Monday, August 29, 2016

People want Dark Souls combat, but I want its map design

I often hear "I want a MMO with Dark Souls combat"... but apparently, everyone is forgetting how amazing the map design is in Dark Souls, and MMO developers should take notes.

In Dark Souls, everything is connected to each other in genuine ways. Hard monsters roam near easy monsters, there is a deep underground level (and upper level), there are a lot mazes, it's slow-pace, etc. And more often than not, you will get lost for a while and then enter a door that suddenly puts you way back at the beginning, mindblowing the hell out of you.

Now, THAT is what exploration is. Usually, MMOs tend to have a huge world that is simply unrealistic. Everything is vast, but there's no depth to anything. Buildings, characters and objects are scaled in a way that you can see everything without having to even explore it. Everything is either too small or too big. Perhaps it's good for big scale PVP, but it's terrible for an actual PVE experience. People say exploring stuff in Guild Wars 2 is awesome, but I thought it was boring as hell. You don't feel like an adventurer, you feel like a tourist being told where to look at on a bus trip.

With a smaller scale map, you can create a much more complex map with a lot more depth. Also, you get to meet more players along your way, creating a real MMO world. Instead of seeing them one mile away, you see them right beside you.
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Warspear Online Gets Major Boost with Engineer's Madness Update

Ok, Engineer's Madness is actually more than just an may even qualify as an expansion pack in some people's books, as it carries all the traits of one: it adds new lands, raises the level cap, there are new bosses included in it as well as new items and accessories, not to mention the new storylines and the tons of new content.

Warspear Online, a superb little MMORPG available on mobile for those nostalgic of the retro look of the first such games, has indeed been out for a while, and it has - by all accounts - long been overdue for an update. Engineer's Madness delivers that update and much, much more.

Even though it's a mobile game, Warspear is the Total MMO Package. It lacks none of the defining features of PC-based MMOs: it has beautiful, retro graphics, it has quests, solo dungeons, raid dungeons, guilds and PvP...

Though - as said above - it delivers tons of content in different ways, the Engineer's Madness update is centered around the Engineer, a top boss endowed with sophisticated behavioral mechanics which make him extremely difficult to defeat, even in teams. In addition, there are no fewer than 9 mini-bosses included with the update, each of whom control their own little turf, except one, who likes to roam around.

The new area is called the Flying Islands, and it's where all the new content is focused. The character level cap has been raised to 28, and there are new legendary and rare items to equip once those higher levels are reached.

The Crafting System has been overhauled as well. Craft development levels have been raised to 17 and 18, which not only means that new rare and unique items can be crafted, it has also become easier to craft these items.

The update is available through Google Play.

Philip Thalberg has been involved with the eSports scene since 2004, working for the world's top competitive gaming destination.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rift Is the MMORPG You Should Be Playing Right Now

When it comes to MMORPGs you have a lot of options to choose from. The genre has seen the introduction of more than a dozen new games in the past year alone, making it more difficult than ever to pick the right MMORPG to invest hundreds if not thousands of hours into.

Among the many options sits Rift, a game that has experienced remarkable success since its release. You may have heard of it, and you definitely have a friend who has tried it, but you might not be aware of just how profound of a game it really is.

Rift celebrated its five-year anniversary this year, and is stronger than ever. Whether you're looking for a new MMORPG to sink your teeth into, or just want a game to keep you busy during the Summer, Rift is a game that you should strongly consider playing. Let's go over why.

A Master of Outdoor Content

Rift makes a strong effort to encourage players to head outside of cities and explore its beautiful landscapes. Set in the fantasy world of Telara, there are several elemental planes that serve as the perfect opportunity for outdoor content.

As its name implies, the game has Rifts that spawn at various outdoor locations. These are tears in the fabric of reality that challenge the well-being of the world’s inhabitants. Players are compelled to head to a Rift when it opens and engage in something that isn’t common in modern MMORPGs: organic open-world group content. This content brings people together at notable locales, from the Kelari stronghold of the Ember Isle, to the forgotten ruins of of Brevane. Players must coordinate to be successful at these locations, many times with strangers, and are rewarded for their efforts.

