Lately, I’ve not been playing much in the way of MMOs. Hence the lack of posts by me. There is 3 reasons for this.
1: They’re F2P, which usually means you do have to pay, and pay a lot more, to make the game remotely fun, and not just an epic grind.
2: The developers have actually ruined the game (see EQ2, which has had a spectacular fall from grace; from almost Sandbox open world joy, to quest hub ridden WoW wannabe)
3: It’s a dull themepark which holds my attention for the first month then I give up.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is the latest in a long line of MMOs that have not delivered what they should be able to, in my opinion.
What I wanted was a MMO where I could wander around the Star Wars universe, getting caught up in skirmishes, exploring, trading and other adventure-y things. What I got was small “Planets,” limited exploration and the dreaded “Quest Hubs.” The fact that 99% of my time is spent soloing with my companion is shocking, this is an MMO, Massively Multiplayer Online. It does the Online bit right, Multiplayer every so often when a quest is deemed “Heroic,” Massively; Nope. The game is essentially a Single Player RPG with a chat box, now excuse me, I can do this using steam and any other Single Player RPG, doesn’t have a monthly fee either.
Developers, please listen. Quest Hubs are crap, story arcs are crap, we want to make our own adventures, not your scripted ones, which everyone else will do anyway. We want to explore, not run to the next quest waypoint. If I want an epic story with cutscenes and all that stuff, I’ll play The Witcher or something, I WILL MAKE MY OWN FUN DAMMIT.
Indie MMO’s like First Earth are far more interesting to “Seasoned” MMO players, who are more likely to stick around, rather than quit and go back to whatever MMO they played before (WoW).
If you want to retain subscribers, and not loose thousands before the first month is up, fill it with content that is freeform, not scripted. It’s easier for you to do, and we get more fun from it. Simples.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Star Wars and so as you can expect when they announced another MMO for Star Wars I was all over it. I’ve consumed vast amounts of information about the game as well as the Star Wars world, I have the films (multiple times over on various formats) and in general can be called a Star Wars Geek (and proud).
If you’ve been living under a rock, you won’t know that last weekend was the Old Republic Open Beta weekend, it was the weekend the whole of the MMO community swooped on the game to draw the servers to its knees and make the developers and engineers cry.
As a developer I know what release days are like, I’ve had 3 in my 15 year career where I’ve had to deploy software, not on the scale we see this weekend, but it’s still scary when you’re the only one who can solve any issues that appear.
So I hope you all game a thought and a thanks to the developers and engineers, they’ve been working tirelessly these past months and years to bring you a game that will no doubt rock from what has been put out there.
I didn’t play the beta…
You see in the past games I’ve done beta’s and lost the mojo for the game that gets built up because of the failings of the software. Everquest 2 did this, I got so into the beta that I forgot that my character would be reset and I would have to start over, this wasn’t too bad, but when I got into the Live version I found I was bored because I’d already done that content and it was a chore to play instead of a joy to play though.
The same happened on EVE Online, having played the beta I decided not to play it from release, because there where that many issues with the game in beta. This was a mistake, as although you can soon now get up into the realms of being a veteran destroyer in a team, you can never ever compete with these guys because their skills are so far more advanced.
I’d also like to say the reason I also quit EVE for the first time (after going back after beta) was the fact I ploughed through the 800,000 skill points and then they made that change that gave new starters 800,000 skills at the start… I got no recompense for my wasted time and so I quit (I did go back a little later, but the excitement soon waned).
So the question’s are, who’s played the beta and how was it? What class are you going? Are you looking forward to playing?
Ever heard of Turok 3? Neither have we. Turok: Evolution, the sequel in the series, completely failed to construct the excitement from the the original, causing an end to the story. Sequels have a huge impact on the survivability of a game franchise, and the developers at ArenaNet are taking no chances in terms of ruining Guild Wars 2 when it’s released in 2012. Ever since a sequel was announced in 2007, developers have been steadfast at creating new items, missions, and characters to ease the transition from the old game to the new. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just an online doctorate who plays the game sparingly, ArenaNet’s efforts to bridge the gap will be of interest to you.
