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Posts Tagged ‘The Secret World’

“Guild Wars 2” vs “The Secret World” – Part II

October 4, 2012 3 comments

I received a ton of a comments, and although GW2 seemed to be winning earlier, TSW has seemed to creep up in the number of recommendations. The following are what some of the readers of this blog has to say about the two titles:

Guild Wars 2

“GW2 will entertain you for 80 levels.”
– Drew

“The fact it is buy once, play forever is certainly a draw.”
– Drew

“The sPvP is fun and engaging. The PvP [in TSW], however, is awful.”
– Drew

“It should certainly be noted that GW2 is far more “populated”. In the starter and ending zones, you will see lots of folks, and you’ll work with them without having to group with them.”
– Drew

“Hmm I actually think GW2 story telling is decent but more so in the open world, especially if you follow dynamic events and spend time listening to chatter in towns, villages and cities. Haven’t tried TSW yet due to advice from my gaming buds who warned me not to touch it with a shitty stick.”
– Pitrelli

“If I had to pick I’d go GW2 simply for nostalgia reasons as GW was my first ever online (MMO) game and I played the crap out of it- plus no subs is a winner imo.”
– Gank

“You must play GW2 because I am a GW2 fanboy.”
– anon4ec

“I pre-ordered GW2 before pre-ordering TSW.”
– Winged Nazgul

“[After switching to TSW, no] idea if I’m ever going back but at least the option is always there.”
– Winged Nazgul

The Secret World

“But if story truly is paramount for you – then go with TSW. GW2′s story-telling, quite bluntly, is terrible. The personal story is awful. Awful. The NPCs in general are completely forgettable.”
– Drew

“TSW, on the other hand, has a cool skill system and really good voice acting and story-telling.”
– Drew

“But from a pure “story” standpoint, the game is fantastic. Reminds me of a horror-version of Fallen Earth – the game with bar-none the best “world” I’ve ever played in. GW2 just feels ‘plastic’ in that regard.”
– Drew

“My suggestion – give the TSW free trial a shot when you have a good chunk of free time. It’s three days, but can be extended based on some parameters (30 quests or something) to five days. Try before you buy!”
– Drew

“I ended up getting the TSW lifetime sub because I feel this is an extremely good value for my money.”
– Winged Nazgul

“GW2 didn’t stick with me and I returned to TSW after about 2 weeks.”
– Winged Nazgul

“To cut a long story short I was bitterly disappointed in GW2 primarily due to poor storytelling and its extremely monotonous ‘heart’ quests.”
– Rob

“If you love storytelling then you honestly can’t go far wrong with TSW. As others have said it’s by no means a perfect game (actually Drew summed it up perfectly) but from a storytelling point of view there is no stronger MMO in the market right now.”
– Rob

“GW2 is a good game, but TSW is fantastic, and story-wise it really can’t be beat. In my opinion it’s the best written MMO out there, and this is from someone who previously thought SWTOR storytelling set the bar. But TSW just blows it away, I’m afraid.”
– MMOGamerChick

“But if you don’t mind something different, and you’re looking for some fun in a horror-themed story-driven MMO, I say go for it.”
– MMOGamerChick

“As for me, I’m still subscribed to TSW at the moment, though I haven’t been playing so much because I’m also juggling GW2 and WoW, but I know TSW is a keeper. My guild is having TSW nights, because every month Funcom updates the game with new content and new quests and there’s always going to be a ton of things for me to do.”
– MMOGamerChick

“Played TSW and loved it so much I bought the life time subscription. Try the 3 day trial first (which extends to 5 days) so you can give it a go.”
– OneShard

“Get TSW! Playing TSW for just a month (before subscription kicks in) will already allow you to live out a wonderful story. ”
– Phedre

“I’ve been playing MMOs since Ultima Online, and nothing has captured my interest and imagination like The Secret World has. I’m a Rank 13 Illuminati with 65% of the skill wheel completed. I’ve located every hidden lore item in the game, have several Quality Level 10+ (10.4 being the highest in the game) pieces of gear, and I have over 1,000 kills in PvP. Still, even in the end-game, I can recall the names and stories of NPC’s from the very first zone. I know every area like the back of my hand, not because of how frequently I’ve visited them, but because each zone I quested in was so unique and richly detailed that I couldn’t keep from exploring every inch. The dungeons are unlike any other. Each one features its own story, and the bosses are more like puzzles than tank-and-spank throwaways, requiring every member to pull their weight and work together. Few games have given me the same satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. I have the lifetime mebership, and I’ve never regretted it for a second. I bought Guild Wars 2 a few weeks ago because a few of my cabal members were giving it a go, but I don’t have a single character over level 5. Compared to The Secret World, Guild Wars 2 feels so bare-bones, rudimentary, and forgettable. But the price is right. The subscription model doesn’t sit right with a lot of people, but I think the monthly content updates absolutely justify it. This month’s update will add new missions, the games first raid, a theatre where players can put on shows while players in the crowd cheer them on or boo them off stage, and more. Try the trial. I don’t know you personally, but based on your post, I think you won’t be disappointed.”
– Landiien

“Guild Wars 2” or “The Secret World”

October 3, 2012 27 comments

I thought I could resist, I thought I was done with MMOs for a while. But I keep reading these amazing stories about both of these titles, on gaming websites, on peer blogs, at my local flower shop (don’t ask). The point is I am itching to play an MMO again, and I need your help to determine which one I should invest in. I only have enough time for one.

Story is paramount to me, so The Secret World is a clear winner. But I am also tired of the subscription model, and Guild Wars 2 has everyone beat in that department. Help me? And for the love of god, don’t confuse me with suggesting a third. I am looking at you Gank!

“Secret World’s Secret’s Out” or “Raging Ragnar”

August 29, 2012 2 comments

It is a sad day when an MMO, especially one that has been in development for almost a decade, that generated so much hype, and that had so much potential, seems to be in the news for all the wrong reasons.

According to Funcom’s Q2 2012 financial report, The Secret World has been purchased by over 200,000 players so far, a number far below the 700,000 sold for Age of Conan in its first months. The report claims several initiatives are being launched to attract a bigger base to the game, but the ugly truth is self-evident: The Secret World has failed to garner the following that it frankly deserved.