Zone Events further incentivize players to head outside of the main cities that they usually dwell in other MMORPGs. These range in style, from assisting NPCs, to destroying notable foes. Most importantly, they always include a narrative that helps provide context as to why players are participating in the content.

Although Rifts and Zone Events are remarkably popular, they aren't the only way that outdoor content is encouraged. The introduction of Instant Adventures has been wildly successful with players, providing a solution for the age old problem in MMORPGs where it's difficult to find other others players to participate with in world content. Within the user interface players can seamlessly queue up and be placed in a group alongside other players looking to conquer content in a given zone.

Due to the success of these types of content, Rift isn't just a MMORPG about instanced content. You are introduced to social outdoor content early on and it remains a significant element of the experience even at level cap.

Diverse Instanced Content

Not all of Rift’s content is outdoor-oriented. Players can participate in a variety of focused content ranging from Dungeons, to Slivers, and Raids. Each of these types of content denotes the number of players that participate in them, which consist of 5-players, 10-players, and 20-players respectively.

In the case of Raids, there have been several released since Rift’s launch. These are the greatest challenge that players can face within the game, and require remarkable teamwork among players. They are also where the most powerful gear is located, making them an attractive option for players looking to stand out. The amount of effort put into these has made them a main attraction among MMORPG fans who enjoy raid progression.

But not all players have to sign up for a raid schedule alongside hardcore players in order to be successful at level cap. Dungeons and Slivers are great in number and have a large volume of items for players to acquire. These require a smaller number of players to participate in making them a much more inviting choice for the average player.

There are also Chronicles, which are one of Rift’s neatest ideas. These are dungeons designed for one or two players that provide a means for experiencing the endgame story of Telara without having to commit to large-scale group content. Casual players have gravitated toward Chronicles, as well as friends who want to dive into content without relying on strangers.

Option-Oriented Class Design

In a world where MMORPG class design leans toward homogenization with simple, limited spec options, Rift reminds us of how exciting it once was to have a wealth of options.
Rift’s Ascended Class System includes nine tiers in a tree style system, with two to four options per tier. As you progress toward the top of the tree you gain access to powerful active and passive abilities that alter the way you play the class, so you'll have a great sense of impact on your playstyle as you make decisions along the tree path. Placing points in a tree also makes your affinity increase, granting you access to base skills, as seen on the bottom of the image below.

What’s most remarkable about the system is when you make a character you choose from one of five Callings: Cleric, Mage, Primalist, Rogue, or Warrior. Within your Calling you have access to up to 10 Souls, which are effectively the specs of the game. You can have three of these equipped at any given time, allowing you to cross-specialize.

The nature of this system grants you access a seemingly endless number of options for how you want to play the game. It also allows you to enjoy many playstyle flavors from a single Calling without feeling like you need to level up a whole new character to mix things up.

For example, let’s say you make a Warrior. As you level up you can choose to play that Warrior as a traditional Champion, a Paladin, Warlord, or even a Beastmaster. Each of these disciplines is very distinct in style and has its own pros and cons. Experimentation is encouraged, to say the least.

An Inviting Free-To-Play Environment

A transition to free-to-play has been a death knell for many MMORPGs. For Rift, it’s been the signal of a new chapter, one that is more inviting than ever before.

Rift is considered one of the most welcoming free-to-play MMORPGs in existence due to its lack of invasive counter-features. Without spending any money, players are able to complete a journey to level cap and participate in the endgame content described above, and more. There is a great sense of freedom for all players in the game, even those who choose not to spend money.

However, players have the option to pay a small monthly fee to gain “Patron Benefits”. These include login rewards, boosts to currency and loot acquisition, as well as perks that include faster travel speed and instant access to the bank and class trainer. Each of these things have been tailored to make the game experience a little more convenient without providing any major advantages.

The benefits of the Patron system are seen as favorable for players who find themselves deeply interested in the game, yet are never mandatory. Meanwhile, players who would prefer to enjoy the experience while adhering to its free-to-play nature don’t feel punished like they do in nearly every other free-to-play MMORPG. In essence, Patron players pay the tab so that everyone can enjoy the game at the cost of their liking.

One of the greatest outputs of this thoughtfully crafted free-to-play system is it’s much easier to invite friends to play the game. The low barrier of entry is a huge boon to groups of friends who enjoy playing games together.

