Monday, February 11, 2019

Anarchy Online Still Alive!

Just wanted to share some screenshots from walking around today. There are plenty of people playing AO, and if you're wondering if you should come back, you should!

Yesterday, I teamed up with 3-4 people to do Ado brain quest, and there were two other teams running through to kill last boss, that we actually had to wait in line for respawn.

Arete is full of new characters all the time (I always see 3-5 new toons at spawning platform), and some of them are actually new players asking questions in OOC.

Last night, Battlestations were lit up (probably for ICC dailies) and queue was pretty instant... did 3x matches in a row without waiting. (and they weren't a bunch of multiboxers either)


I took the following screenshots after helping someone from another org make an implant, and assisted with some Mantis dailies

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

How I started playing Lineage 2 Classic



This winter I found myself alone at the party: two of my best friends got children in 2017 and were busy with their families, whereas my romantic partnership wasn’t promising at all, as my fiance left for Bolonge for studies. So I decided that nothing can cheer me up better than long winter evenings spent in a fantasy world, and that is why I started looking for an MMORPG to play. I was nostalgic for the old Lineage 2, like C4 Interlude Chronicles. So I browsed through the options.

There are freeshards, but the servers don’t live long, they open and close quickly. I didn’t want to lose my game values or donate much, so I began to look at the official publishers. It turned out that Korean developers have released Lineage 2 Classic. They call it ‘a relaunch of the legendary MMORPG with old school mechanics and modern interface’. I decided to give it a try.

There are NA and EU servers. After doing a research about NA servers, I dropped them. People say that you can’t achieve much with the free version, but the in-game store is a pure pay-to-win. So I decided that I would play on the EU server Skelth by paid subscription system. The class of summoners is famous for its self-sufficiency, so I chose it. I created a beautiful blonde female elf :3




I received a Newbie gift at start. This is a special set that helps new players to evolve their characters with lvl ups. I got a temporary C grade equipment and a special item to wear it without penalty.



The grind was easy enough and I fully enjoyed the beauty of the starting locations. It was exciting to come back here after so many years. You may notice that the graphics of the game has been improved.



Just watching the world is very nice. The eye truly rejoices around. Lore is far from the main point of Lineage 2, but exploring the world is very interesting. Perhaps, I will find some time and make a post about the world of this game.



I raised level 20 pretty quickly and made a quest for the first profession transfer. This was the first significant step towards this large open world grind and PvP content. Now I was a real elf magician! In a heavy armor ha-ha ​​(I just ran out of mana).



I thought that in C grade equip I could farm Cruma Tower (location 40+), but the monsters quickly explained me where my place was :D. Kind Seytoon set me on the right way to destroy gnolls. Thanks, dude!



Here I quickly got into my first group! We destroyed the gnolls all night long. To be honest, I even feel sorry for them, someday anybody should have to stand up for their rights …



Lineage 2 wouldn’t be Lineage without PvP. Other players wanted to take away our delicious spot. I found myself a skilled magician: you know, when you’ve learned to PvP 8 years ago, you’ll never lose that skill :D.



The character receives different items that simplify the gameplay upon reaching lvls. It is really nice that I don’t need to be low lvl guy for too long. The game doesn’t bother.



There are beautiful transforms with buffs among these items.



Various events cheer up in Lineage 2. In my case, it was Christmas mood. Daily 3 hours buff raised character stats and exp gaining. So sweeet gift animation ^_^



Some time after, I joined a small clan with new players like me. We were group farming Crume tower and just yabber in chat in the evenings. Like in the good old days :)



When clan members are offline, I can almost always find a group. But you can also solo exp or farm party trains. I rotate one with another.



The main interest of any Lineage 2 server are sieges and the presence of strong enemy clans. The dream of each player is to capture Aden castle by his/her clan. So I immediately went to see how things are going there.



There are two big sides that hold several clans in each: Hydra & Legacy. From a conversation with a high-level player, I learned that Legacy usually wins most of the global battles.



However, I saw how Hydra captured the main castle - Aden during the last sieges. It follows that the forces on the server may well compete. I can’t wait to raise my level and take part personally in these epic battles!


Thank you for reading. I hope that this post may help some of you choose the MMO you like, and maybe I’ll even find party mates  lol. I’ll be happy if you share your impressions in the comments!
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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Albion Online: Double Gathering Yield Bonus!

Currently you can get double gathering yield using different tier gathering sets.