It is unfortunate really. I have yet to try The Secret World. This is not because I am waiting for more reviews, or because I am trying to sidestep the early adopter blues. I simply don’t have the time to invest in another MMO. I was hoping that post-summer I could clear up my schedule a little and give this and Guild Wars 2 some time and see what all the raving lunatics are scream on about. The Secret World has been given a very respectable mid-70’s overall score by critics, and a more grounded mid-80s score by players on MetaCritic.com. Clearly, years of hard work and dedication to creating something unique yet familiar, novel yet adaptable, organic yet linear has paid off. But despite everything that the studio did, somehow it was not enough. I suppose that is the nature of the business, sometimes no matter how hard you try, it simply won’t stick.

I will do a full-blown review and try to dent what I can when I try it, but as it stands, it seems that The Secret World is done for. And it is yet another nail in the paid subscription era’s coffin.

“Mists of Pandaria Release Date” or “Pandas Are No Longer Extinct”

July 26, 2012 2 comments

On September 25th, 2012, Pandas will invade and the world will forever remember the day the near-extinct species rose out out of the fog, and invaded the world of mortals.

In other words, Mists of Pandaria will be out.

Will I get it?

I don’t know. I am pretty occupied with life at the moment, and the very limited time I have is consumed by the likes of DayZ. Then of course, I have to consider trying The Secret World, a title that I have been rabidly excited for, but have not invested in simply because I have no time. I suppose only time will tell!

“GW2 Information Overload” or “An MMO After My Own Heart”

February 23, 2012 1 comment

The NDA for Guild Wars 2 was lifted this week, and the information poured forth, an unending tide of opinions, impressions, videos and screenshots. Perhaps not coincidentally, The Secret World also revealed its launch date, June 19th, 2012. Smooth Mr. Tornquist, real smooth!

Since I am not in the closed beta, my impressions of what it plays like is based entirely on the plethora of online previews that popped up between the beginning of this week and now.

Kotaku’s Mike Fahey listed 10 things that he learned from the Guild Wars 2 beta. It is an interesting read, full of promise and praise, so take it with a grain of salt. Fahey’s post has no new screenshots, but there are a few interesting videos, one of which highlights the absolutely massive scale of the game’s cities. It also appears Fahey may be a little suicidal with his digital avatars. Massively’s Elizabeth Cardy and Shawn Schuster put up their own impressions of the press beta event from over the weekend. Cardy focused on marco-level concepts, such as leveling, grouping, combat and healing, whereas Schuster spent more time with the character creator, questing, classes, skills, items, look and feel of the game.

Several bloggers also had their impressions of the game:

  • My dwarf brother Werit naturally only focused on the  PvP aspect, and how he feels it compares to WAR.
  • Spinks is prudent, and feels that we shouldn’t expect something drastically different, just the next step in the MMO evolution.
  • Syncaine feels that the game will fuel the biggest e-peen measurement races in MMO history, and that may not be the worst thing!
  • Keen was kind enough to rummage through the mountain of videos from the event, and come up with the most informative, entertaining and useful ones.
  • Ravious might need a towel!
  • Syp is glad that his feelings about the game are being reinforced though all the glowing praise from over the weekend, but he is focusing on two aspects that stand out for him: character creation, and the lack of reliance on the “holy trinity”.

Massively also put up this new piece today, detailing how crafting works in Guild Wars 2. Being able to gather everything at any time from the get go (no more collecting copper nodes in noobland for three hours before moving higher up the ladder), a lack of node competition, and salvaging all seem like great ideas on paper, and drastic improvements on the “Everything. Takes. Longer. ™.” formula every MMO is guilty of. I am excited, not as much as I am excited for The Secret World, mind you. But I am very excited! I will most certainly be trying this out when it releases.

“The Secret World ARG” or “33, Elder Futhark, And 1001 Interpretations”

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is something interesting that is making the rounds today. A forum user accidentally stumbled across this, and put up a thread here. Try it yourself:

  1. Go to Funcom.com
  2. Click on any part of the landing page (once fully loaded) that isn’t a link
  3. Type in 33

The screen goes blue, then this image appears. It has already generated about 8 pages of discussion on the thread. It could be an homage to Funcom IPs. It could be part of a lost ARG that was never fully realized. It could be anything. I have this strange feeling that this ARG will reveal the launch date for The Secret World.

I suppose time will tell…

Categories: The Secret World

“Se7en Reasons to Look Forward to The Secret World” or “The Stuff of Nightmares”

February 14, 2012 1 comment

Have I mentioned that I am eagerly anticipating the release of The Secret World? I think I have. On more than a few occasions I might add.

The game first caught my eye some four years ago, and it has been in development for the better part of a century decade. Much like any other upcoming MMO, the game promises to change the genre, but unlike most of the competition (with the possible exception of Guild Wars 2), The Secret World has some features and mechanics that really does set it apart.

.:: THE ATMOSPHERE ::.

"Will you be my valentine?"

There are a multitude of reason why this game has me giddy as a schoolgirl (are all schoolgirls generally giddy?), but allow me to demonstrate it with a simple example. I am not faint of the heart. I laugh through horror flicks, yawn through scary video games, and thoroughly enjoy scaring the hell out of my friends at winter bonfires with ghost stories. And herein lies my point. See the image above? For some reason, it creeps me out. And this is just one image. The Secret World is chock-full of visuals like these, and then some. This particular screengrab is from an area in the game called Blue Mountain, which is extensively detailed here.

The second CGI trailer is a great example for the atmosphere that is to be expected in The Secret World. An abandoned playground. A sinister foe that can shapeshift. A sole hero. It’s gritty, its dark and it looks delicious!

.:: THE SETTING ::.

The Secret World is set in the real world, not some high-fantasy location like Azeroth, or deep within the infinite reaches of space like New Eden. It is earth, as we know it, circa now. The game’s three factions are based in the very real cities of New York, London and Seoul. Now, granted, the game will make use of fictional towns and imaginative mythic locations where players can face off against the forces of evil, but the world is our own, the heroes ordinary human beings, the conflict very human.

Kingsmouth (Kingsport + Insmouth) is a fictional location within The Secret World. A trailer for the zone was released quite some time back, and it paints a chilling image of a picturesque, idyllic town where nothing is as it seems, and something terrifying lurks just below the surface.

.:: MENAGE-TROIS ::.

The traditional MMO features two opposing sides. Be it Alliance and Horde, Light and Dark Side, the choices, exceptions excluded, are fairly binary in nature. The Secret World, however, has three separate and distinct factions, all sworn to defend the world against the coming darkness, but at odds with each other in their separate pursuits of power.