Guild Wars Beyond
Originally released in 2005, the Guild Wars series has subsequently developed three expansions, named Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North. Although each expansion further progressed the storyline, no new expansions have been released since 2007. In order to bridge the five-year gap between the latest expansion and the release of Guild Wars 2, however, ArenaNet developed the Guild Wars Beyond storyline, which is an extension to the original four story lines.
The Guild Wars Beyond series includes War in Kryta, Hearts of the North, and Winds of Change, all of which are integrated into the games owned by current users. Although the new features are accessible to owners of any of the original games, the full story cannot be attained unless a player has bought all of the original games. By participating in the new storylines, players will have access to new unique items and areas with their existing characters, essentially building upon existing infrastructures of the game to create new experiences for all. Not only is this a way to ensure that players understand the lore before entering the Guild Wars 2 community, but it also gives players a nudge to buy the entire collection of existing games to help profit from a five-year old game.
Of course, developing the intermittent links between the original and sequel would mean little if ArenaNet decides to pull the rug on its efforts. In order to show appreciation towards players who revitalized interest in Guild Wars by playing the recent updates, ArenaNet developed a “Hall of Monuments” so fans of the original series will be recognized for their achievements in their prior lives. Since this system doesn’t provide an avenue for transferring old items over, it doesn’t alienate new players who are just learning the game mechanics.
Guild Wars is a great example of how a video game company can leverage its existing infrastructure to develop marketing campaigns while providing gamers with new content. Not only has this campaign kept existing gamers excited for the new installment, developers will also be able to gauge consumer interests in different aspects so they can tailor the new game to the specific demands of its gamer base.
Journal entry 5
“I’ve decided to abandon my small slab of land, and head towards Kendra where Sres and Yetian has set up camp. It’s pretty far from where I am, but it sounds like they’ve got more resources over there, so I’m taking the chance. I’ll bring whatever important stuff I have, and hope I will be able to locate my body when I die somewhere in the wilderness; because I’m pretty sure I will!
I felt a bit sad, as I had to say goodbye to my homeland *sniff*. I slowly began my journey in the direction I believed to be north-west. My plan was to head back to Green Dog, and from there go south around the mountain and then straight west towards the coast. After that it should be a short and probably safer trip towards Kendra. Before I left, I harvested my field of cotton which yielded me 2 balls of cotton. I decided to use one of them for string, so I could finally finish my fishing pole. The other I will pick for seeds, so I can start a new production when I arrive at Sres and Yetians place. I stocked up on water and fish and headed out.
While I walked down the first hill my shed got smaller and smaller in the distance until all I could see was the smoke coming from my last campfire. I left a bunch of planks and a few fields ripe with rye.
After a long walk I realized that I was on the wrong track. Apparently I was heading straight West, and suddenly I was in a huge forest with loads of wolves. I quickly fled the place and with a pack of wolves on my tail and stamina at about 20%, I entered a settlement where the guards quickly dispatched the wolves. This running towards the guards, was a strategy I first tried in Everquest 1 and it seems to work wonderfully well in Wurm also.
I now found myself at the bank of a huge lake, and something told me I had been here before. At the left and right of the lake there was 2 mountains, so it LOOKED like I was south of Green Dog. I started my way around the lake and right enough, I ended up at the Wurm Online starter area: “Green Dog”.
After getting some more water and fish I headed south towards Mithril Hall, as I was hoping this way would be easier and shorter than going north around the mountain. I suspect this was a wrong assessment…I reached Mithril Hall without any serious problems, but in that town I completely lost my bearings. I asked a friendly citizen, who pointed me in the right direction and he even gave me a compass! Thx a lot, stranger whose name I don’t remember!
Full of positivity I now headed west for the coast, but I soon got a bit worried as it seemed I was going up all the time, and I wasn’t keen on ending up on a mountain top without a chance of getting down again. After dodging a spider in an olive tree forest and exiting the forest on the other side, I was getting increasingly nervous as no sign of civilization was in sight. The tall grass had me walking over the edge of a cliff, and I ended up getting quite crippled from a nasty fall. As bad luck usually comes with an extra dose of bad luck, I was jumped by a mountain lion while recuperating. How I survived this encounter is beyond me, but the lion went down (a feat I have yet to repeat). To my luck I hadn’t sustained any medium wounds, so time would now be the healer.