A Strong Legacy

Rift has been on the market since March 2011. Since that time it’s received three expansions and a multitude of major updates. It has also been the recipient of strong seasonal event support.

This support will continue with the debut of Starfall Prophecy, a brand new expansion coming to Rift this year. Starfall Prophecy will bring with it a new level cap of 70, along with an option to earn all new legendary powers across all of the game's more than 50 souls. There will also be a new area called Comet of Ahnket that houses five new zones, as well as new challenges including two dungeons and a raid. Within these areas you can earn new upgrades such as Eternal items and Planar Planar Fragments that enhance your gear.

This new content has been built with veterans in mind, as well as for new players who have never experienced the game. Pre-orders will even include an instant level 65 boost so anyone can make the quick jump to high level and head to Comet of Ahnket to enjoy the latest content that it has to offer.

Rift has been well-received among critics and users alike, with a strong review average and accolades ranging from’s Game of the Year to Game Developer’s Choice Online Awards.

Put simply, Rift is one of the best MMORPGs on the market, and has gotten better over time. We encourage you to try it out if you haven't already. You can sign up and download the game here.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Transformers MMORPG Coming to Mobile

Fans of the Transformers franchise will be delighted to learn that their favorite robots in disguise are coming to their mobile devices in the shape of an MMO which is presumably set to be launched sometime in 2017. The developer behind the upcoming game is Kabam and it has teamed up with Hasbro to attempt to draw attention yet again to the franchise which has had its ups and downs over the years. Michael Bay's movies can be considered a bane or a boon for the Transformers, depending on one's position on the matter, but one thing is certain: they have definitely done a lot to make the franchise as well-known as it is today.

Furthermore, while it will contain movie references and elements, Kabam's game isn't centered upon the movies, a fact clearly indicated by Kabam's partnership with Hasbro and not with Paramount. According to the developer though, the game will be supported with movie content, whenever such a move makes practical sense. Whatever the case, the MMORPG nature of the game is certainly a bit of a surprise, considering the very fabric of the Transformers universe and the platform on which it shall all unfold.

According to Hasbro's Mark Blecher, his company is always committed to creating authentic Transformers experiences across all platforms where fans of the franchise are present. Therefore, the partnership with Kabam represents but the first foray for the company into the mobile space. With that in mind, it's easy to see that a lot will hinge on the success/failure of this first attempt for Hasbro and for the Transformers franchise in general.

Currently, there's no official word on when the game will be released, but it's safe to assume at this point that we're probably looking at 2017...

Philip Thalberg has been involved with eSports and with GosuTeam since 2004. 
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Monday, August 1, 2016

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Release Date and Updates: Modern MMORPG Will EverQuest Qualities?

Back in March, Gamers Nexus had an interview with the MMORPG visionary Brad McQuaid to discuss the direction that 'Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen' will take.

EverQuest had a lot of firsts; it is the first who was able to marry social and technological advances together. And speaking of marriage, there are many who have met in EverQuest and have married. Needless to say the game was first of its kind, with many people having their second lives in that game.

However time went by and people move-on as so with many things, the idea of 'EverQuest' will no longer work today-even with a better engine and upgraded graphics.

Needless to say, the man behind 'EverQuest' is now working with Visionary Realms (Developer of 'Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen') and he is hoping to blend some classic elements of RPG with modern RPG.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is hoping to bring back some mechanical and social elements of older games.

When McQuaid was asked about his visions for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, he answered;

"The main thing we want to bring back is a social game - a cooperative game, where players need each other [and] have time to make real friendships with each other. They can really call the game a home. It's not a situation where you're just wandering around an online world, you come up to an instanced dungeon, and the server picks a bunch of random people to go with you and you never see them again.

" It's definitely about that shared experience - that social cooperative nature of the games. I think that's the biggest thing that we need to bring back [...] to massively multiplayer games.

"A lot of our audience - they've played the old games. We also want to appeal to the newer generation that wasn't even around for the first generation of MMOs. They've enjoyed cooperative play - playing Call of Duty - but they've never really experienced it playing with their friends against the environment in a persistent world. [But] a lot of people have grown up, they've got responsibilities now - spouses, jobs, et cetera.