There are the Dragons:

A whisper of a rumour of a shadow, this Asian group is the most secretive of societies. With no fixed territory or structure, the Dragon have dissolved and reformed throughout history. They believe that a closed, controlled society is a sick society. Only through collapse and rebuilding, the natural chaos of life, can the world be in harmony. Recently, they have taken root in a nameless district of Seoul, Korea.

The Templars:

Proudly tracing their royal lineage back to Babylon, the Templars are the lions of the secret world. When they roar, everyone listens. Old Europe is theirs, and the Templars’ marble hall dominates the old London borough of Ealdwic – historic capital of the secret world. It’s not just a show of strength. Nothing is just for show with the Templars.

And the Illuminati:

The Illuminati may have ancient roots, but they remain forever young and hungry. In every growing empire they have played for it all. And they play for keeps. Stealing the Americas from under the Templars’ noses, they grew with the United States to become a shadow superpower. Their corporate headquarters, the Labyrinth, is in an undisclosed location beneath Brooklyn, New York.

.:: MONSTER MADNESS ::.

To say that The Secret World is full of terrifying and unique enemies would be kind of like saying: “The Atlantic Ocean is damp.” The Secret World is designed around the idea of the stuff of nightmares, legend, and myth brought to life and running amok.

There be monsters, and they be aplenty.

Here are few examples, pilfered directly from The Secret World website.

.:: THE FOURTH PILLAR ::.

The game is the brainchild of one Ragnar Tørnquist, who has been lauded for his story-driven approach to video games such as the award-winning The Longest Journey. Featuring a complex, overarching story that weaves together the bizarre events and monster infestations around the globe, The Secret World explores the terrifying mysteries from history, myth and legend (urban or otherwise). The game won’t be a new set of dungeons, and a new global threat emerging with the latest content patch, it will be a seamless experience, rich in context, broad in scope and terrifying in detail.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying other MMOs don’t try to be story-driven. The latest entry into the foray, Star Wars: The Old Republic has established Guinness-documented world records for script with hundreds of hours of dialogue recorded. A review actually stated that from a single-player point of view, SW:TOR was 8 complex, interwoven storylines in one epic game. All I am saying is that my initial fear was that The Secret World would follow the formulaic pattern of introducing a new zone, with new threats, and new enemies every few months without regard to the larger story. It seems Mr. Tørnquist has already circumvented that by creating a story that ties everything in the world together.

.:: THE END TO CLASS WARFARE ::.

This is the big one. MMOs, by design, feature a personal progression system. Your character gains experience from questing, defeating enemies and completing tasks. This experience accumulates to the point where you graduate from your current level to the next, gaining additional abilities, specializations, talents, etc. The Secret World does away with this system altogether. There are no levels, there are no classes. You can choose your abilities as you see fit, without ever feeling the need to re-roll. There are over 500 skills to choose from, and you can slot them into your character abilities as you see fit.

But wait a second, with 500 abilities to choose from, how will you ever make an informed decision? Just yesterday, Funcom revealed the skill-deck templates. These are recommended skill-decks that you can mimic to create a particular type of archetype. To quote Massively:

The Witch Hunter focuses on big damage spikes and represents the Templars, the Warlord is your basic swordfighter from the Dragon faction, and the Thaumaturgist is the Illuminati’s answer to the gunmage archetype.

This not only gives you complete freedom over your character, but also help new players to the game (or genre) to comfortably get into a pre-determined, tried-and-tested set of abilities as they learn the ropes enough to make their own decisions. Additional details can be found here.

.:: LOCK AND LOAD … AND CAST FIREBALLS ::.

The no levels and no class system lends itself to the game’s varied arsenal. You can use melee weapons such as swords or bats, or firearms both small and large, or even use destructive magic to your advantage. The lack of class also implies that you never have to stick to one type of weapon or damage build. You can mix and match as you see fit, leveraging the wide range of havoc-inducing abilities, weapons and skills to your heart’s content and your enemy’s demise.

Additionally, your costume and look does not have to reflect your progressions through the latest content. You can wear what you want, acquiring apparel from missions, factions or shops in the main cities as you see fit. There are literally hundreds of options for you to discover.

Well there we have it folks, those are my top 7 reasons for looking forward to The Secret World. If you have any additional reasons, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Please also let me know if there are any factual errors.

Categories: Preview, The Secret World

“An Hour to The Secret World’s Beta Information” or “I Better Get in This Beta!”

August 26, 2011 6 comments

Update (an hour later): Of course it is a little annoying when the timer runs out to 000:00:00… and nothing changes on the website and no new information pops up. Damn you Funcom! Damn you Ragnar!

Second Update: The developers update us with this tweet:

The Council of Venice has intervened and are delaying the start of the first phase of the Secret War by four hours. Stay tuned.

Funcom – The Secret World Twitter Account

Categories: The Secret World

“The Secret World ‘s Latest Cinematic Trailer Brings People Together” or “Dragon, Illuminati, Templar: Unite”

August 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The three protagonists from the first three trailers can be clearly seen in this latest video (the Asian katana chick, the shotgun-totting demon-hunter, and the trench-coat-wearing pisser dude), first battling each other, then the forces of evil in a united effort.

But who the hell is the black dude?

Categories: The Secret World

Played Lately: “Magicka’s Mutually Assured Destruction” or “Borderlands Badass Co-Op”

July 15, 2011 4 comments

I am playing no MMO these days, which is odd because I started this blog as an MMO player. There are a number of reasons for why I am not playing any existing MMOs, but suffice it to say, I am just tired of the endless cycle. I am tired of never being able to “properly” impact the world for the better. I am tired of killing the same old ten rats, albeit with a new look and mechanic. I am tired of grinding. I am tired of farming. I am tired of competing for gear because having gained 85 goddamn levels means absolutely nothing in this day and age of the perpetual endgame gear grind. I am tired of all this.

I am not saying MMO’s haven’t evolved, the latest cross-realm raid pugging and Real ID grouping features from Blizzard are ground-breaking features. Eve Online set the bar for player-defined market economies and territory control very high, but suffers from its inherent complexity and that the oldest players are over 100 million skill points ahead of the competition, which, to say the least, is ridiculous. This is but two of many example.

I am looking for the second wave of MMO ingenuity. I am looking for the world-impacting mechanics of Guild Wars 2. I am looking for the level-less scope of the Secret World. I am waiting for light-sabers. And in the meantime, I am, keeping myself busy with a host of other quality multiplayer games, that are just not as massive.