After such a close-to-death experience people have a tendency to get cocky, and sadly I too was victim of this false sense of immortality. I simply got careless which in WO very quickly can be your downfall, and indeed did I fall…yet again. Word of advice to WO newbies: No. Taking that shortcut down a steep cliffside probably isn’t a good idea. I ended yet again in the grass, slowed down by a legwound, and ofcourse another sneaky feline predator took advantage of my obvious disadvantages. Short story even shorter: A nearby spider joined the action and I died at what I later found out to be about 50 meters from a settlement with guards.
The settlement meant that I was on the right track, and after a horrible coprserun, (running around trying to find your own corpse and dropped items) I finally reached the westcoast.
Following the coast north I ended up finding my needle in the haystack: Sres’ and Yetians few dirttiles.”
I have now been living with Sres and Yetian for a few days. Markbrad and Gotchi have joined us and we are slowly getting a plan done. A plan involving lots of building and crafting to ensure our survival in this slightly more dangerous part of the world. It does feel safer though to be with friends instead of having to watch you own back all the time. The gathering of resources is a lot faster now, and even raising our first shed was fairly quick as we could divide the worktasks between us.
I’m sure my troubles aren’t over yet, but I’m looking forward to see what Wurm Online has to offer when playing in a group. From now on I won’t be writing journals on a day to day basis, but I plan to do some broader updates on our current situation.
To be continued…
PS. I never got to take any screenshots of my encounters with spiders and lions. I was way too busy either running, fighting or crying (mostly crying). Instead I will treat you to a screenie of this deceased scorpion I came by during my travels!
As promised in my recent post, here is a small journal of my travels so far in the land of Wurm Online. As I don’t like stripping my games down to the math behind, my approach was to just jump in and seek info on the wiki when I needed it.
Journal entry 1:
“While the game might look awful at first, it helps the immersion knowing that everywhere around you there are other players trying to carve themselves a small piece of the world. The game feels so much more habitated than any other game I’ve tried.
It takes quite a while getting a grasp of how things work, but after that (and after your skills has raised a bit) it feels a lot more rewarding than when just starting out.
I’m struggeling with getting metal and mining, and I can’t find many creatures to hunt who won’t kill me in 5 seconds. This means that I have to forage for nuts and berries when getting low on food. Once in a while I do kill a deer and get some nice meat, but this is definately one of the things I’m not too great at. Luckily I have quite a few layers of fat to burn, when my stomach reaches empty.
This is a screenie of my small 1×1 shed I have JUST built. Damn it feels good! And it took quite a while, especially as I’ve chosen to leave the starter area and find myself a spot to live. This makes ressources hard to come by, though! But now I can drop my stuff inside my shed, and this way people can’t loot it. If someone breaks in it will be flagged as “stealing”, but I have no idea what that means gameplay-wise.
To make my little shed I’ve been levelling the ground with my shovel and flattening it. Then I’ve been mining iron to make some nails for the shed. After that I’ve been cutting down surrounding trees to make me some planks (a LOT is needed *phew*). And at last I could start building the walls. I finished it all by making a lock to put on the door, so now I’m finally safe……SOMEWHAT safe as I’ve seen a few giant spiders running around my area
Next step is to cultivate the ground around my shed and set up a wooden fence to keep other players AND scary demon-spider-goblin-lions out. After that I need to forage for seeds and then grow some stuff. Hopefully I will stumble upon some cotton, as i need it for my stick and fishhook. After that it will all be a breeze…..I hope.”
Journal entry 2:
“I read somewhere that if you want to find a nice place to setup without everybody around you owning everything, you have to pick a direction and then just walk on. The first two times I did that I walked for 20 mins and then some spider or bear killed me. Third time I went straight for some mountains and after 15 mins I found a nice place close to water, mountainside and trees. It seems like I’m very far from clay, which annoys the hell out of me. I might “leave home” soon and go on a trip to find some clay, make myself some pottery and then head back. I probably won’t make it in a day, though.
