Posts Tagged ‘MMO’

Star Wars: The Old Republic Developer Walkthrough of Eternity Vault

Star Wars: The Old Republic Eternity Vault

Oh SWTOR how your wonderful videos seem to always occupy my Fridays. Even on this, the start of PAX I can’t help but me drawn away from all other news and mesmerized by the activation of a lightsaber. In this outing we see a developer walkthrough of the Eternity Vault, something that was showcased not too long ago at Gamescon. In this video we see BioWare’s Dallas Dickenson give us a nice walkthrough of the first pieces of The Eternity Vault in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

What catches my initial attention is that this is not really an optional mission. As stated this is something that happens to you when you hit level 50. While this is not a bad thing I’m more curious as to how this will relate to the rest of the game. What happens if you are engrossed in a quest when you hit that level?

As the trailer progresses we see a battle take place on a capital ship as you work your way to an escape pod as we transition down to the planet and off to the vault. I am a fan of cutscenes that mask the load times between events and areas. It’s a simple an understandable way to totally distract the user from the fact that they are playing a video game and keep them fully engrossed in the world.

From here we simply get a look at how all parties and groups work together to take on some rather large scale bosses. While the battles don’t seem particularly daunting with the right mix of players it begs the question of how you will be paired up when you try to take on the Eternity Vault.

But that’s not the only bit of news we have for you. Over at Metro they recently conducted an interesting interview with one of BioWare lead designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, Emmanuel Lusinchi. When asked about the rather unusual style of the visuals in the game he responded with:

Okay, so the art style. We do that on purpose because a realistic looking game will look great the first year, will look okay the second year, and look terrible three years later when people make fun of it. While a more abstract style has more longevity. More polygons, better technology, would add nothing to the style we’ve chosen.

We want people to be able to play this game forever, literally.

Did you catch that last sentence? They want people to be able to play Star Wars: The Old Republic forever. “Literally”. While the ability to play an MMO forever is not outside of the realm of possibility with enough writing and timeSWTOR is a bit different. Since this is a story based MMORPG with voice acting and subsequent animations involved this means that the folks over at BioWare are looking to do something rather impressive with this. But let’s say that 5 years down the road you wish to take your Jedi into the Dark Side and become a Sith. I mean hell, Jedi do it right? Vador, Dooku, Revan. Heck Revan flipped, then redeemed himself. He’s all over the board. Metro flat out asked if this was possible.

So, the universe is at war. The Republic and the Empire are mortal enemies, they are in a kind of cold war. And we didn’t think it would make any sense for you to kind of leave one side and go and work for the other. If you don’t like what your government is doing typically you don’t go and join the enemy, you try to change your government. And so that’s what we’ve explored.

So if you’re born in the Sith Empire you’re not necessarily evil, that’s just where you’re born and because there’s a war going on you care about your people and you don’t want them hurt. So you will fight the Republic who are trying to bomb you into oblivion. But you will also fight the government and all the decisions that they are taking that are terrible and very aggressive.

But as a Republic person you will have Light Side and Dark Side choices. You can be a terrible, and I mean terrible, person working for the Republic. A lot like if you think of Knights Of The Old Republic, you were on the Republic’s side at that time although you could be really evil.

It seems that while you can be a Dark Side Jedi or a pretty nice Sith you can’t just walk away from the Republic and become a member of the Sith. Check out more of the interview to learn a little bit more about Star Wars: The Old Repbulic.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic – Customization Aplenty

star wars the old republic Stele Shan

With the deluge of fun information and releases coming out of Comic Con, I can’t help but feel I’m going all fanboy on Star Wars: The Old Republic. This will likely be the last update on this for a bit but when I saw the Join the Fight Trailer for SWTOR I just knew it was a glorious thing of beauty that had to be shared:

However this is not the only bit of news to come out of Comic Con. In a brief Q & A session (dutifully transcribed on Darth Hater) we learned some interesting bits of information about the game.

SWTOR Romances

When some fine fan after our own hearts asked about romance arcs we were informed that there will in fact be romance arcs. In fact it was stated that there will be a lot of different romances. One would imagine that in the vast Star Wars universe to pull from we will be seeing anything from jilted lovers to devoted partners.

But then one has to wonder how certain classes will be involved with relationships. Do you forge your own or are you merely a bystander watching the lives of the NPCs unfold.

