Saturday 29 October 2011

Saw this Chaos Terminator at London Comic Con today

I think he was meant to be Horus, it doesn't quite show up on the photo I took but the red lights didn't quite glow like eyes when you saw them in the flesh, instead they lit his face up from the side just like some of the paintings of Horus. Also he had the eye and all that on the shoulders :)

Also this doesn't quite demonstrate how big the costume was, you could see this bugger from miles away as he stomped about :D

Friday 28 October 2011

Wrath of Heroes - NDA gone, so some words

OK here's my take on Wrath of Heroes...

It's exactly as Mythic said: fast, furious and fun. But what they didn't say is it's not aimed at a gamer like me or probably you if you're reading my blog. It's a shallow game that requires no real thought or planning, as there is no real depth or character development in WoH, it's just a drop straight in and play thing with barely anything else to care about. That's not necessarily a bad thing, many folks will see that as a huge benefit, but for me after the initial new toys phase wore off it became a little dull as an overall experience and I have no motivation to log back in. Which meant I just couldn't be arsed with the last few beta events, so I've not tried out the latest heroes and maps added and as such can't pass judgement on those fine details and the current state of balance between the heroes.

The core game itself is just instanced scenarios, which according to Bioware Mythic are "the best bit of WAR", which is obviously complete bollocks as WAR's scenarios are nothing but the standard instanced stuff from PvE MMOs with bolted on PvP. Wrath of Heroes has no relation to WAR's real character and defining feature; open world RvR. So a better statement would be "we took the best bit of WoW".

Harsh? Maybe. True? Definitely.

They have however made the excellent improvement of having 3 teams and that does make for much more dynamic and interesting gameplay, particularly when in a match with multiple premade groups. Apparently this was learnt from DAoC, though really we know this was learnt from WAR and almost everyone that played it over the last few years saying why the hell did you not learn from DAoC? :P

However Warhammer lore fans should note that it is 3 teams and NOT 3 factions, so you will get Chaos, Orcs, Elves and Dwarves all on the same team. A bit shite, but really I don't think they had much choice, as restricting it into proper factions would make it harder to balance and would present problems for a game that requires 3 equalled numbered teams for it to function. Whilst ORvR campaigns work very well with 3 factions of varying population, alas instanced PvP is not very flexible in that regard. So gameplay wins over style, theme and atmosphere. If that's a good or bad thing is totally down to individual preference.

Visually the game looks better than some screenshots suggest and it runs extremely well, though I do think some of the characters are a bit dull and they look like the most basic of their WAR equivalents. That is possibly contributing to the excellent performance, which was impressive and if so is certainly justified.

The heroes only have 5 abilities, which does make gameplay rather shallow, but I think the key here is it's 5 per character and with so many characters to play you can mix it up to keep things fresh. I personally enjoyed playing the Skaven Gutter Runner the most, closely followed by the Black Orc and Marauder.

So we have a fun game, that runs very well, but is just not  ticking my boxes. I quite liked it, I just don't care about it. It is NOT an MMO in any way or form and I like MMOs, arena games leave me a little cold. WoH is an ok game and will do reasonably well, but it is not good enough to stop me being disappointed, disenchanted and irritated by the whole situation with this and WAR. If as suggested it will benefit WAR, with more than just jpegs on Facebook teasing people, then I wish it well.

The problem is I just don't believe it will. Mainly because the timing is all off, with 2012 being all about SWTOR, GW2 and even WoW's panda bear bollocks. WoH doesn't compete with those games, but WAR does and I simply can not see how it will find a time slot, let alone the content required, to force itself back in to people's gaming schedules. Unless of course something really drastic happens and unfortunately that is extremely unlikely.

Which I shall say again just doesn't matter for WoH, it's going for a whole other audience and I'm not included.

Thursday 27 October 2011

The MMO I most look forward to is... (fairly obvious)

There's not a huge amount coming out in MMO land to excite me over the next year. SWTOR I'm keen on, but not hyped for as such, Guild War 2 (as people are probably tired of hearing me say) I don't care about, Secret World I have low expectations for, WoW and it's expansion are sooooooo 3 years ago, Prime BFD is a gamble and other than that, it's only Planetside 2 I've got real hopes for.