  1. Equip full T8 gathering
  2. Let gathering yield build up to 10
  3. Equip T7 gathering guild
  4. Watch as second set of gathering bonuses build up to 10
  5. Gather away and enjoy double yield bonus!




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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Death of a Game: Rift



I had no idea trion was so poorly managed. I knew their forum mods were militant, but not the company as a whole. I thought this was a pretty good objective video.




The video seemed like a reasonable run down to me (watched the whole thing this morning Oz time). Interesting to see the three players mentioned, all of whom I am familiar with from Youtube, forums or in game. Munch still peeks in now and again.

The criticisms were valid ... Rift was going well, but the money was stripped away to other titles which largely failed and Rift was left to whither towards the end as Trion tried different cash grabs with increasingly desperate measures. The most blatant was the promised polished, paid for, SFP (Supreme Fishing Patch, as I call it) expansion.

I only played in alpha (got bored ... game was a WoW clone in too many ways at that time) and rejoined at the start of F2P because I was between MMOs. I have played since, and am a serial MMO monogamist. So I have been here for the last 5 years or so, and itching to get to somthing new. Patron expired a couple weeks ago and I have no intention of renewing barring an absolute miracle.



Personally the main detractions for me were the obviously slowing roll out of (raid) content, the increasingly obvious cash grabs and Brasse's absolute toxicity towards anyone who vaguely criticised Trion's approach to Rift. From all accounts Elrar was a great CSM, and I am sorry I missed his tenure (I wasn't active on the forums when I started playing live), but Brasse... GL with her Pantheon.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

*If* ESO had good combat, it would unquestionably be the best themepark MMO



I keep thinking this every time I come back to the game. World design, freedom to explore, writing (which is way better than the single player Elder Scrolls games), encouraging doing delves and public dungeons for shards, all are real steps forward from both the traditional questing model and the awful, lore-free, story-free public events model where you never feel like you’re actually on an adventure.

The skill system is magnificent and a giant step forward for the genre - huge build diversity if you’re not obsessed with veteran trials or theorycrafting, the ability to level by doing almost any activity in the game, actual skill points out in the world to discover, and relatively little class restriction with 90% of the game’s skill trees and all three trinity roles mostly viable for all classes. The world is rich and immersive, things like stealth being ‘actual stealth’ instead of just going invisible for a few seconds, great guild questlines and fantastic expansion content only improve the proposition. Instanced PvP is ok and very much a love it or hate it thing, but that’s true for every themepark except the ones that really suck (like GW2’s ranked PvP).

800+ levels of alternate advancement provide ample progression at endgame without feeling like a huge grind (in that you can start raiding and doing veteran dungeons very early on in the champion point progression rat race), and expansions don’t invalidate previous gear progression so there’s a sense of long term ownership that doesn’t exist in some other games. Tying skill lines for thievery, assassination, the mages and fighters guilds, the psijic order, vampirism and lycanthropy to questlines and player decisions is a revelation - ESO feels more like a real RPG than any non-old-school MMO I’ve played.

Content release cadence with one large expansion-zone, one smaller zone, one raid and four dungeons per year is also pretty good.

And then there’s the combat. The fact that ESO’s combat even made it into a complete game, and that Zenimax has never even attempted to fix it, is actually a disgrace. ESO’s combat system is perhaps the most boring to ever grace the genre, the worst hybrid of hotbar and ‘action’, with lackluster animations, awful enemy AI, a first-person mode that is unusable in any kind of endgame or challenging content and an even more extreme version of GW2’s “yo-yo” health bars that are constantly shooting up and down as you struggle to figure out which aoes you’re exposed to.

The twin pillars of ESO’s combat are “sustain” and animation cancelling. The former involves constantly re-upping six-second DOTs, HOTs, buffs, and debuffs. Combat is now pure timer management - and it’s obvious that the only reason these aren’t toggles or longer buffs like in other MMOs is to disguise the innate emptiness of the combat by forcing you to press three buttons ten times a minute for the length of an encounter. Animation cancelling works in Street Fighter (or so I’m told) when the devs design and animate for it - so there are custom transition animations for cancelled abilities - but not in Elder Scrolls Online, where it just feels like a bad bug left in the game to placate the meta obsessed theorycrafters and artificially inflate the game’s ‘skill ceiling’. You too, can look like a schizophrenic, constantly interrupting every ability animation, weapon switch and block to spam the light attack button - and the damage increase here is so high that it’s basically mandatory if you want to perform remotely well at endgame. It looks and feels terrible.