Magicka’s Mutually Assured Destruction

I am playing Magicka these days with three of my friends, and it is a treat to play. There are no levels, no skill points, no game-breaking gear (there is gear), no additional spells or abilities to learn. Everyone starts off on the same foot and finds their preferred way to play. There are eight spells in the game, and five spell slots. You can mix and match the skills in Magicka in those five slots (or less, if you are pressed for time) to create unique spell-combinations. You can cast Fire with Healing to simultaneously heal and dry yourself. You can cast frost to freeze a water surface to walk across. You can sling earthen boulders, or add a dash of Fire to hurl fireballs. You are only held back by your imagination for how you decide to take on an obstacle.

Then you add three more players, and it gets a lot more fun.

There is friendly fire in Magicka. This means that if you are casting a death ray of Arcane energy, an ally who walks across that beam will also be instantly zapped. Given that all spells are both area effect, conical directional, and focused, the possibility of getting hit by an ally’s firepower gets multiplied astronomically. Battles are careful strategic endeavors, because your enemies will come at you from all directions and shooting any combinations of magical energies at them imply you have to ensure your allies are not caught in the spells’ wake. This adds incredible depth and scale to an already exciting game, and results in some of the funniest, and at times frustrating moments in my recent gaming history.

Borderlands Badass Co-Op

I played Borderlands a while back with a friend on the Xbox, but we got bored after about 15 levels. Partially because the vertically split-screen was headache inducing, and partly because I am not used to playing shooters on an Xbox controller. Two years later, Steam decides to have a massive sale on a Borderlands 4-pack. Two of my friends purchase it, and off we go, into the world of Pandora, in search of the 17+ million weapons the game has to offer.

It occurred to me very shortly after playing it with two other players that Borderlands’ Pandora is a cruel, gruesome and tough world. Enemies got tougher, tougher enemies got impossible and we learned what it was like to play a cooperative shooter where your combined abilities can result in the difference between life and death. It is not as intense, nor as teamwork dependent as Left 4 Dead but it does require skill, and planning and watching each others’ backs through the tougher moments.

The bottomline is that Borderlands, even two years after release, has turned out to be one hell of a game, especially when played with several players cooperatively.

Next post: The single-player games that are keeping me busy till a better MMO comes out.

Categories: Borderlands

Weekly MMO Crockpot: “APB, RIFT, WoW” or “LOTRO, GW2, and a Very Secret World”

January 11, 2011 6 comments

Every once in a while I accumulate too many things in my reader that I want to talk about, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Most often I just end up deleting those things after a week or so, and other times, I just mash them together in a crockpot and put up this post. Now granted this isn’t a weekly segment by any definition, but it helps me square away a plethora of information that I think is important enough to share.

APB Closed Beta Information

APB was a great, ambitious project gone horribly awry. Mere months after launch it was shut down due to a wide range of issues and acquired by GamersFirst. The game will now ship as an F2P MMO titled APB Reloaded. A twitter post last week claimed that closed beta could begin as early as February. You can sign up here. I avoided this title because of… well… I suppose you could call it intuition, or sixth sense. Some prefer to call it lessons learned from open beta! I played the game for a few level pre-launch, and I knew right there and then that it needed some serious re-tweaking. Milamber tried it, I don’t think he’s too happy about the eventual outcome. That’s a good amount of money down Realtime Worlds’ bankrupt gullet!

CEO Bjorn Book-Larsson, in his latest blog post claims that nearly 20,000 people have signed up for the beta, and they expect to leverage the input from 6,000 to 8,000 players during the first round. Bad news for fans/players of the original title though: nothing will carry over from the original game, even if you had the highest level character. Sorry! Here’s to hoping the second time around will be met with boast-worthy success.

RIFT Launch Date and Design Principles

Rift will launch on March 1, 2011. WoW. I did not expect that. Given that they are just going through their closed betas, I honestly expected the game not to launch any point before the summer. I guess they are a lot more ready than I imagined. More accurately, they believe that they are a lot more ready than I imagined. So Rift hits in March. Will it be the next WoW-kil- oh forget it!

There are countless unwritten rules for creating an MMO world that successful designs in past games have impressed upon the entire industry. No monsters on the roads; never stop the player from questing or doing what he plans to do; group content should always be separate from solo content. While I will acknowledge that these sorts of rules of thumb are the guidelines that we designers live by, challenging them is where we have found a lot of success in RIFT.”

Will Cook, Trion Worlds’ content designer for Rift (RIFT?), RIFT challenges unwritten rules of the genre in a new dev diary, Massively.com

1. We like it when you surprise us. We don’t it when you surprise us with something that we can’t even wrap our heads around.

2. Is it Rift or RIFT? And wasn’t it Planes of Telara at some point? Or Excalibur Tractor or something?

What the WoW?

In shocking news of the week (not really though), Cataclysm sold 4.7 million units in one month. That is ridiculous. But also curious. If WoW has 12 million players worldwide, does that mean 7.3 million people were simply not impressed enough by the game to actually buy the expansion? 60% of the alleged WoW base never actually bought the expansion. Is it me, or is that just a little strange?

Either way, nearly 5 million active WoW players in Cataclysm is impressive as hell, especially when you consider Cryptic was ecstatic over 200,000 players in Star Trek Online.

Second, as is the case with all systems in WoW, the Dungeon Finder tool was met with resounding success and was one of my favorite additions to the game. It seems Blizzard isn’t hanging up the old towel, and is at it again to further improve the dungeon finder tool.

“Groups could benefit if they knew they didn’t wipe because the healer didn’t manage mana well enough, but because the DPS wasn’t high enough, or boss adds weren’t properly rounded up, etc.”

– Zarhym, Dungeon queue should be performance-based

Now that is smart. Educating the player why their group failed will go a long way to alleviate the tensions in pugs. As someone who has played a Holy Paladin for over six years, I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I heard this. That is fantastic, let’s finalize that and put it on live servers ASAP!

Three Times the LOTRO

Turbine tripled their revenue by going with the Free-to-Play model in Lord of the Rings Online. You hear that Afrasiabi? *sigh*

Make Love, Not Guild Wars

10 years of Guild Wars have passed if you include the development of the title as well. The team has come a long way, and some of their most glorious and touching moments are highlighted in this short and sweet video that goes over the last 10 years.

The Secret World, as Forced Upon us by Ragnar Tornquist

I hate you Ragnar. Months of wait for some but of information My face lights up when I see the title mentioned in my feed reader. And what do I get? EA will be co-publishing The Secret World. That’s it. You suck Ragnar, you suck.

It does take one red flag though. EA has previously published The Sims Online, Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond and Hellgate: London. Do you know how many of those were successful? I’m nervous now.