2013 however is a different kettle of fish entirely. Dark Millennium Online is the game I'm expecting to be my next true MMO obsession. Regardless of anything to do with the whole MMO bit and the many concerns I have about how this will work out, it has 3 massive selling points for me:

  1. It's Warhammer.
  2. It's made by people that know how to translate Warhammer into excellent computer games.
  3. Its set in the 40k universe, which is my favourite setting of all Gameworkshop's gaming pantheon of awesome.

Nothing else matters.

Yeah I know, supposedly they're making the same stupid mistake as Mythic did with WAR and only going with 2 factions (so by default world PvP will suck), but whilst I'm able to be pretty objective, critical and overly picky with most games, I'm more than willing to ignore that epic cock up just for the chance to run around shouting DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR! or PURGE THE HERETIC! and not look like a total fruit loop.

A whole sodding year away... Damn it.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

RIFT return

I'm not entirely sure why I reactivated my RIFT account. All the things that disappointed me about the game are still there (Rifts not being as dynamic as I hoped at 50 and being very much a standard themepark MMO) and I'm still not interested in raiding. For the record I used to be a big raider, but raiding for me is just no longer lifestyle friendly. Not meaning to sneer, but it's for kids and those without regular interruptions in real life and my going AFK every 30mins would just annoy everyone and make for a shite experience all round.

The PvP is ok, standard scenario/warfront/battleground fare and typically lame gank wank out in the zones. I must say the PvP was horrible until I had a full set of the Prestige rank 2 armour, after which it got a lot less painful. It's still far too gear orientated, but it's not as bad as something like WoW in that respect. Or how WAR was directly after 1.4 with it's RR90+ auto-win feature (admittedly that is way better now).

The single/duo player chronicle raid dungeons are pretty cool. I'm only in basic tier 1-2 gear so soloing them takes a bit of effort, but was quite an entertaining challenge. Which I've now done, so not hugely fussed about repeating it, though I'm not yet totally turned off the idea. It's a good feature as it lets me see content I wouldn't normally get to look at without raiding 4 nights a week. Sure, the rewards are decidedly meh, but then that seems only fair all things considered.

It's all quite average really and normally I would regret reactivating, however in this case I don't. I'm enjoying messing around with different soul combinations and visually RIFT remains as sweet as ever, so for this month at least it's providing a little extra entertainment. After that, who knows?

I'd still happily recommend RIFT to people. Of course it's very much a PvE game with PvP bolted on, but it's very very good at what it does. And to be fair, there's not much on the horizon that offers anything different.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Love you to much to leave, don't like you enough to stay

Over the weekend I was chatting to some guildies in RIFT (yeah I’ve reactivated for a little bit, more on that another time) about all the different MMORPGs we’d played. After listing what I could remember of my ridiculous list of games played (more a badge of shame than honour…), one of them asked me; “What made you leave all those games?”

I gave a fairly brief answer, something about getting bored, but really it’s a pretty good question and deserves a tad more thought for a better answer. So after a little pondering, I think there are probably 3 main reasons; boredom, disappointment and distractions.

Almost everyone gets bored of a game eventually. Even with those games you really fall for and bury yourself in for years, eventually they all just wear a bit thin. This was the main reason I quit WoW, sure there’s lots of other things about WoW that I wasn’t so keen on, but the main thing was simply being bored of raiding, dailies and the entire game-world. Boredom was also a big contributor to my quitting WAR, mixed in with a reasonable chunk of disappointment. However, let’s not forget that some games are just plain boring by design, oh hello Lineage you horrible pile of wank.

Disappointment is, by a country mile, the most common reason for quitting games. Over the years there have been sooooooooo many promises by so many MMOs (and their player community hype lords) and nearly all of them simply don’t deliver or have fundamental flaws that ruin the whole experience. Or they’re just buggy piles of shit. For example: Anarchy Online, Age of Conan and Neocron. There are also those games that have enough good stuff to stick with for months or even years, but then mistakes are made and the developers ruin the game or for whatever reason it just starts moving in the wrong direction. Star Wars Galaxies, WAR and Ultima Online being the prime examples of that situation.

Then there’s the constant itch, the distraction of other games be they new or that one you’ve been meaning to try out for ages. Of course most of them will lead to disappointment, but hey for now LOOK AT THAT GREENER GRASS!!! For me this is rarely the only reason for quitting a game, but it is often a contributing factor. The first time I quit WAR probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for RIFT and its beautifully slick beta.

Actually there is a 4th reason for dropping a game. Sometimes real life stuff just makes online gaming unfeasible, which was the main reason I quit DAoC, but that’s a bit more of a random unpredictable thing.

