uncovered at E3, but this title has my undivided attention. I just hope it isn’t like the Dungeon Siege sequel.
Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 at E3
Take a look at the following floor plan from E3 2010, courtesy of Kotaku. There really isn’t any additional information, but I am siure more will surface as E3 marches on.