A lot of the needless repetition - too much grinding, sitting there for hours working on factions - and we're trying to keep the sessions shorter. You can sit there and play as long as you want, but the way we're setting up the quests, we're targeting about a two-hour session so that a person can still log-on with his friends, play a couple hours, and have a sense of accomplishment.

Achieve something, progress their character, get some item they needed, and it doesn't have to be this 6-, 8-, 10-hour, crazy session because it's just not compatible with people's lives anymore. They've got responsibilities."

You can watch the full interview for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen below:
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Is Pokemon Go Rooted in Traditional MMOs?

For the last few weeks, the world has been - by and large - gripped by Pokemon Go fever: everyone's playing the AR-based title everywhere, but little do people know that they are in fact partaking in a MMORPG experience, or rather in one which stems from the MMORPG world. Indeed, the roots of the game reach all the way back to what's essentially a still functioning MMO fossil these days: a game known as Meridian59, which was one of the world's first 3D MMORPGs. The link between the two games was drawn up by none other than Niantic founder John Hanke, and if anyone knows anything in this regard, it has to be him.

More closely related to Pokemon Go is of course Ingress, a game Hanke worked on back when Niantic was still part of Google, but the idea for Ingress had been sown in his mind way back in his Archetype Interactive days, when he worked on Meridian59.

Ingress was launched in 2012, and it was a central part of Google's push into the world of gaming. The Ingress player base was decent and the game collected a treasure-trove of real world data which was needed for its AR and which was also shared with game developers. Needless to say, Ingress is still "powering" Pokemon Go in a way...after all, the currently wildly popular Pokemon game was born from Ingress being meshed with the Pokemons.

According to Hanke, Pokemon Go will continue to be maintained and supported as an MMO, which essentially means that it is treated as a living, breathing and continuously evolving game, through regular updates and continued support, unlike the iteration-based model of various Pokemon games. The bottom line is that in Pokemon Go, we're dealing with a hybrid, which has apparently retained all the positive features conferred to it by its MMO heritage.

Philip Thalberg works on the International 2016 news section of the world's top eSports destination. 
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Naruto Online Coming to West on July 20

The fabled Naruto Online MMORPG, launched in China way back in 2013, will finally make its way to the West on July 20, courtesy of Bandai Namco Entertainment and Tencent Games. The Naruto title will be free-to-play on the PC, and it will be nothing like the Ninja Storm series: it will be the full-fledged MMORPG that some Western audience segments have been yearning for since 2013.

According to Oasis Games, the designer and publisher of the game, Naruto is based on the Naruto manga storyline, in fact, it stays quite faithful to it. Apparently, Naruto Online will be the only way to continue the story. Five new characters will be featured in the MMO as well, one representing each of the five elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Lightning. Players will be able to slip into the shoes of each of these characters. There will be a single-player mode as well as a multi-player mode, which will see parties of players raid dungeons and take on various boss monsters.

The Naruto story will be covered through nine separate arcs and it will allow players to visit iconic locations from the Naruto universe, like the Village Hidden in the Sand, the Valley of the End and the Village Hidden in the Leaf. Perhaps even more interestingly: the game will feature the original voices from the anime, therefore its authenticity will indeed be highly appealing to fans of the series.

Philip Thalberg works for the top destination for eSports media,
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Naruto MMORPG Getting Western Release

The Naruto Online MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) will arrive to PCs in the United States soon. Game publisher Oasis Games made the official announcement on July 13, 2016 and the game will be officially licensed by Bandai Namco Entertainment.

The Naruto Online MMORPG will focus on the storyline of the Naruto anime, inspired by the manga series. This means that the game will most likely move through all the nine story arcs are more.

It is still uncertain whether the Naruto Online MMORPG will include some of the events from the "Boruto: Naruto The Movie."

GameSpot stated that Naruto Online MMORPG players can take on the role of any of five new characters. Each will represent the five elements of earth, fire, wind, water and lightning.

The Naruto Online MMORPG combat system will be turn-based and players get to recruit characters from the Naruto universe, as well as find allies who can aid them in battle. The Naruto Bonds-system allows ninjas in one player's team to match with one another, thereby increasing the group's fighting abilities significantly and creating new combos.