So if I was to list a few of the well known big players from my MMO past and why I quit them, it would look something like this:

Ultima Online: disappointment, distractions
Asheron’s Call: disappointment
Everquest: disappointment, boredom
Lineage: disappointment, boredom and more boredom
Anarchy Online: disappointment
City of Heroes: boredom
Aion: disappointment, boredom (and I got the game free…)
Planetside: distractions
Neocron: disappointment
Champions Online: boredom
Lord of the Rings Online: disappointment
Star Trek Online: disappointment, boredom
EVE: distractions, disappointment, real life
RIFT: disappointment
Dark Age of Camelot: real life…
World of Warcraft: boredom
WAR: boredom, disappointment

That’s why I’ve quit games anyway.

Saturday 22 October 2011

The greatest speech ever made: Gamer edition

I can't remember who linked me this earlier, sorry, but good job whoever it was.

I should of course mention the big WoW news and Diablo deal

Personally I don't really care about it, I got tired of WoW a long time ago and even though I've sampled each expansion since and kind of hoped they would spark the magic back, I've always got bored within 48 hours and regretted the purchase. So I expect to skip this latest one, though I know my daughter will want to play the panda bears and will hassle me to get it. She's 9 years old, which is clearly the market they're going for with the panda bears and Pokemon pets nonsense.

As ever with a Blizzard product, I'm expecting it to be extremely well made and hugely popular... which is not exactly a shock statement.

Oh and apparently there's something about Diablo 3 being free if you buy a 12 month subscription to World of Warcraft. Not sure if that's worth anybody considering or not because of my own bias against both games. As previously stated I'm long tired of WoW, but (and I know this is contentious) I consider Diablo to be one of the most overrated games of all time. I think because I played a lot of Gauntlet in around 1985 and other than the loot whoring and modern visuals, I don't really see the difference. If you look at some of the early previews of Diablo 3 strategy its pretty simple and doesn't seem to be much different than the previous editions. I remember people banging on and on about Diablo 1 and 2, but both times when I tried them I was like "er... is that it?"

A bit like Starcraft really, I think that's so hugely overrated it's bloody ridiculous. Solid, polished and it plays well sure, but it's no more than a distinctly average RTS with nothing special whatsoever, other than it's own hype that everyone laps up.

Blizzard are the absolute masters of repackaging other people's games and somehow blagging everyone to think it's God's gift to gaming. I have to say fair play to them really, they really know how to pull everyone's strings. They're like Kaiser Sose's more reputable and less evil twin, but for games... Uhm... yeah...

Anyway, no shock at all they've announced this just as the SWTOR marketing machine starts ramping up towards launch. Not sure if a release date has been mentioned for WoW MoP, but I would guess at February for the biggest Blizzard style fuck-SWTOR-right-up-the-arse factor.

Friday 21 October 2011

The 2nd coming of MMORPG it is not

I posted this on the KF forums and actually figured as everyone is stating the obvious about SWTOR, I would do some more of it and post it here too:

OK just a little post about SWTOR as I think we need to be careful people don’t expect the 2nd coming of MMO Baby Jesus. Many of us are looking forward to playing SWTOR, I know I am, but it’s important with this one to not set your hopes to high, as it will just lead to frustration and rage quitting. Do not get on board the hype train.

Key points about SWTOR:

  • It is a PvE game with PvP bolted on, just like WoW, RIFT, etc.
  • The PvP is almost completely standard EQ/WoW clone fare.
  • It does have contested planets on PvP servers, but this is misleading as they are not RvR lakes, they are just PvE zones with PvP flags on and a few extra PvP objectives, they are not the focus of the game.
  • If you plan on playing SWTOR primarily for PvP then you will quit shortly after hitting max level, if not before.
  • It is a standard gear progression based game again like WoW, RIFT, etc, so Gear > everything.
  • As such it is NOT a replacement for proper PvP centric games like WAR, DAoC or EVE.
  • The PvE is more story driven and the quest lines are considerably better done than normal, but it is still just: Collect that and kill 10 of those.
  • There is absolutely nothing revolutionary about SWTOR, unless you count everything having voice-overs, which you shouldn’t.

What it does have going for it is:

  • It is extremely well made and polished.
  • It will be a standard, but fun to play PvE game.
  • Bioware are investing heavily in supporting the game and further development after launch.
  • Supposedly it will run on a Sinclair Spectrum 48k.
  • Star Wars.
  • Lightsabers.
  • Droids.
  • Force Choke.
  • Twi’lek sluts.