SWTOR Ship Customization

SWTOR Ship

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts

When asked if there would be customization there was an expected yes, however what struck us as most interesting is that you won’t have to wait until you are at a higher level to begin customizing your ship. You will be able to find new ways to tweak and adjust your ship right from the moment you get it.

However it was expressly stated that the upgrades and customizations were to the weapons and shields and general offensive and defensive capabilities to the ship. We have yet to see any visual customizations.

SWTOR Companion Customization

But they aren’t stopping at just your ship. You are also able to customize your companions. You can give them new clothes to wear, what weapons they use, what armor they use. You can upgrade their equipment in the same way that you can upgrade your own.

Additionally it seems that you will be able to adjust their facial features, skin color, and overall appearance. It’s not to know that you’re not stuck with someone that you won’t actually want to look at. They did not, however, touch upon any AI adjustments to make to the companion characters.

SWTOR Companion Death

In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic companion death was something that we had to deal with. It was a motivating factor. In the Star Wars universe loss is a rather common motivating factor for characters. However when asked about companion death in Star Wars: The Old Republic we learn that there is no permanent companion death.

While they originally looked into this aspect of the game and planned for it adopting a mindset of “If you’re dumb enough to kill your companion then you have to deal with it” they opted for a more simple approach. During tests the players viewed this as a little too severe.

We don’t want to take away your companion character forever because unfortunately what we found through testing was that players would make that choice just to see what happens and they would get really mad that their companion character is gone forever, you can’t reload the game. And if you’re used to having a healer as your companion because of their aspects of aiding combat and you lose your healer, that hurts a lot.

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Firefly Universe Online? Yup, pooped ’em.

 

Firefly Universe Online

"I'm a leaf on the wind"

If there is one thing my wife is relatively unhappy with it is those moments when I go full nerd. Not just gamer, not sci-fi, but full on nerd. Where I start spouting canon and donning that elitist cap that always starts with statements like “What they have to remember about this is…”

While they are few and far between, today I had one such moment when reading a press release.

Fellow Browncoats, the indie crew of DarkCryo Entertainment this week announced that they are taking over where Fox and Multiverse had stranded fans of the cancelled television series Firefly with their intention to continue development of the long-awaited FireflyMMORPG interactive title.

Already titled Firefly Universe Online, the game highlights multiple playable factions, special cast appearances, canonical planetary environments, and groundbreaking role-play mechanics.

Upon reading this I immediately began to look up who DarkCryo Entertainment was. They are apparently a group of professionally indie developers and fans of Firefly who decided that we needed a game around it. In this game they will showcase the Reavers, Browncoats, and the Alliance with room to grow that even more.

We need to remember that this is not officially licensed and has not been endorsed by 20th Century Fox or Mutant Enemy. Firefly Universe Online is being made by developers who are  fans of the series so we can almost certainly rest assured it will be made lovingly and with great care.

I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping that Nathan Fillion makes more than a few cameos.

For more information check out http://FireflyUniverseOnline.com

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Star Wars: The Old Republic PAX East Trailer “Fate of the Galaxy”

PAX East is kicking off and already we have been given a little bit of Star Wars goodness from it. Whenever a new gathering of video game greatness starts off everyone is hoping to see some new and fantastic bit of information or a new trailer that wets our appetites and leave us wanting more.

Fresh from PAX East we see another trailer for Star Wars: Old Republic. Rather than talk about it now, lets get the exciting part over with. Drink it in, revel in it, and enjoy:

What we have here is a stellar bit of footage that lets us see a little bit of all facets of gameplay. We see some in game environments, get to take a look at a little bit of the combat, and we get to see a little bit of what many are hoping is a fantastic game that hands down deserves the label Star Wars.

star wars the old republic trailer

Will this be the embodiment of all my Star Wars dreams? Here's hoping!

While this trailer doesn’t show us anything truly new it does certainly do a fantastic job of reminding us of how much fun this game is supposed to be. We know the story, we can’t wait for the story, we also can’t wait to get our hands on a fired up lightsaber to start tearing shit up!

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Should You Pre-Order DC Universe Online?

