As always, the Guild Wars 2 gem store additions have caused controversy and counter-controversy across a variety of mediums. I feel that this month’s Flame and Frost update went aggressive in terms of getting players to bolster the gem/gold exchange rate or simply spend some cash. It is interesting though because at the same time there was a competing interest in game with the Super Adventure Box. ArenaNet keeps on presenting ways to spend money and time in different ways, which is both exciting and tiring.
Might as well start with the most controversial piece, in my opinion (not the unbreakable pick, but we’ll get there). The Black Lion Chests, the bit of the gem store everybody loves to hate, has “for a limited time” a Fused Weapon Claim Ticket. This is a rare chance, but people seem to be attacking the chests with fervor. The rarity and the random-number generation (“RNG”) involved seem to be making sure some players open dozens and dozens of Black Lion Chests to receive no fiery, golden ticket. Of course those few blessed that opened one or two chests and received one or two Tickets have a valuable thing they can’t trade away. Continue reading
My goal this month in Guild Wars 2 was to get a Super Adventure Box skin. The most relaxing way, I felt, to do so was to run through the first three zones on about 9 days. Each zone gets me 2 bauble bubbles, of which I would need 50 to get my virtual tourist t-shirt. My “daily” was a nice refreshing jaunt through the first world.
Along the way I started to consider the achievements for Super Adventure Box. I had already read Jeromai’s pleasure and pain of completing some, and to be honest it didn’t sound like fun. But, I needed help finding where to buy upgrades, and I noticed that the dedicated Guild Wars 2 wikites had been super thorough with producing a guide for each zone. I did not feel up to using hours of my time to find all the baubles or shops in a zone myself. I was more than happy to follow a guide. Continue reading
I am not sure how I got sucked back in to Minecraft. I think it was hearing somewhere along the lines about Mystcraft. Mystcraft is one of many fine mods where players can write in books to create ages, warp to those ages, and profit or die. One simple mod completely changes how the game is played.
I got seriously, seriously sucked in. Modding has come a long way since I really played Minecraft. The big pre-official mod API seems to be Minecraft Forge because it allows mods to be used on multiplayer servers quite well. I think everybody is hoping for an official mod API for Minecraft 1.6, but Mojang seems to be tight-lipped about when it could be ready. Either way having Forge raised the water level quite a bit, in my opinion because mods didn’t have to be coded differently to handle multiplayer.
The other thing that raised the water level (again, in my opinion) was Feed the Beast (FTB). Feed the Beast is one of the best modpacks just overflowing with toys. Modpacks are still tricky-ish to make because all the mods don’t necessarily talk nice to one another. FTB made sure a huge swath of excellent mods could talk to one another. This meant that Mystcraft could run with Buildcraft and automated mines could be created in the Age of Diamond Tendrils. Dark thaumaturgic rituals in Thaumcraft could modify how bees pollinate trees in Forestry. This was a whole new game, and I sometimes find it hard to go back to vanilla in lieu of FTB.
I felt like I was graduating from Basic Lego to Technic Pirate Ninjago City with Mindstorms attachment. Continue reading
While Guild Wars 2 fans abound with glee over the Super Adventure Box, I do want to make sure to highlight the story instances that came with the March update. They are very good quality, especially in comparison to much of the personal story. The instances were fun, and I finally felt that I had something substantial to latch on to for Flame and Frost. Continue reading
I couldn’t think of a clever title. Anyway, Mark Jacobs and City State Entertainment need a cool $2 million to jump start a counter-revolutionary MMO. Camelot Unchained hearkens back to those glorious days when Dark Ages of Camelot was the place to be for brutal PvP.
I’ve already said this, but I have to say it again. This might be the first Chipotle MMO. Every mechanic is made to feed the beast that is Realm vs. Realm combat. This means fighting other players, fighting against (NPC-defended) objectives, and crafting to help the realm’s war machine. There will be no fat to appease players that don’t want to RvR.
I find it kind of ironic that the possible funding of Camelot Unchained could mean that the MMO genre is more than capable of birthing this niche MMO. The irony lies largely in that Mark Jacobs’ blog is “Online Games Are a Niche Market.” $2,000,000 for a niche of a niche? I like to think that perhaps online games have outgrown their niche status.