Keep that in mind and you’ll enjoy it, but get too wrapped up in OMFG!!11 ITS AMAZING!!!111!! and you’re in for a brief burst of “ooh shiney” followed by “mehhhhh” /unsub.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Gaming press reveal SWTOR beta experience, TLDR no shit Sherlock

Various websites, the usual gaming ones, did their big reveal on experiences from an early beta test of republic characters in SWTOR. I would link them, but frankly I can't be arsed because nobody had anything interesting to say and it was all a bit sodding obvious. In summary:

  • It's very well made.
  • It has lots of story stuff which if you like that is cool,but if you don't it isn't.
  • Aside from the story stuff it doesn't really do anything different to the standard EQ-WoW MMORPG template.
  • It has companion characters that are more than just pets.
  • It has crafting that your companions do for you.
  • If you are expecting something revolutionary and different you will be disappointed
  • If you only expect a well made but fairly standard MMORPG then you might like it.

None of this will be news if you've even vaguely followed SWTOR's development.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

The thing with people is they'll buy bloody anything

For example the latest fitness regime of awesome...


Surely this is a windup, people can't be that dumbtarded... can they? Christ on a bike I really hope this is true, like reaaaaaaaaaally hope.

Monday 17 October 2011

Punching Ewoks in the prostate and an idea from WAR

OK so here’s a conundrum… I like playing on PvP servers in faction based MMO games. PvE servers annoy the turd outta me and I much prefer the tension a full PvP server provides, but I also loathe the retarded sub-humans from the “pwned u gay!!111 cult of twats that infest every PvP server. You know the ones, those mouthy pricks that bring 5 mates to gank lowbie soloers, but then get all shitty when we respond to help and wipe the floor with them since they can’t cope with even odds. Particularly rude and shitty it seems, if you retaliate by following them across the server and farming them in total silence non-stop for 2 hours as we used to do when helping people in RIFT. :D Anyway, it’s a medical fact that they’re all prize wankers in real life, every single one. They should all be dumped on Pitcairn Island and crossbred with syphilitic goats.
Now, because I tend to level quite fast and play with mates it’s not actually a big problem for me personally, but over the years of gaming I have regularly had to go help lower level people who’re getting shafted. I’ve known many good friends that for whatever reason level slower than most of us and because of that they end up being constantly ganked by high levels in lowbie zones. This has led to decent people quitting games because they just can’t be arsed with the hassle. So the whole thing does just irritate me, it’s a shitty situation created by lazy development when it comes to combining PvP with the levelling process. Plus, I don’t spend my time with Jeremy Kyle reject chav scum in real life and I’d rather  not share my virtual oxygen with the internet equivalent either.
So you might think I would be better off on those rare beasts; the PvP/RP server, with theoretically a more stylish and classy atmosphere. Alas no. At the same time whilst I’ve got nothing against roleplayers, I can’t really be arsed with it and my characters will often have stupid names, so a PvP/RP server isn’t really an option. Plus I gather those servers generally are no better.
Where then should I play?
I honestly don’t know anymore. Of course I could do PvE, but seriously, PvE servers infuriate me. The moment I see a member of the opposing faction farming mobs next to me, but I don’t have the option of attacking them, pfffft, all immersion and atmosphere is killed instantly. I don’t necessarily want to always attack them, but I least what us to both have the option of doing so. Imagine playing SWTOR… you’re there with your big bad super evil Sith Warrior punching Ewoks in the prostate and generally being evil, but then you’re only able to watch as Loke Skyyywalker merrily kills Imperial soldiers right next to you and then skips off singing about unicorns and flowers. For me that situation would make the game feel very sterile. I don’t particularly want to be role-playing and so on, but I do want a bit of the sensation that puts the RPG in MMORPG.
And this is where I think WAR got it very, very right, yet a little bit wrong. WAR’s tier system splits the game-world into 4 level bandings. I’ve gone blank on what it is since it got updated but it’s roughly 1-12, 13-27, 28-39 and then 40, albeit with a little cross over between bandings where you can access both tiers. Now, if you enter a PvP flagged area of a zone that your character is too high for… BWOCK! The game turns you into a chicken, with all the power and survivability a chicken has. This is brilliant in that it allows players to do their XP thing without max level players turning up en mass to gank the poor lowbies, yet still allows for that tension and combat between people of relevant levels. So yes you can of course still be ganked by people within your level banding, but that’s fine, the only advantage they might have is numbers and that is something you can sort out just by grouping or calling for help. It stops a few pricks driving people away from the server and allows for a more competitive and fair PvP environment. It also allows for meaningful XP gain from PvP.
Where WAR got it wrong with the tiers is quite a big subject, but the main ones are that it was too restrictive on the overall content available at higher levels and it also meant at times certain tiers would be very quiet if the latest wave of players had moved past it, which in a population reliant game like WAR, that’s a problem. Yet regardless of those issues, the actual core concept of putting bandings onto zones to ensure fairer PvP is sound. It’s just the application of that concept that needs work, which I think is quite simple really…
Have the game’s zones split into bandings and if a player enters a zone they are too high for the game automatically scales their level and stats down to match the relevant level banding. Use preset stat levels for each class that are just under what would be the maximum amounts attainable for someone properly within that banding (a slight disadvantage to account for their wider range of abilities). Gear, etc would be irrelevant for a high level player in lower zones, so that if they want to go play with the lowbies then they can and the game automatically levels the playing field.
I think this adaption the Tier system from WAR could make for a much better PvP experience throughout the levelling experience and could reap further benefits at max level by extending the value and lifetime of earlier content. Sure, it won’t stop twats being twats, some folks will never take a fight on if the odds are even vaguely fair, but it would at least give people a bit more of a fighting chance. Which as these are games and meant to be fun, surely that’s no bad thing?
PS: This in could also benefit the PvE content in those zones as if done correctly it would stay relevant and not be something high levels just blast people through. Dungeons for example could actually be kept worthwhile through token rewards that scale to your natural level, giving them relevance no matter your level and who you choose to group with. As well as not having to gimp lowbies XP when grouping with their high level mates.
What do you reckon?