Heros in DC Universe Online

The nerd in me gets all warm and fuzzy. The penny pinching ass...not so much

Plenty of kids out there grow up in life wanting to be a superhero. Maybe its the tights, maybe its the cape, or maybe its the desire to save those in need but people are drawn to the superhero lifestyle. There are video games out there that let you take over the life of some other superhero, or even MMOs that let you create your own in a living breathing world and they range from great to simply god awful. Based on the beta DC Universe Online is looking to hit that meaty part of the curve also known as ‘meh’. Keep in mind all opinions below are based off a beta version.

In DC Universe Online you are first asked to create either a hero or a villain based off of a limited selection of the DC Universe or create your own. From here you pick your clothes, gear, powers, etc. Nothing that really stands out too much. I have attempted to create five characters and while its always fun to show your creative side it froze my PS3 once and glitched on me to the point that I had to quit two other times. When a customization menu fails to let you customize it pretty much loses its name. It becomes an “it is what it is menu”.

Once you get into the game you get an environment that is attractive however it’s not completely awe inspiring. Myself I have always been a Batman fan so selecting him as my mentor was a no brainer. I now fly around Gotham stopping crimes (so to speak) and generally seeing what’s out there. As far as stories go this is a simple MMO. You have assignments of “beat X enemies” or “collect Y objects” with nothing innovative that really blows your hair back.

What takes away from it are more bugs. I see mission critical NPCs on my map but nowhere to be found. It makes ending or starting a mission pretty difficult. Also you periodically see nefarious individuals up to no good, whether it’s breaking into a building or wanna be villains picking a fight with the cops. The problem I’ve been having is that 95% of the time I am totally unable to interact with them to stop them.  I can saunter up to them. Watch them. Bump into them. But never really stop them.

This is not to say it isn’t fun. DC Universe Online is a fun game. I have been enjoying my time with it. I have been really enjoying my time. It’s why I make multiple characters. I want to see what else is available to me. Like I said at the start or this post, this is a beta. These are all problems that could easily be corrected by the time the game goes live. These are not Final Fantasy XIV level flaws.

But what is deal breaking flaw is the price point. For me, I work a full time job, have a family, and take care of Polish the Console. The time I would play DC Universe Online is maybe a few hours a week at most. There are other games out there that I want to play, review, write about and can’t devote my time to an MMO. While I would love to have it in my list of games I can throw in and play when the urge strikes this is where we have the problem. The video game itself costs $60.00 on the PS3 ($50 on the PC). This is standard but then there is the matter of the DC Universe Online monthly subscription fee set at $15.00. Yes that is each month. For something rather “meh”.

So think of it this way. I will find myself obsessed with this game for (at most) two months. After that obsession has passed I will move on to some other video game thinking back fondly at my time with DC Universe Online. For my two month obsession it will cost me almost $100 for a video game that in order to play again when I get the whim, I will have to pay for. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not saying you shouldn’t preorder it, but I am saying that for me. While the cost isn’t outside of the realm of doable, I expect more.

EDIT (because I apparently didn’t make my point clear, my bad):

This is not to say that (as stated in the comment section) I want something for free. What I said was I want a better offering for my money. However the  TheL1T1G4T0R is 100% correct. We are playing with copyrighted characters. We are playing with something that should be absolutely epic. What makes it “meh” is that everything I’ve seen falls so far short its laughable. What I expect is actual value. Something that delivers on a level commensurate with the history, mythos, and overall fan dedication that it deserves.

Instead we’re given “Bane’s henchmen are taking Venom. Go beat them up. Now go beat up Bane. Oh yeah, Batman is going to talk to you.” It becomes an underwhelming tacked on pile of banality that falls short even in beta. The integration into the DC Universe is tantamount to a cameo appearance by your favorite costumed hero patting you on the back and saying good job.

But I’ll be damned if it isn’t a tacked on pile of banality that’s pretty fun to play.

Now we would be remiss if we didn’t touch upon the pre-order bonus. If you order you recieve a copy of DC Comics Legends Issue #0 DC Universe Online comic and you can play as Batman in a 2-on-2 battle arena.

If you want to pre-order DC Universe Online for PC or PS3 or just check it out do so below.

GameStop:   DC Universe Online – PC |     DC Universe Online – PS3

Amazon:   DC Universe Online – PC |     DC Universe Online – PS3

Best Buy:   DC Universe Online – PC |     DC Universe Online – PS3

Target:   DC Universe Online – PC |     DC Universe Online – PS3

Walmart:   DC Universe Online – PC |     DC Universe Online – PS3

DC Universe Online Logo

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