But other than that, ESO’s a great game!
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Sandbox-MMORPG Ember Sword announced



Press release:

So Couch Studios announces Ember Sword - the Next Genre-Defining Fantasy Cross-Platform MMORPG
By eliminating the need for black markets and removing the traditional premium cash shop to ensure a non-pay-to-win environment, Ember Sword hopes to re-define the MMORPG genre.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Copenhagen, Denmark - 11. October 2018 - So Couch Studios today revealed their upcoming free to play cross-platform sandbox Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG), Ember Sword. Promising to re-define the MMORPG genres negative pay-to-win reputation by removing the traditional cash shop, Ember Sword let’s players own, control, and evolve the fantasy universe as landowners and acquire scarce cosmetics through PVP and PVE activities as opposed to through lootboxes.

View the Ember Sword Announcement Teaser Trailer here:

“As avid MMORPG players, we grew tired of static “theme-park” universes where we can engage with everything in the world, but never truly change or evolve it, much less own it and the items we’ve gathered within it.”, So Couch Studios founder Mark Phillipe Laursen says, explaining why his team is developing Ember Sword, before he continues:

“Most free-to-play MMORPGs monetize through pay-to-win mechanics and non-transferable cosmetics in an attempt to increase revenue by locking down the cash shop economy. With Ember Sword, we’re putting players in charge of evolving the world and its economy instead, because to us, creating an engaging and fair universe is much more important than heavily monetizing players - opting instead for an optional monthly subscription and marketplace fees”.

Drawing inspiration from classics like Ultima Online and Runescape, Ember Sword’s classless combat system, open-world PVP, and player-driven economy, promises an engaging and persistent universe where the idea of a player-controlled world is taken one step by letting players own an actual parcel of land in-game, much like Second Life.

“That’s part of what excites us the most; to see what the players will do with the world, how they will play, what sort of groups or factions will evolve, which areas will become popular, and how people will build them and evolve them. It’s fascinating to think about.”, So Couch Studios CMO Sune Blindkilde Thorsen said.

Ember Sword Key Features:

Cross-Platform: Accessible in a browser or through a desktop client at release, a mobile version is planned for later release.

Artist Workshop: Release your creativity by designing models, skins, and emotes, the best of which will appear in-game.

True Ownership and Control: With players evolving the world every day and truly owning their own cosmetic items, Ember Sword is run by the players.

Whether you're a peaceful forager of goods and rares making a name for yourself or a fierce warrior of no alignment, there is a place for you in Ember Sword - a place where peace and war is chosen by the players themselves. A place built by you!
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Few Reasons Why The MMO Genre Has Been Struggling


If you were to hop into a time machine and zoom back in time to the gaming scene in 2004, things would be radically different. It was the same year that Blizzard’s World of Warcraft first hit the MMORPG genre, and there are few other trends that had quite the same impact. Although WoW wasn’t an immediate success, it wouldn’t be long before it clocked the record of 12 million active subscribers – something that no other game has been able to boast.

But that was 14 years ago, and we’re now living in a world where MMOs come and go like the weather. With constant controversies, countless untrustworthy developers, and a genre that seems to be taking endless amounts of flak, it’s hard to believe that MMOs have any sort of real future. Change is inevitable, but the recent changes in the industry have been hard to swallow, and sometimes it makes sense why people turn to other hobbies like online pokies.

Let’s look at why the MMO has been suffering so much in the last few years.

1. No AAA Titles
When once an AAA title was the next blockbuster that had any gamer buzzing with excitement, it’s now become a soured topic that has split the gaming world down the middle. The last true AAA MMORPG that made headlines was Wildstar, a game that was met with both negative reviews and minimal commercial success. There’s a void in the gaming world for a new, gaming-changing MMO title.

2. Mobile Gaming
This is a big one, and the MMO genre isn’t the only that’s suffering. With smartphones and tablets more prolific than ever, more and more gamers are turning to their mobile platforms for their gaming needs. While it’s more than possible to have a good MMO on a smartphone, the payment models for these types of games have all but destroyed any real chances.

3. The Lack of Innovation
When the first MMOs hit the scene, they quickly created the Holy Trinity of classes, and it’s been like that for a long time, even with the newer titles that claim they are different. What we’re left with then is a huge range of very samey fantasy-based MMOs that have tried their very best to emulate WoW’s success, often with no luck. The genre, in other words, has become boring.