Friday 14 October 2011

DMO details are bollocks, apparently...

So today Destructoid post this. Important bit pasted below:

"It has come to THQ’s attention that some media are reporting that we’ve announced game details and a release date for our upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online project, Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online," stated the company. "At this time THQ has not officially announced a release date and any reported features are pure speculation.  THQ will announce confirmed game features and an official release date at a later time."

So who the hell knows?

Thursday 13 October 2011

LOTS of new Dark Millenium Online news

The original post on Destructoid can be found here, including a release date planned for March 2013. Or if you cba to click the link merely read my copy pasted version below:

Game Design Notes:

* Relic is lending a very small hand in the overall development of dmo. Winking, a chinese based developer is also on board. They helped with Space Marine as well.
* Vigil is doing 90% of the work. Most of the shared work load is art, and animation.
* Spacemarine is built on the same engine as darksiders (and darksiders 2 respectively)
* Dmo is using the same engine, with gameplay (at least combat) akin to Spacemarine.
* Contrary to what I was told, the art style is NOT like Spacemarine, rather the whole game is more like darksiders (1 & 2), very stylized. The videos released at the last E3 are fairly accurate to the current state of the art style. Less realistic.
* Revision to what I was told by the rep, is that Spring 2012 is unlikely… maybe for more announcements on the game’s progress. Though a Darsiders 2 release in spring is likely, Vigil is working on both.

Class related notes:

* Races broadly put into forces of “Order” and “Disorder” similar to 40K World-wide campaigns.
* The “spacemarine” is a class, with a chaos counterpart.
* Tactical, heavy, assault as specialties.
* Each class starts as something familiar, and through progression changes.Ie. Scout to Marine
* Other classes include: psyker, techpriest, and assassin
* The assassin starts as a guardsman-esque character.
* Chaos have similar counterparts, cultist themed.
* Instead of an assassin, think demon host.
* Orks are with Chaos (disorder), Eldar are with the Imperium of man (order)
* Ork class rundown: Nob, mekboy, runt herda, mad dok
* Eldar class rundown: Scorpion, Avenger, Warlock, Reaper
* Expect Tau & Dark Eldar later, likely an expansion, though dark eldar npcs will be present on release, as well as Necron, and Tyranids. (Interesting idea, going for the ‘faceless’ races as NPCs, though I suspect you won’t be getting quests from the Swarmlord!)
* 60 character levels.