Back to the kickstarter. There are a lot of reward tiers for Camelot Unchained. $5 for people that don’t like RvR but want to see more focused MMOs. $25 gets backers the game at the bleached bones reward level, and it goes up from there. The estimated launch for Camelot Unchained seems to be about 2015. If they don’t reach $2 million, it looks like there might be no Camelot Unchained.
I am betting that there will be plenty of Camelot Unchained features and interviews this month to keep the kickstarter in the limelight. I hope it succeeds. The more niches in our niche the better.
The joke is that there is no joke. Perhaps the timing of the latest addition to Guild Wars 2 was done to ease the pain and let them have their “lols”, but for April, Super Adventure Box is here to stay.
What is Super Adventure Box (“SAB”)? An asuran genius, Moto, created a holographic video game using patented solidification hologram technologies. Players can go in to this “training apparatus” to learn about basic techniques in a closed environment. By closed environment I mean all the players stats and gear is virtually gone. Health is replaced by hearts, and gear is replaced by a few SAB items such as a sword-like stick or bombs. The graphics in SAB… well my kids were asking me how I was playing Minecraft in Guild Wars 2.
The first time I interfaced with SAB, I hated it. After a night’s rest and poking around with it a bit more, I have grown to love it. Continue reading
The March update dropped last night in Guild Wars 2. There is so much to talk about. There are PvE instances along with a nice chunk of PvE content. WvW feels very different, for the better. There is new guild content. And of course a few gem store offerings. These monthly updates are addictive, and they are honestly overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to begin; so I am going to step out of the game and talk about the business model.
Each month ArenaNet puts out an update that seems to reverberate throughout the PC gaming sphere. They have to. With ArenaNet’s studio size, they have to make the game work for them. They cannot sit back and pad a few months with parking-lot subscriptions. These significant monthly updates condition players to continually check back even if Guild Wars 2 is not their priority. If the Game Director, Colin Johanson, believes that the March update is going to set the bar for the monthly updates, 2013 is going to be pretty exciting for Guild Wars 2. Continue reading
Massively has a nice article on a QA session with two ArenaNet designers at PAX East. Bhagpuss already gives a pretty good breakdown along with his thoughts. I don’t agree with everything Bhagpuss says, but I feel he is right on the mark in saying that ArenaNet develops for geological time. They expect their game to be lively in the years to come, and each advancement is built with that in mind.
One issue I want to tease out of the Massively’s article is the issue of town clothes. The article states that the “cosmetic function of town clothing will be expanded”. However, ArenaNet feels that keeping town clothes to out-of-combat situations only is best for avoiding any immersion breaking. This answer seems too simple. It seems to miss so much of the forest for a single tree. Continue reading
At ArkShip 2013 I talked with devs about warplots more than any other thing. I mentioned previously about making sure to sit with Jen Gordy, Carbine’s PvP Lead, who has had a lot of experience developing Warhammer Online’s RvR and Lord of the Rings Online PvP . The substance of those conversations are unfortunately under NDA.
“Well, stakes not high enough for you? Then some of you and your most bloodthirsty friends should double-down and buy a warplot. Then outfit with enough firepower to blow a hole in the space-time continuum. When your death fortress is complete, go to war against your enemies, and earn rewards so epic your head will explode like a supernova. Boom.”
(Source: What is WildStar?) Continue reading
Carbine just published their newest trailer for WildStar. The announcer ping pongs in my head back and forth between epic and annoying, but for the most part I like it. The information is light, especially to fans that have been following the game. The important part, for me, is how much of the trailer is made using in-game footage. From bosses to in-game housing, things and mechanics are shown. Oh yeah, and warplots… I need to talk about those.
There are splashes of gameplay, but unlike some other upcoming MMOs, Carbine has not been coy about how WildStar plays. There are already official videos covering that aspect.
Cutting back to brass tacks, I feel like Carbine seems on a pretty good track to launching this year. They show snippits of a lot of systems in that trailer. Obviously they still have to face the tried and true Jacobs’ Rule of MMO Betas (better link here). Hopefully they can push forward with confidence in that regard.