4. The Lifespans of Studios
This is something that can be directly connected to EA, the studio-devouring entity that has been systematically closing down each one of its well-known studios. But that behaviour hasn’t stopped with EA, and can be felt in just about every facet of the industry. More and more studios have been closed, more and more projects shut down forever or stuck in limbo. It’s a sad scene, and it’s left us without many MMOs that had such potential, such as World of Darkness or Everquest Next.
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Why B2P Is The Future Of MMO Payment



For the last twenty years, the subject of payment when it comes to your favourite MMO has always been up for debate. We’ve had numerous options available; from free-to-play, subscription, to a few more not worth mentioning. Payment methods for games has always been a hot topic, but the newest, in the form of buy-to-play, may just be the new and future standard for the industry.

If you’re looking to start playing a new MMO, the method of payment can often be the tiebreaker – a subscription can lock in every month, while a free-to-play model may seem great at first, but the additional paywalls can keep you locked from much of the content. It’s very much up to personal preference, but the recent push for buy-to-play games may be the only choice within the next few years. These are some of the reasons why.

1. Free-To-Play Barely Worked
There was never anything wrong behind the concept of F2P. The idea was that the player would be able to download and start playing immediately, and the devs would recoup their costs by offering additional content that came with a charge. The problem is that people became greedy, and they knew that locking content behind a paywall would allow some players to have access to better gear/stats/skills, and others would be coerced into spending more than they should to have the same level of gear/stats/skills.



2. True Ownership

Ownership is something that has been debated when it came to subscription – the fact of the matter is that if you owned a game that used a subscription model, the moment you hadn’t paid, you would no longer have access to that game. With B2P, you own that game, you can play that game whenever you want, and you never have to worry about your account being suspended.


3. A Larger Demand
We live in an age where games are churned out a dozen at a time, and having to spend money on every game that comes across your Steam store-front, especially if it’s subscription-based, would mean running out of cash fairly quickly. B2P means paying for that game once, having it in your library forever, and allows you to move on to other games if you need a break from your current one – without having to continue your subscription.


4. It’s Once-Off
The real benefit here is that there are no hidden costs, or at least, the costs that you pay still give you full access to the game. The microtransaction era has hit a lot of gamers hard, and in a constantly changing financial climate, it’s better to have paid for something once than have a recurring monthly payment, especially when that money could be put into something else, like streaming sites or online betting NZ, or even just paying rent. The hope is that B2P becomes more practical, more wide-spread, and allows gamers much more freedom.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Missing the RPG aspect of a MMORPG.



Is it sad that I miss what the MMORPG genre used to be? Crafting was a thing, it truely had a purpose and it would be considered a class onto itself. 

The games were not built upon hundreds of thousands of quests, instead it was build around player interaction & creativity. 

Expansions did not make older content obsolete, it just added more depth & flavor to the existing game. 

There were seldom any instances and you actually had to interact with all kinds of people. Whether they be an asshole or a nice person.

I remember building up decent suits for a few newbie players. We also had interactions with people when we were trying to buy or sell things. 

There were no pre-built auction houses and we had players who made their own and it actually wasan auction house and yes there were more honest players then not who ran the auction houses as well. Of course there were bad

I want a MMO that has actually earned the title of MMO(RPG) amd was not just given it because of convenience.

Maby it all disappeared when people started viewing games as literal "games" that were meant to be defeated or solved, rather than an alternate life/ new worlds to explore and discover.

My own personal example would be Runescape circa 2008 where nobody knew wtf they were doing and were just logging on to do random things, incidentally level up random skills and just played it however they wanted while exploring and discovering the world.

Nowadays all you'll see are "pures" that have essentially "solved" the game in terms of highest dps, most efficient form of combat, highest gold per hour tasks etc.

This scenario can be applied to most other games as well.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A few hours ago, (Korea) Maplestory's story reached a conclusion



The Black Mage, which is the big baddie the story has been building up towards, has finally been defeated in the Korean servers of Maplestory. With that, the story has concluded, or so it would seem. Only took 15 years!

The mechanics behind the boss fight was a service wide HP pool, i.e. everyone playing on the Korean version of Maplestory was contributing damage to the same HP bar across 4 phases. This took the Korean server about 3 weeks to completely deplete the bar.

A quick search on Google or Youtube would easily find you the final cinematic, although translations have yet to be posted due to how recent this is.

The fate of Maplestory 1 as a whole is uncertain at the moment, but we'll just have to wait for an announcement by Nexon.
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