Gameplay related notes:

* A crashed space hulk will be one of the zones.
* Another zone will take place on an Imperial Cruiser, and Chaos Cruiser.
* Expect several instanced missions much like WoW, as well as open world.
* It will include instanced & open world pvp.
* Players will be able to dual weild things like pistols and melee weapons… yes that means two chain swords.
* The featured chapter is Black Templars. (As evidenced by the banner art)
* The featured chaos god is Khorne, at least for playable
* Word Bearers will also take a major role in the Playable chaos faction
* Nurgle & Fabius Bile will have a big Chaos NPC presence. (I suspect not Nurgle himself, but perhaps Typhus?)
* Possible shooter/RPG mode controls, like StarTrek Online.
* Third person action, plays like Gears of War/Space Marine mixed together for shooting.
Melee is more like Space Marine/Darksiders, with the target lock on.
Blocking melee attacks is a maybe, sheilds may be NPC only.
* NPC creatures vary from: Necromunda like humans, Chaos Cultists, Dark Eldar; from Grotesques to Warriors, Chaos Daemons and beasts, Orks, Grots, Guardsmen, defected Guardsmen, most of the minor Demons, Dreadnoughts, Tyranid Warriors, Genestealers and more.
* Forgeworld things may be present. Thunderhawk, terrain sets, Aquila landers, FW-esque equipment on vehicles.
* Environments range from snowy mountains, to the innards of a crashed space hulk… from cities destroyed, and orkified, to ancient eldar cities, overgrown with nids… from ancient battlefields, littered with the carcases of Titans and tanks, to a hive city, nostalgic with necromunda…. from the halls of Imperial Cruisers, to tge desecrated throne rooms of Chaos.
* Everything is large, beefy, and sticks to 40k very well. People already invested in the background and game will progress at a snails pace, as we will be distracted by everything.
* Left mouse uses the weapon in your character’s left hand, Right mouse uses the weapon in your character’s right hand. Rather cool mechanic.
* All abilities have a cooldown… No spamming your “3″ key like most MMOs. This will likely annoy WoW diehards. This pleases me.
* Melee combos – dual wielding gives new moves
* There is sprinting.
* “Guilds” will be present.
* Team/party/squad size is 5
* “Raid” size is 50… subject to change.
* Ranged weapons have infinite ammo, but there is reloading, overheating, venting, and reloading.
* Weapons rarely get to take full advantage of their range when inside… lots of cover and turning corners, it’s very dynamic.
* Hero classes are possible, unlocked once you get a character high enoigh level.
o Imperium: Grey Knight
o Chaos: Chaos Sorcerer
o Ork: ‘Ard boy or Weird boy
o Eldar: Farseer
* Hero classes will begin at higher level…
* Likely 40.

A player progressing as a marine will do so as follows:

Lv. 0: an adept, think a marine wearing just carapace armor.
Lv. 10: more or less a scout.
Lv. 20: equipped like the marine character in th sm codex… forgot his name.
Lv. 30: a standard marine
Lv. 40 honor guard or Sergeant, some decoration
Lv. 50 sternguard, maybe captain.
Lv. 60 artificer armor, iron halos, the whole sha-bang.

Grey knight fits in fairly well at around 40.

Other classes progress similarly.

Misc. Notes

* Tech priest are very, very pure adeptus mechamicus themed…Backpacks with a robot arm.
* A cover system is implemented.Waist high cover and standing cover.
* Cross platform is very possible.
* Shooting mechanics will have aim assist
* Similarly, melee attacks will lock on.
* Abilities work similar to Warhammer Online. A common resource, then each class has a unique resource used with abilities.
* Weapons inxrease in “coolness” as far as progression is concerned.
* A lv. 1 autogun may be it’s familiar form in necromunda and early IG… by lv 60, sone autoguns look cool enough for inquisitors to be using, lathered in fancy trim, aquilas, etc.
* Same goes for other weapons…. think Call of Duty, as you unlock the various weapon upgrades, you guns start looking cooler.

Each class has 3 specialties.

* Marine: Tactical, Devastator, Assault
* Assassin/guardsman: the major assassin type, callidus, vindicare, eversor (however you spell it)
* The Marine is by far the most flushed out.
* most abilities are still very WIP.
* Jump packs- not sure how they’ll work.

Found that poster at mydicehateme :)

Needless to say, I will be playing this and I will be taking KF there on the Destruction faction. Regardless of anything we will be trying this game out. In 2013....

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Build it and they might come, maybe.