I’m not 100% sure where I am, but it must be around south of Middle Of Nowhere on this map: http://noizeviola…m_map2.png (You start out at Green Dog).
Regarding sharing and living with friends, I think at least one has to be a subscriber to set up a village and create a deed for some land, but I have no idea how all that works. If we all set up close to each other we can always share components and other stuff.
You need to set up close to water until you can get some pottery to hold water in. Fairly quickly you can carve yourself a stick and make a wooden fish hook. If you then succeed to botanize some cotton from a grass tile, you can make some string and then finish a fishing pole, which means an end to starving AFAIK. I havent found any cotton yet though.
Each crafting step has a timed component to it which is annoying but quite fair. After all it wouldn’t be fun if it took under a second to mine a wall. The time component scales according to the quality and condition of your tools, your nutrition-, water- and foodlevel, your skilllevel and your current stamina. Some actions require you to keep an eye on a lot of different craftingitems at once. Try juggling a campfire that needs to stay lit by adding wooden scraps and the heatlevel of iron lumps inside the fire while trying to craft nails from glowing iron before it turns cold again.
Right now, Im trying to build a wooden fence around my shed, but I need more iron for nails….and it’s cold outside and there are wolves after me *sniffle*”
Journal entry 3:
“I just ventured out in what I believe to be north west of my position. I tried to find some clay, and although I stumbled upon quite a few villages and lakes, I never found any clay at all :/ I did find someones unfinished clay jars, and as there was no owner I put them in my inventory. I found out that the next step in creating them was using water on them, but as I have no clay bowl, I cant handle water…sigh.
I hear theres plenty of clay near the shoreline, so I might venture south another day to get to the nearest shore. I’m a bit hesitant to do so though, because today it took me quite a while finding my shed again after going on the quest for clay. At some point I thought I was going crazy and should just give up on my small shed and start over again, but then JUST over a hill, there it was!
Damn this game takes a lot of time!”
Journal entry 4:
“I succeded in finishing the clay jars I found, but I can only use them to store food and water, as I need a bowl to be able to make soup and casseroles…I was a bit dissapointed but at least I can now carry water around with me!
Today I finally found a ball of cotton! I didnt use it for string though, as I choose to pick it for seeds instead. This way I can plant cotton and hopefully get more cotton this way. Cant wait till my crops are ready
Still Im struggeling with getting enough food atm, but I hope that my recently sowed rye will help me make some bread…I just need a scythe to harvest it, and I have no idea how to get one atm….sigh. Every time you take a step forward you realize there are two more to be taken to actually get what you want “
This has been a description of my first days in Wurm Online. Some time has past since then, and a lot has happened. I will soon follow up with another journal of how my situation in Wurm Online has changed quite a bit….oh, and I promise you some action and bloodshed too.
In the ever continuation of detachment from the virtual world, that is going on in recent (and future) MMO’s, I have found myself craving a new world to escape to. It seems that every single MMO these days have 90% of its focus set on gameplay and 10% on a players ability to interact with the world without the result being of a competitive nature. Wolfshead over at WolfsheadOnline.com, has discussed this problem over and over again, and his points has IMO become more and more valid as each new MMO releases.
The last couple of weeks I have decided to “tune out”, and like a hermit fed up with the current state of society, I have fled out into the woods to get back to “how it once was”; back to older days, or at least a world that looks like and works like older days.
I’ve searched for a place to bring back that level of escapism, that older MMOs as Everquest 1 and Vanguard has provided me in the past. Yes, I have even re-subbed to some of these old games to see if the magic was still there, and ofcourse I became the victim of glorified memories that couldn’t stand up to the changes that has happened to myself and NOT happened to these games, since I left them many years ago.