“Looking Forward” or “2011 is a Good Year to be a Gamer”

January 10, 2011 2 comments

General

In general, 2011 is shaping up to be an amazing year for gamers, especially MMO players. The MMO industry is continuing to grow at an exponential rate and it seems every time to blink, a new MMO has popped up somewhere. 2011 will be no exception, with several well-hyped AAA titles shipping throughout the course of the year.

2011 is also exciting because F2P will continue to grow. With Turbine announcing that their revenues tripled once they decided to go F2P, it goes to show that high-end MMOs (excluding industry-giant World of Warcraft because let’s face it – that is a category in of itself) can make bank by relying on F2P models. I don’t know about you, but given the limited number of hours I have in a day, I don’t know if ‘first free month’ is an appropriate amount of time to adequately experience the title enough. F2P can solve that. If I don’t have the unnecessary pressure to play the game as much as I can in the first month, and given you have done the good job, yeah, I’ll engage n micro-transactions and play your title. 2011 should see several others switch to the F2P model, and that is music to my ears.

Most importantly, I am just glad to be back with and playing with my merry band of vagabonds that I have been playing with for the last several years. It makes the whole thing worth my while, irrespective of all other drawbacks or shortcomings.

MMO Titles

I’m Batman!

There will be a few superhero MMOs out this year. DC Universe Online will be launching in just a few days. I was initially quite excited about this title, but then Champions Online came around and ruined the whole sub-genre for me, and now I have my guard up. I think I will see how the player base reacts to this title before I invest in it. Speaking of Champions Online, the F2P version of the cel-shaded-superhero-simulator is also going to go live this year. Again, despite my issues with the title, and on a larger scale the studio, F2P is a very enticing option, and I was genuinely interested in coming to the game and trying it out for myself. That is until I came across this article from Massively.com, and now I am not so sure again. The archetypes seem a bit off, and being restricted to only so many options for so long doesn’t exactly float my boat. Being able to mix-and-match powers was one of the high points for Champions Online; I don’t understand why they wouldn’t let F2P players experience it fully. It was one of the few things they got right.

No one can hear you screaming in space

Eve Online has left a gaping hole in my heart. I love the game, and I have tried my hands at everything in-game from null-sec farming to high-stakes trading and even some pirating here and there. But the true heart of the game is high-end null-sec fleet PvP, and that is something I didn’t had neither the stomach nor the time for. Fortunately in 2011 a few space simulators will also be launching. The first of these is Jumpgate Evolution, a game I am personally quite excited about because of its rich premise and frankly because I was a diehard fan of the original game. The second is Black Prophecy, and although in all honesty I am not as well versed in all that BP has to offer, it sure sounds nifty.

Star Wars: The Old Debate

Of course no upcoming 2011 MMO list would be complete without the mention of everyone’s favorite (punching bag), Star Wars: The Old Republic. Cyberspace is abuzz with information and opinions about SW:TOR, and the hype generated by the fan-base, the developer and the critics is reaching deafening proportions. Not to mention that this is a colossal IP and nearly no venture in the long-running space opera ever comes close to the fans’ expectations. Hell, 1Up’s Kat Bailey says the title may already be too late. But you have to remember that the title is being developed by industry giant BioWare. Not only are they notorious for over-hyping a title and then miraculously meeting expectations, they have already produced two award-winning RPGs set in the Star Wars Universe: Knight of the Old Republic and its inevitable but equally good sequel. My thoughts: screw the critics, I can’t wait!

Villagers get the shaft

Two titles in 2011 promise to feature worlds that react and morph based on player action (or inaction for that matter.). Rift plans to accomplish this by, wait for it, rifts. Elemental invasions from another dimensions can pour into otherwise peaceful idyllic landscapes, altering terrain and wreaking havoc on the local population. In Guild Wars 2, the developers plan on doing this by introducing monsters that do what they intend. If you get a quest that says goblins may attack the village, and you chose to do nothing, barbaric hordes of goblins will flood the village and take out the local population, and the villagers get the shaft yet again. Rift already has a release date of March 1, 2011. I would be surprised if Guild Wars 2 was delayed past 2011.

The (Super) Secret World (Shhhh)

I have to admit, Ragnar Tornquist is one tight-lipped son-of-a-gun. To say that the morsels that comes out of The Secret World camp are tiny and infrequent would be kind saying “I’ve heard of three of four people who play WoW”. Jesus man, share some details already. We know the game has three factions. We know their names. We know the starting locations. We have solved all puzzles in the forums. We have watched the zombie CCTV footage four million times. It is time to give us something new. Please! No? Well screw you! I don’t want to play it anyway! No I was kidding, I didn’t mean it. I was upset and it just came out. I’m sorry, please come back!

Massively Multiplayer Stabby Stab Stab?

Assassin’s Creed Online? Say it is so!

Other Titles

In addition to MMOs there are so many titles out there that I am excited about in 2011. Here is a short list:

  • Brink
  • Bulletstorm
  • Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution
  • Diablo III
  • Dragon Age II
  • Gears of War 3
  • Homefront
  • I Am Alive
  • Lara Croft
  • Max Payne 3
  • Portal 2
  • Rage
  • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  • The Witcher II
Categories: Bronte

“A Sudden Drop in MMOs” or “Scratching the Itch”

December 11, 2010 2 comments

A Sudden Drop in MMOs

I am no longer playing WoW, and quite at peace with the decision. It is a great game, and I am more than certain that the latest expansion is the best one yet, if the commentary of my peers is any indication. But for now, I’m done, and it’s time to try out something new.

Actively, I am not playing any MMO at the moment. Unless you think infrequently logging into Perpetuum and World of Tanks is actively playing MMOs. I am just waiting for all the madness around Christmas time to be over before I jump into the fray with a new title (poll on that soon). There are plenty of choices, just not enough time to invest in an MMO full-time right now.

Bronte, Hardcore

I have also come to realize that casual MMO gaming is not for me. The first few years I played WoW, I played as the GM of a very large guild and we conquered a lot of content. Then I graduated, got a job, got engaged, and life got exponentially more complicated. That necessitated the investment of a lot of time, and as such, my hardcore MMO habits suffered. But life is beginning to settle down again, my work hours have decreased from 12-14 a day to about 10. I am not overworked or being abused, I assure you, I genuinely love doing what I do, and I would gladly invest more time if needed. But that’s the point, it is no longer needed, I have more time in my hands and more still in the coming months.