Something I would like to see a lot more in MMOs is proper player driven empire building. Not just guild alliances or one faction zerging the crap out of a server, but proper empire building which has a tangible impact on the game world itself.  In my mind this needs 3 key things:

1) Certain areas of land that have high amounts of natural resources.
2) An extensive crafting system that can provide lots of useful items for everyone. AKA a reason to want those resources.
3) Purposeful buildings that are constructed by players in the actual gameworld (not instanced and hidden away).

Actually they’re pretty much the exact same reasons we’ve got nations (and therefore territorial disputes) in the real world. In its most basic sense it’s simply groups of people that survive by working together, utilising their varied skills and controlling natural resources. Backed up by a bit of shared beliefs, at least at first anyway...

Those 3 points give purpose and value to the land itself, which leads to people wanting to claim it for themselves and reap the benefits through crafting or sale of those resources. Then the construction of buildings in the area to provide crafting and trade facilities will only increases the value of the land further. This means territory actually worth defending, which obviously prompts players into doing so with both defensive structures and their own arse kicking powers.

Key words: resources, community, power, territory, control, war…

I suppose this is just the theme-park versus sandbox debate again, but for me it’s this particular element of the sandbox that I would like to see someone do properly for once. There are a few games that have had a crack and most of them would be considered niche and quite possibly flawed.

Ultima Online used to work like this, but unfortunately that was shaken by the introduction of Trammel and then all but destroyed when they copied EQ and went artifact item horny, effectively annihilating crafting and the communities built around it. Since then a few have tried, but most have either closed, sunk into obscurity, or just weren’t that good. Wurm and Darkfall for example; not terrible games, but so smothered in flaws and just so lacking in overall polish that they’ll never reach their potential. Age of Conan appeared to have actually thought about going for it, but they bottled it and went with the instanced player city shite that makes it all irrelevant.

EVE is the big game that really does it all and (I think anyway) it’s the only proper high quality MMO that has real player run empires. Yet EVE for all it’s magnificence is a game that will always divide people due to it’s sci-fi setting, overall harshness and because it is fairly awkward to get into, mainly because of it’s stupidly bad control system for the ships (a tragic waste really).

I’d love to see a fantasy themed MMO that was more than a glorified chat lobby for running dungeon and pvp instances. A game where we could shape the world a bit and where the land itself mattered so it was more than just something you visited as a lowbie. Yet I don’t know if this will ever happen outside of the small niche games, because it must be one hell of a risk for developers to attempt. It is one thing balancing a class or instance, but it’s a whole other thing balancing an entire world and its potential economy… And that’s before they start thinking about how you deal with the problems of alarm clock raids and making a system that prompts player ownership of territory but doesn’t force you to guard it 24/7... So obviously if you’re investing money into developing a game, it’s safer to just make another scripted dungeon and pvp scenario instance based game where the landscape is merely something to glance at as you level through.

But then just because something is difficult or a bit risky, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. You might say that gamers only want their theme-parks, but I would argue that you don’t know that because we’ve never been given a choice, apart from a smattering of poorly made games, which is no choice at all.

Apart from EVE, of course.

Actually there’s one game that comes close to it… Minecraft when played on a multiplayer server. Now if only that had a MMO version :P

Monday 10 October 2011

Sorta tempted by Rift again..


Just to have a look at the 2 player raid content stuff really. I'm curious as I don't think any other game has done that, at least not well (or has it?). Problem is I just don't know if it's worth me spunking £10 on something with so little spare time for it. Is it really good enough to distract me from other games, or is it just one of those things that sounds good, but gets dull fast....?

Thursday 6 October 2011

X3 love

I've played the X series games a fair bit over the years, particularly X3, though I kinda forgot about them. Then the other day I realised I actually owned but had never played the most recent release: X3 Terran Conflict (or X3:TC for short).

It's awesome. Proper awesome. If you've never played any of the X games, they're best described as either Elite re-made to modern standards, or as a single player version of EVE Online but without the shite flight control system. Ironically I rediscover this whole unplayed version which is going to eat up LOOOOOOOOOOADS of my time, shortly before the all new X-Rebirth comes out (due later this year), but hey I'll probably wait and play that next year or something :P

Anyways, so now I'm building a trade empire whilst mixing in a bit of pirate hunting. Things are going quite well so far. Though I'm considering turning pirate myself once I'm a bit more established in the game, for further drama.

A truly great game this, but not one for those with short attention spans or low IQs. Stick to Farmville if that's you.

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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.