As a way to get my feet in the binary soil of a fake reality again, I have shifted my focus from socializing, exploring and fighting, to the art of crafting. Crafting has always been kind of offputting to me, as I found it dull and without any meaning in the virtual worlds I have been habitating. I’ve always felt that crafting took away precious time, where I could be interacting and adventuring with my friends, but now it seems like it might be the only way to interact with a world, that today has been reduced to a stage, a bleak lifeless background-set in a cartoon you’ve seen a billion times.
A few weeks ago I booted up Wurm Online for the first time. My first notion was to delete the game as fast as possible, but as I’ve heard some good things about it in the past, I gave it a chance. It wasn’t easy though, as WO looks like something that is older than old. But after finishing the important tutorial, I set foot out into the real world, and then I saw that the world of Wurm offers something I have been missing for a long time. Horizons, stretches of land, possibilities and magnitude.
In short Wurm Online is a sandbox MMORPG focused on survival and crafting. It’s built up almost entirely in Java, which is probably the reason for the dated graphics. The crafting system is pretty simple, but VERY deep, and this is what makes it interesting. You can manipulate the gameworld and the physical attributes of the land, and you can build almost anything from houses to ships. The game do have a simple combat-system, but this isn’t where the main focus is….at least not on a PvE server. Dangers are everywhere in the form of normal wildlife and more fantasy oriented creatures like goblins, trolls and demons, so some kind of strategy towards protection is a very good idea. And this is something I REALLY like about WO. It’s more about protecting yourself than attacking other. At least for now.
At the moment I am playing on the free PvE server “Deliverance”, and to hopefully get some guildies to try the game out with me, I have been making some posts on our guildforum about my experiences in Wurm Online. I have decided to move this small journal of mine to these pages, to see if anyone else might find this strange little game interesting. What I have written so far, will be accessible here in a new post, and I plan to make other posts in the future about WO if I should choose to subscribe and stick to the game. Mmo-symposium writers Sres and Yetian is trying out the game with me, so they will probably chip in with their own posts in the near future.
When World of Warcraft launched in 2004 it took the gaming industry by storm. One of the contributing factors to the game’s success was the game’s aesthetics, which were a huge improvement over those of previous games in the genre. While the game did borrow heavily from games like Everquest, it also made considerable improvements over the formulas employed by earlier games.
Of all design decisions, those relating to the game’s visual aesthetics are perhaps the most important. Graphics are the first thing players see, and leave a lasting first impression. The game’s graphical style is the foremost tool that developers have for immersing players in their world, and includes things such as level design, art style, graphical interface and menus.
Before World of Warcraft, MMORPGs did not employ any discernible art style. The character models and environments were rendered in a very muted color palette and used as many polygons as possible. In terms of the game environment Everquest featured over 400 different areas, although each zone was very sparsely populated and usually contained very little content for a player to experience. Because of these factors, Everquest required a fairly powerful computer to run, meaning that players with older hardware were unable to play the game. Additionally, Everquest 1′s user interface covered was completely opaque and filled a huge portion of the game screen.
In World of Warcraft, there was a huge emphasis on the game’s art style. Blizzard’s lead artist Chris Metzen cited the “uncanny valley” principal as being a major factor in developing the game’s art style. The uncanny valley theory states that as computer generated depictions of human become more photo-realistic, they somehow become less natural looking. To counter this phenomenon, Blizzard developed a sort of cartoonish art style for the game. This style is defined by straight, distinctive lines and a vibrant color palette. Besides giving the game a very unique feel, this art style had the added bonus of requiring far less polygons than a more photo-realistic art style would. In turn, this allowed World of Warcraft to keep system requirements for the game low, increasing the game’s potential player base. World of Warcraft’s user interface was also a huge improvement over Everquest’s, as it took up a significantly smaller amount of space and could even be re-sized to meet the player’s individual needs.
After the release of World of Warcraft there was a notable increase in MMORPGs with distinctive art styles. Games like Final Fantasy 11, City of Heroes and DC Universe Online all feature distinctive art styles that attempt to give players the feeling that they are part of a world with a unique personality. Modern MMORPGs were also influenced by World of Warcraft’s focus on having fewer areas available to players, but with more content in these areas. To put it more succinctly, World of Warcraft’s zones stressed quality over quantity.