So I need to find a way to scratch that itch, that need to play in a competitive environment, that exhilaration of downing the first world boss, the excitement of trial and error as you learn a new fight, the clang of axe on sword (or appropriate equivalent) in a battleground, the rush of an accomplishment that stands out in the world. To that end, I need to find a new title to look into. Syp’s post a few weeks back got me interested in Rift. Then Darren linked to a post on Rift’s beta, MMO Gamer Chick got invited to the beta, a certain someone else skipped it altogether, and it certainly piqued Syncaine’s curiosity. Of course Champions Online is going F2P. I have always wanted to try out Lord of the Rings, and apparently good ol’ Dub’s thinking the same thing. And then we have the upcoming The Secret World, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Jumpgate Evolution, Guild Wars 2 and Black Prophecy, although, admittedly, I have no idea when they may be released. There is also the option of going back to EvE, especially with Massively’s new Mob.

These are options I will whittle down over the next few weeks as I do more research on which MMO seems to best fit my play-style and nature, but one thing is for certain: I think I really want to run a hyper-competitive guild again. It is an incredible amount of work and a thankless job, but it is also a lot of fun, immeasurably rewarding in an unsung manner, and comes with its own set of perks and fringe benefits.

Categories: Bronte, Guild

“Avoiding the Cataclysm” or “Off the Beaten Path”

December 6, 2010 10 comments

I have played WoW for a long time.

I remember the day I went to get it in snowy Ithaca, NY. Best Buy had already run out of copies by the time I got to the store. The clerk told me they will get more copies within the week and that he was sorry. I left the mall quite upset, it was Thanksgiving break, I wasn’t going home, and I had nine days of vacations with a few other international students in the dorms. As I sat at Pyramid Mall’s entrance, waiting for the local TCAT (Tompkins County Area Transit) bus, I looked to my left and realized they had opened a new target store in the area. The bus wouldn’t be here for another 15 minutes, so I just decided to meander around inside, get a little warmer.

Lo and behold, as I traversed Target’s empty aisles, I came across the game section and to my surprise, there sat nearly 20 unsold copies of World of Warcraft, all new and shiny, waiting for their new (soon-to-be-addict) owners to take them home. I picked up a copy, giddy with excitement and rushed home as quickly as I could. I opened the wrapping, and inserted the first of four discs to start the installation process. the installation took nearly a half hour, but that gave me enough time to go over the game’s gorgeous manual (yes, there used to be manuals kids, and yes, we used to read them).

I leveled a Hunter to level 20. Then I switched servers and leveled a paladin to level 60. I took over a guild. I raided Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. I conquered Ahn’Qiraj and sat on C’Thun’s throne. I wandered the hallways of Naxxaramas. I was there when infernals fell from the skies in the Burning Crusade. I was there when the Lich King emerged in Northrend. I was there through all of it, raiding, PvP’ing, fishing, farming and manipulating the Auction House to damn near gold-cap a character.

Now it is time for Cataclysm, and although initially I was very excited about the expansion, I find now, a day from launch, that I am OK with not playing it on launch day. I am OK with not playing it a month from now. Actually I am OK with not playing it at all. This isn’t because I don’t enjoy WoW, or because I am sick of it. I just think after six years of a love-hate (primarily love) relationship, it is time for a clean break. It is time to find something else to occupy my time with in the long-term. It is time, put simply, to move on. And although I am half-tempted to follow the 10 things to do before you quit WoW list by Elitist Jerks to the letter, I think it’s better to make a quiet exit.

There is the new EVE Corp by Massively’s Brendan Drain. There is the Perpetuum’s free month, courtesy of Chris Cavelle. There is Rift’s beta. SW:TOR, The Secret World, the free-to-play version of Champions Online and Jumpgate Evolution are being crafted as I write this. There is so much to look at now, and so much to look forward to. And as much as I love WoW, there are 12 million others who can band together to take down Deathwing. I will be over here, off of the beaten path, trying out something new.

“Games Radar” or “Too Many Tracked Titles”

June 27, 2010 2 comments

I updated my Games Radar to the left today. The following is a list of games I am looking forward to in a few months. I will talk about them individually over the course of time as well.

One thing that stands out to me is that my interests have diversified considerably over the course of time. Which is a good thing because diversity is the spice of life, and bad because, well, I have such limited time between family, work and social as it is.

I guess I better figure out how to operate on an hour of sleep a day!

MMOs on my radar:

  • Black Prophecy
  • Jumpgate Evolution
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • The Secret World

Non-MMOs on my radar:

  • Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood
  • Brink
  • Bulletstorm
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Crackdown 2
  • Crysis 2
  • Deathspank
  • Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution
  • Dragon Age II
  • Fable III
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Gears of War 3
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  • Halo: Reach
  • Homefront
  • Hydrophobia
  • I Am Alive
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
  • L.A. Noire
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Mafia II
  • Max Payne 3
  • Medal of Honor
  • Portal 2
  • Privates
  • Red faction: Armageddon
  • R.U.S.E.
  • Singularity
  • Spare Parts
  • Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  • The Witcher II
  • Two Worlds II
Categories: Bronte

“10 Questions About the Secret World” or “Funcom Keeps on Sharing!” – Part II

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As promised, the second part of the the-part community-asked Q&A session with one Ragnar Tornquist was released today. Again a lot of information was shared, some of it redundant, and some of the answers were drowning in rhetoric or marketing gibberish. An example is below:

Q: Will Agartha be a variety of environments or purely subterranean caves?
Agartha will be something very surprising and fresh and different – inspired by the myths, built on plenty of research into hidden tomes and forgotten lore, and recreated in a way that’s going to be intriguing both from a gameplay point of view and from a purely aesthetic point of view. We will, in essence, open the gates to one of the world’s strangest, most arcane and most enduring mysteries. But the true nature of Agartha won’t be revealed even at launch: we have much, much more in store.

Notice how smoothly Tornquist avoided the question altogether?

There were, however, some interesting bits and pieces of information. You can read the entire Q&A series further below, or go to The Secret World forums and read it there. You can also find the first part here. But why would you when I have compiled a short list of the most important and interesting tidbits of information in the handy bullet-point list below?