The five characters will be voiced by their original actors from the anime. The Naruto Online MMORPG will also feature familiar settings from the anime series, such as the Hidden Village of the Sand and the Valley of the End.

Fans of the anime and manga will certainly appreciate the iconic places and characters included in the Naruto Online MMORPG. There will be single player and multiplayer dungeons in the game, as well as world boss battles that spawn on a large scale.

Some familiar villains, ninjas and creatures are expected to be featured in the upcoming Naruto Online MMORPG. Furthermore, the heroes and villains are expected to showcase their signature fighting styles and powers.

VentureBeat noted that the manga which the Naruto Online MMORPG is based on has sold more than 200 million copies in 35 countries. The series has become widely popular that several games and merchandise have been made for fans around the world.

Oasis Games is an independent game firm, based in China, which specializes in introducing MMOs such as the Naruto Online MMORPG to Western territories. The arrival of the new game will be another huge step for the company and series as a whole.

Interested players can sign up to play the Naruto Online MMORPG through the official website. The Naruto Online MMORPG will launch on July 20, 2016. More updates and details are expected to follow.
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Friday, July 1, 2016

Neverwinter Coming to PS4 on July 19

July 19 is the day the long-awaited Neverwinter finally lands on the PS4. Indeed, for three years, PS4 owners have been locked out of this free-to-play title, but that wait is now over. The announcement regarding the PS4 port of the game was made at the beginning of June, but back then, no actual release date was given. That hurdle is out of the way now too.

Based on Dungeons and Dragons, the PS4 version of the game will include all the content released thus far, which means nine expansions and no fewer than 8 playable classes, which make for hundreds of quests. Because it's free-to-play, players will not need PlayStation Plus to play. All one needs to do is to jump in really. The game comes with all the iconic characters and locations like Icewind Dale and Underdark.

The Neverwinter Head Start Pack is an extra launch-option, which makes it possible to those who simply cannot wait till July 19, to start playing on July 12, a full week ahead of everyone else. This option costs about $22 though, however, besides early access, it delivers on other fronts as well: it comes with an Onyx Horse mount, an Onyx weapon and a 20-pack set of Enchanted Keys.

Though it's gotten through no fewer than 9 expansions thus far as said above, Neverwinter will continue to expand after its PS4 launch too. A 10th expansion pack is in the works. Called the Storm King's Thunder, this expansion will offer an explanation to why the Giants have returned to the Forgotten Realms.

The first iteration of the game came out on 2013 for PC, earning mostly good reviews. By all accounts, the game is indeed a good one, and now PS4 players will be able to partake in all that goodness too...

Philip Thalberg is an eSport fanatic, who has worked for GosuTeam for more than a decade now. 
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Anarchy Online is 15

As the years go by, the MMO genre is racking up quite a bit of tradition and indeed: history - a term not often associated with the digital gaming genre. There are titles out there - some of them like Blizzard's World of Warcraft known world-over, others less popular - which have acquired the status of a sort of living fossil, a working and breathing testimony to the beginning of MMOs. Funcom's Anarchy Online is one such game, and it has recently celebrated its 15th birthday - indeed eternity itself in MMO terms. To make things even sweeter, Anarchy Online is the first ever sci-fi MMO and by the looks of things, it is still going strong.

To celebrate the anniversary, Funcom are inviting everyone who's ever played the game - regardless of their current membership status - to take part in a series of festivities. The festivities include a brand new membership offer to lure some more players (back) into the fold, by giving them various login rewards, new armor pieces and by letting them take part in a Desert Rider event.

Furthermore, to mark the occasion, there will be a special game update, which will hand a new research-line to end-game players, as well as a new Veteran Shop, coupled with new Player v Player Attack Windows on Notum Tower Fields.

Anarchy Online's lead designer Henry Senger attributed the longevity and the success of the game to its ability to build up a powerful community which has turned into the heart and soul of the game. He also said he wished the game went on for at least another 15 years.

Released in 2001, Anarchy Online brought quite a bit of innovation to the MMO table in its heydays, including instancing, dynamic missions as well as item levels.

Philip Thalberg is a member of the world biggest eSports community at Gosugamers.
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