Even though a game’s graphics are the most noticeable feature, sound also plays a significant role in a player’s experience. While a game’s graphics display obvious gameplay cues, the sound can be used to great effect to subtly convey emotion. Sound aesthetics include things such as background music, character voices, and sound effects.
In Everquest, music was composed using a MIDI synthesizer and was similar to music found in classic RPGs such as Wizardry and Might and Magic. Sound effects were also incredibly rudimentary, each monster in the game had one sound effect that it would repeat over and over. Gameplay cues were also kept very basic. For example, when a player leveled up in Everquest a simple chime would play to alert the player of their accomplishment.
World of Warcraft’s sound was centered around creating as epic an experience as possible for the player. Upon first creating a new character, the player is given a lengthy segment of spoken dialogue explaining the background of the region and the player’s motivation for being in it. Additionally, the background music features high-quality recordings of music recorded using a full symphony orchestra. The gameplay cues also add to the player’s experience by conveying a sense of grandeur about everything the player does. For example, when a player levels up in World of Warcraft they are treated to the sound of a gong being rung.
Aion, Rift, and Fire Fall are just a few of the modern online multiplayer games that have followed in the trend of World of Warcraft in creating an epic experience for players. These games feature beautiful cinematics that are accompanied by bold orchestrial music to truly immerse the player into the world of the game in order to replicate the success of World of Warcraft.
Even though World of Warcraft’s design aesthetics weren’t revolutionary, they were a huge refinement over what had come previously. The game proved that bigger wasn’t always better, and that sometimes less is more. The fact that no other MMORPG has managed to replicate World of Warcraft’s level of success is a testament to the foresight Blizzard had when designing the game.
Written by Ken Hattori from Online Graphic Design Degree
As an avid/addict to my Android Smartphone, I thought I’d take a look at the add-on Apps for some of the MMORPG’s out there at the moment.
I’m secretly still an EQ2 fan, although I’m unsubbed at the moment, so no better place to start with these apps.
There are currently two apps available on android from my very limited search of ‘EQ2′.
Nice looking app but too many issues for it to be useful at the moment: no haptic feedback, too many FCs and loops, chat/mail doesn’t work. Xperia x10
Never connects therefore is useless. Fix stability issues and ill rate higher
As for the app visually it looks quite good, it has all the EQ2 themed backgrounds and feels like a quality product. However that seems to be where it ended, as it looks like an intern at SOE who knocked this up in Eclipse one evening suddenly found that SOE will take anything and deliver it regardless of overall quality (ooh shiny send it out the door…)
First off we have unhelpful messages the server is not available when you put your wrong login details, after that I hit the snag of not having any characters available to view…
Is the other app on android and seems to get a very good review of 4.3 stars, a free app again this one covers both EQ1 and EQ2 giving you access to view characters and guilds, as well as view the items from Zam.
A tip, once you have found your characters (using the search feature), make sure to favourite them, via the menu button.
Once you have found your guild, you can gain access to the guild chat by selecting the guild, then clicking menu button, a nice feature, I don’t have a sub at the moment and this seems to work (although no one online in guild to confirm my messages).
The guild chat spawns its own little app, so you can cancel out of Quest Forever and still see guild spam, much like google chat works.
Of the two apps available for EQ2, Quest Forever wins hands down, it’s not pretty by any stretch, but it’s functional and as long as it works, that’s what counts in my book.
Although I’m now unsubbed from Rift, this was the first game that I used any App, so here are 3 of the main apps you can get on Android Market
RMA is an official App from Trion World, this is an added extra level of security for the game. Game companies went a bit nuts earlier in 2011 when the PlayStation Network (PSN) was hacked, and a swathe of mobile authenticators where rushed out.
At first I was happy to try this, I’m a geek when it comes to apps and so loaded this up.
The authenticator needs to be bound to your game, there is a simple in app setup and as a bonus you get a game title of “The Ironclad”.