  • PvP will be designed to cater to both large-scale conflicts, and smaller skirmishes to please both organized hardcore PvP’ers and casual players
  • The three factions can band together to fight evil and Barbara Streisand (he probably didn’t mean the Barbara Streisand bit)
  • There will be crafting… or something similar.
  • In groups, different combos can be activated by players using several powers in succession, playing the ‘Holy Trinity’ in TSW will put players at a distinct disadvantage. What I glean from this is that you can play the tank, damage-dealer or healer role exclusively, but only in combining the three roles and further strengthening it with party combos will you achieve your true potential.
  • There is loot. Lots of it. It isn’t wardrobe based, your wardrobe is purely cosmetic, but you will have amulets, rings, necklaces, specific passive powers and even tattoos that will grant you stats. Remember the first CGI trailer Funcom revealed? The tattoos on that Asian came alive as she took on Smiley.
  • Powers can be acquired in many ways, but primarily through purchasing. Go go Capitalism!
  • There will be traditional end-game content. Sort of. *sigh*

Q1: Will Agartha be a variety of environments or purely subterranean caves? (Samsbase)

Agartha will be something very surprising and fresh and different – inspired by the myths, built on plenty of research into hidden tomes and forgotten lore, and recreated in a way that’s going to be intriguing both from a gameplay point of view and from a purely aesthetic point of view. We will, in essence, open the gates to one of the world’s strangest, most arcane and most enduring mysteries. But the true nature of Agartha won’t be revealed even at launch: we have much, much more in store.

Q2: All the PvP in Agartha will be oriented to large cabals (defend or conquest cells), or there will be also some “casual-player friendly” pvp content? (Croshin)

We’ll have both. We’re going to include PvP modes that allow for quick and easy fixes without having to be part of a permanent group or a cabal – although you’ll still be fighting rival secret societies.

Q3: Is TSW’s PvE gameplay design so that PvE players have reason to play after 30 days? (Liliane)

Absolutely. We don’t expect everyone to migrate to PvP after racing through the game’s missions. There will be plenty of reasons to stick around and play for non-PvP players, including – but not limited to – a huge amount of powers to accumulate, achievements, **** and the ********. Oh, sorry, I’m not supposed to talk about those two features yet. We also expect to add content to the game on a regular basis after launch, and the story will continue in content upgrades and expansions.

Q4: Will different secret societies be able to play together in PvE? (Unknown)

Yes. The secret societies may be divided in pursuit of power, but they stand united against evil – at least for as long as strictly necessary. It may only be a friendship of the surface – in more ways than one – but none of the secret societies want to see our world succumb to the darkest of days. After all, if that happens, what’s left to control?

Q5: Is there going to be crafting in TSW and how will it work? (Liliane)

There will be crafting – or something similar – but we haven’t revealed any details yet.

Q6: Is the game still going to focus on a classless skill based system or will it be designed to have players focus on filling different rolls in a group? (Malkov)

Both. Players can create their own hybrids with any combination of powers, but it’ll also be important to put together teams that can function as efficiently as possible. To that end, we’re building combos that require the use of different powers by the various team members, making the choice of powers – and the composition of the team – into a sort of meta-game. I think players gravitate towards specific roles, regardless, but the beauty of our system is that you don’t just have to be a tank; you can also be a damage dealer and a healer. You don’t have to get stuck with one job. Of course, our monsters will also challenge players in new ways. If you play TSW like a purely class-based game, you might find yourself at a disadvantage.

Q7: Martin (Lead Designer) previously mentioned that the game was still item heavy because of the RPG genre, could this be expanded on? How for example will the paper doll be set out so that whilst clothing provides no stats we can still min/max or have progression via items? (Luna)

While clothing has no stats, there are plenty of other things that do – including occult weapons, magic rings and necklaces, ‘passive’ powers and mystical tattoos – and The Secret World will have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of items for players to play around with and configure to their heart’s content.

Q8: And of course this was mentioned already but 300% want to know HOW we will be obtaining skills. Will they be quest rewards, something we learn through grinding “proficiency points” to advance down a skill tree, or will they be something acquired with a WoW-esque “talent points” system? (Quanyin)

Powers are acquired in a couple of different ways, but mainly through purchase. As you gain experience points, you also earn the currency needed to procure new powers – though these powers vary in cost, of course, based on how powerful and unique they are.

Q9: You’ve mentioned before that playing TSW will be like starting at the end-game, because there are no levels. Does this then mean there’s no actual end-game either, because there will always be something new to achieve? (Kasama)

Yes and no. Of course there will be something like the traditional end-game content, since that’s something players enjoy – be it PvP or PvE – but there will also be achievements (and other things) to keep players engaged for – hopefully – years and years. And that’s not counting the content we’ll be releasing post-launch. We have some extremely exciting things in store.

Q10: What kind of incentive is there to kill things apart from just killing them? (loot? knowledge?) i.e: are the rewards more mission based, loot based or something else? (SA_Avenger)

You mean, apart from the pure satisfaction of slaying a powerful demon? Loot, of course; experience; mission rewards; points for (and from) your secret society. The love and appreciation of a world on the brink of the eternal night. What more could you ask for?

Categories: The Secret World

“10 Questions About the Secret World” or “Funcom Keeps on Sharing!”

May 23, 2010 1 comment

The official forums for The Secret World have a new post from Funcom answer some of the questions asked by the community over the course of time. Ten questions in all were answered, but closer scrutiny reveals that some of them for repetitive in nature, so it’s really only 8 questions or so answered.

Here is a quick summary of what I thought were the most interesting sections. There is other information detaling how awesome the story is etc., but that is marketing lingo than anything else. You are really interested in the buttel points below:

  1. There may be mounts.
  2. Every in-game NPC is fully voice-acted.
  3. There will be in-game social events, but the exact nature is not confirmed yet.
  4. There will be arenas for PvP action. This information is brand new, and was revealed through these questions.
  5. You can create at least one character per account. You may be able to create more. Once you are part of a society, even thinking of joining another is treason. Your choice is for life.

Also: this is Part 1 of 3. So stay tuned as more information unfolds.

It’s still an informative read, so head on over to the forums for the thread, or just read the whole post copy-pasted below!

Q1: Will TSW provide an abundance of Social Events (like current ARGs but in game) and social locations to party/etc? (FaithLove)

Our hubs are social arenas where players can engage in non-combat activities. As for what, exactly, those ‘non-combat activities’ will be, we haven’t revealed yet, but we want to create a world that isn’t just about serving your secret society or slaying demons. We want to give players tools to do more than that, and we’ll probably talk more about this soon.

Q2: Will there be ‘mounts’, like horses, bikes, cars or dinosaurs? (Lorr)

We haven’t made any announcements yet – although dinosaur mounts would clearly be awesome. Anything is possible.

Q3: Can you make a Templar and Dragon and Illuminati character? (Shoval)

Your character can only belong to a single secret society – and switching societies isn’t possible. Whether you can create a new character in a different secret society on the same account or server is something we haven’t communicated yet.

Q4: Will it really be impossible to switch secret societies? (Annihilator27)

As above, your choice of secret society is for life. To even think of joining the enemy is treason.

Q5: When you make a game that’s very lore and story driven, it can be easy to fall into a linear structure, because you really want to be sure that the player knows the full story. How do you find a balance between telling a main story and at the same time, giving players the freedom to explore? (Kasama)

Players can jump in and out of the main storyline as they please. They don’t have to follow it. Exploration is both encouraged and, sometimes, required, since you may not yet be ready – or powerful enough – to continue on your journey. To uncover the entire story, every little piece of it, you really do have to explore the world and discover its secrets – that’s a key element to the game, and something we’ve created mechanics to support. In The Secret World, story IS gameplay.

Q6: In one of the first interviews, you mentioned that TSW would have extensive voice-overs, with at that time over 100 voice-actors. How is this coming along? Will the game have full voice-overs, or only the “main” quest lines like in Age of Conan? (Ardanwen)

All non-player characters will have full voice-overs, for all missions – not just the main story mission.

Q7: How will the character creator be like? (AlexanderFG)

It will be fun and flexible! I can’t really say more than that. Character creation is obviously very important, and we’ve tied some cool story elements to the process, making it part of your journey into the secret world.

Q8: Is there going to be any “battlegrounds” or arenas for PvP or is it all going to be open world? (Scooch)

We haven’t really talked about this yet, but what the hell: there will be arenas for PvP matches – in addition to the ongoing society battle for world domination.

Q9: The Secret World exists so far from the mundane world… how elaborate/visual will the magic in game be? How varied? (Azaris)

The Secret World isn’t very far from our everyday world at all; we just tend to look the other way. It’s the world down that dark alley, beyond the tall fence, through the door of the rundown house on the edge of town. It’s the world that we glimpse when we take a shortcut home one night and see shadows lurking off the beaten path.

It’s the world we see in the corner of our eye but are afraid to acknowledge because it would make us question everything we hold to be true. It’s the world behind the curtains, where puppet-masters pull strings, making governments, religions and corporations dance to their tunes. It’s our world, without the coat of white paint, and it’s right here, right now, if you only knew how to look.

There’s going to be tons of variety in terms of what kind of magic players can learn and how they can use it – both in terms of visuals and gameplay – and that also goes for the magic weapons players get to wield. But it’s still magic of our world, not a world of elves and dwarves and dragons (well, um, sort of), and it’ll feel as such.

There’s voodoo, illusionism, demonology – magics that belong in the darkest corners of Earth, not in some high fantasy world.

Q10: Would you say TSW is more of a story-driven MMO or an action-based MMO? (Ironfeet)

I’d say it’s a heavily story-driven MMORPG with tons of cool action! Obviously, the setting and the story are incredibly important to us. We’re putting a lot of work and attention into the universe, into the characters and the voice-overs and the lore, into all those game mechanics that are geared towards immersing the player in the storyline, making them feel part of something grand and ancient and secret, part of these age-old conspiracies and powerful secret societies. But you also spend a lot of your time fighting creatures of darkness – that’s what the story is about. It’s about the rising tide of evil, about these normal, average people being granted incredible powers, and about how they use those powers to battle darkness – in service of their cabals.

Source.

Categories: The Secret World

“Age of Offline Leveling” or “Innovation Appreciation”

April 29, 2010 1 comment

Age of Conan’s patch 1.07.2 went live yesterday, introducing what Funcom calls ‘offline leveling‘. The system starts off by awarding anyone and everyone with an active subscription a totals of four levels. Another level is added to these ‘free levels’ every four days. The player is then free to distribute these levels to any of their characters.

The only catch is that the character has to be level 30 or above, and no assigned level can be reverted.

In other words, if you have a level 30 collecting dust, and you just don’t have the patience or the constitution to level him any longer, you could get him to level 80, the current level cap, by doing absolutely nothing, as long as your subscription is active.

"Imma come back in 4 days to kick your ass!"

Some simple calculation, assuming your character is level 30, and you got 4 levels to start off:

  • Day 0: Level 34
  • Day 4: Level 34 + 1
  • Day 8: Level 34 + 2
  • Day 184: Level 34 + 46 = Level 80

Every 6 months or so, you could have a brand spankin’ new level 80, as long as you started with a character which you managed to get to level 30 on your own.

This got me to thinking about World of Warcraft. WoW has had programs in the past which facilitate fast level gains, such as the Recruit-A-Buddy program, where you essentially just get free levels and an insanely buffed experience gain rate to help level your recruited buddy. In fact, they even introduced the X-53 Touring Rocket flying mount, a flying mount that, for the first time in the history of WoW, seats two people. D’awwwww!

However, the concept of level reward for continued investment in the IP simply does not exist.

Looking at my WoW characters, I have a level 47, a level 36, a level 27, and a level 12. Let us assume for a second, that I bring the level 12 and the level 27 toon up to 30. Using the ‘offline leveling’ formula, all four of these characters will be level 80 in just under two years. Since I have been playing for 5+ years, I would still have 3+ years, or approximately 180+ levels to give out to other characters. This realization makes the lack of such a program in WoW all the more painful. In fact, there have been times when I have let my subscription roll on for months on end, planning on returning to the game soon. I gained nothing in that time. But with incentives such as these, at least I wouldn’t feel like I have completely wasted that money.

This has one further implication. Funcom, under the supervision and guidance of Rangar Tornquist, is developing an MMO that I am most excited about: The Secret World. With game-altering changes such as these which reward the player for being invested in the game, even passively, bodes well for the future of The Secret World.

“APB Developers Expect M Rating” or “Captain Obvious in the Hizzouse!”

April 18, 2010 1 comment

APB is one of the three MMO’s I am quite excited about. The other two are The Secret World and everyone’s poster child for ‘the MMO that will beat World of Warcraft‘, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

APB recently also relaunched its website as it gathers momentum for the big launch, expected later this year. Developer Realtime Worlds fully expects an ‘M rating‘ for the title, a cause for joy for anyone who abhors the sensitization of the video game medium for fear of inciting violence amongst youth. Rest assured that the developer sails in the same boat as us, and not only expects, but wants an M rating for the cops-vs-robbers simulator.

And thank god for that. Imagine how lame that title could have turned out to be if all the gratuitous violence had been toned down to please this guy (pictured right).

In his defense, I do love me a PrayStation!