If you’re like me and don’t read anything, you’ll probably have missed the ‘You must contact Customer Services before removing this app or you will not be able to play’, note in the description of the app (I did anyway).
So when removed, I found I was locked out of the game. I’ll give Trion their due mind, I was only out for about 2 hours before they got in touch to say they had disabled it for me.
Overall if you have some stupid password like boozegurlxxx then do go and get this app as you’re clearly not good at remembering passwords, if you have a decent password with numbers and symbols I don’t see the point (unless you want the achievement that is.
The assistant is a great app if you you’re mad for Rift. The app comes with Soul Builder, server status, news information, a widget for your home screen and notification push for news and patch, it’s very much the one stop shop for staying in touch with the game when you have to delve into real life (such as toilet breaks).
The app is very simple to use with a nice menu at the front giving access to all the features. As a free app you would expect the advert banner at the bottom, which isn’t invasive.
The Soul Tree creator is good, hold to get information on each piece of your soul, single tap to increase. To deduct you can open menu and choose deduct points. There is also a save feature allowing you to reload them at will, great for when you have a few spare moments for soul creation, be patient with the reload, it may need a little refining as it is pretty slow and seemed to make two passes from what I could see.
A nice feature would be the ability to export to email, allowing you to then put it into a document on your PC.
The widget is pretty basic, you choose the server and it shows you the status, it does a job.
So onto the last app of this post, the Rift Soul Tree Builder is a cut down version of Rift Assistant, you essentially get the soul tree functionality. You might think, why would I want just that when Assistant gives me so much more…
RSTB is by far the better of the two apps for creating and manipulating souls. The person who wrote this has spent quite a long time on the visuals as well as the interface as well as localising it for English, French and German.
It has the ability to save and load builds and also allows you to socialise with them through twitter, Facebook and email.
The app feels quality and is worth the Pro version (Rift Soul Tree Builder UNLOCK)
I can’t even see a downside to this app as the developer regularly updates it and keeps in touch with the users.
That’s it for this round, I’ll be doing a round on World of Warcraft Apps on the Android market next, there’s a lot more out there for that game, so I’ll dedicate a whole post to that.
World of Darkness is based on the Vampire RPG of the same name, White Wolf the publishers of the 20+ year old RPG have joined forces and announced details over the weekend.
You begin the game as a mortal human and have the opportunity to become an immortal vampire, they’ve also said that you don’t have to become a vampire and can play the whole game as a human if you so desire.
The developers are expecting the game to come with a Mature ESRP rating as they announced that there will be gore, nudity and blood, this will limit the reach of the game, but keeps true to the RPG style.
One of the key features talked about was the fluidness of the game. Each player will have humanity statistics, that keep track of your in game experiences, if you grief enough your humanity is reduced, flagging you attackable by NPC and players alike.
Finally the game will have a social aspect, where you can aspire politically to gain prominence in the game world itself allowing you to reach the political heights in a city without killing a single player in game.
More news in 2012 from CCP and expect the release Q4 of 2012.
Screen Digest have just completed a report that MMO subs to European and American MMOs has fallen for the first time since they started tracking data back in 2002.
2008 saw growth of almost 22% while in 2009 the growth had shrunk to just 10%.
Screen Digest are predicting that the down turn will continue towards 2015 when MMO Subs are expected to bring in only $1.33 billion, that’s down from $1.58 billion in 2010.
The downward trend is due to more and more games going F2P with micro transactions, in fact micro transactions are up 24% more than 2009 and when you put the two figures together MMO revenue across the sector rose 5% to $2.7 billion in 2010 and is predicted to rise to $3.1 billion by 2015.
So what does that mean for the current crop of older sub based games like World of Warcraft, not a lot it seems, as Blizzard’s WoW may actually continue to rise as new regions take on the game.
It seems that even Screen Digest’s own predictions back in 2007 were a little way off the mark as they under predicted the revenue from MMO’s by over a $1 billion.
So you can expect more micro-transaction games and less sub based games in the future, where purchasing upgrades and pay to win may well become the norm, competition is certainly going to be fierce for a share of the revenue of MMO’s.
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