Those sexy, sexy loot boxes.
Continue reading “Bad Bundestag: Germany Not Limiting Loot Boxes”
MMO news, editorials, and more.
Those sexy, sexy loot boxes.
Continue reading “Bad Bundestag: Germany Not Limiting Loot Boxes”
Destiny’s upcoming Taken King DLC is quickly becoming a PR disaster for Bungie who, considering their recent interview with Eurogamer, aren’t doing a whole lot to fix the situation. If you haven’t been following the situation, the Destiny community is up in arms over how Bungie plans to monetize the upcoming expansion. Taken King will cost $40 at its base price, twice as much as the previous two dlc packs, with higher tiers available with extra bonuses. Bungie has defended this by saying that the amount of content in Taken King surpasses all of it.
What has players angry is a perception of tone deafness in the various tiers of the Taken King packages. The $60 pack acts as something of a Game of the Year edition, including the base game, expansions, and Taken King. For $80, you can get a collectors edition with all of the above plus a handful of physical and digital goodies. The digital collectors edition costs the same as the physical version, despite containing much less content. There is no way to get the bonus goodies in Taken King without being forced to buy the base game and two expansions again.
Eurogamer recently conducted an interview with Bungie creative director Luke Smith, and rather than do a disservice to his responses, I highly recommend that you read it.
With Blizzard’s latest quarterly report showing another drop in subscribers for World of Warcraft, the internet is once again asking the age old question: Will the game go free to play? If you have to ask, the answer is no. Blizzard’s Production Director J Allen Brack stated to Eurogamer:
“We would have to rework the game pretty significantly in order to make it free-to-play. It’s not something we’re currently considering.”
That sounds familiar for some reason. Blizzard opened its convention with the announcement of the next expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor, where players will travel back in time to the Warcraft RTS era.
Back in 2007, Ukrainian developer GSC Game World stunned us all with S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadows of Chernobyl, an alternate reality where the Chernobyl power plant explodes once again causing all kinds of oddities to emerge in the zone. Over the next few years, GSC would release two followup titles: Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. The games were applauded for their open worlds, extensive AI system, and disturbing atmosphere. Unfortunately, as of yesterday, GSC has officially closed its doors, resulting in the cancellation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2.
In keeping with the spirit of the franchise, the team from GSC has gone on to form Vostok Games, and has announced their upcoming free to play MMO, Survarium.
“The topic of mankind who survive, but in totally new conditions, very dangerous ones where death is around, where there are mutants, factions, where there are some mysterious goals, where there is something like the Zone, explored by the well-known stalkers.”
Most important is that this is not a S.T.A.L.K.E.R MMO. That is a completely different game, and will probably never be released outside of Russia.
I have a feeling that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Gaikai around here for the foreseeable future. Two weeks ago I talked about Turbine’s plan to bring a limited trial for Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online to Gaikai, an online streaming service where players would be able to play a very limited version without having to download a massive client. Following that news, CCP Chief Marketing Officer David Reid has talked to Eurogamer to discuss bringing Eve Online to Gaikai or Onlive in some form.
“We think it’s a really important way to not just play the core Eve Online gameplay – that you do play today principally on the PC and on the Mac – but also to add new sorts of experiences – when you think about Planetary Interaction in Eve Online right?”
It is important to note that whatever happens is still a very long way off, and we may not see anything come of this until 2013. MMO Fallout will be paying close attention for more details.
Considering the other titles lately to make the transition, an announcement of free to play from NCSoft or Sony Online Entertainment might be welcoming, but hardly surprising. Over in Europe, NCSoft announced that Aion will be undergoing a change in publisher, to Gameforge, who will be taking care of transitioning the European service, and its community, to a new free to play model. Starting in February 2012, players will be able to enjoy everything* that Aion has to offer for no fee.
In order to combat gold farming, “starter” accounts will be limited to two characters and have limitations from certain chat channels and private trading. Former subscribers will have access to almost everything, sans the increased instance cooldown and limited fortress siege rewards. You can read everything at the F2P matrix. Otherwise, NCsoft continues what has started as a rather generous program for free players, offering everything but the kitchen sink to anyone willing to sign up an account.
This does not affect the North American servers, and there are currently no announced plans to bring such a transition to the states.
(Additional: Free to play matrix)
When Cryptic Studios announced that Champions Online would be going free to play, you couldn’t find a single conversation that did not turn to “will Star Trek Online follow?” Well that is what the community has been asking Jack Emmert, who came back with a simple proposition: If you eat your dinner, you will get dessert. Cryptic is taking a chance with Champions Online going free to play, and if that venture does well then the company will consider taking Star Trek Online in the same direction.
“We’re not sold one way or the other with Star Trek yet. If people want Star Trek to go free-to-play then get in and play Champions and help make it a great success, because that would send a strong message.”
This and more can be found in a Eurogamer interview with Jack Emmert, who wanted to be clear that the decision is not solely up to him.
“There are more people than just I on that decision and I can’t begin to say it would be an automatic ‘Yes, we’d do it.'”
Emmert goes on to talk about a few other projects, like user generated content that the team hopes to start in Star Trek Online and then move to Champions Online. Neverwinter, and a few other unnamed projects that Cryptic has in the works that will no doubt lend their features retroactively to Champions and Star Trek Online.
“It is definitely not fantasy-based. I can say that. It is something that’s pretty exciting. It’s under wraps and hopefully we can talk about it soon.”
Wouldn’t it be funny if Cryptic were picking up the Stargate MMO? Just saying…
When Warhammer Online launched in 2008, the game peaked at about eight hundred thousand subscribers, before plummeting over the course of the next two months to little over three hundred thousand. Over the course of the first year, WAR lost over three quarters of its population, as well as a grand majority of its over-one-hundred servers. So given MMODATA.com’s latest graph showing WAR heading under one hundred thousand subscribers, questioning the game’s health is not exactly out of line.
Luckily, those of you playing WAR can rest easy, at least for the moment. In an interview with Eurogamer, Bioware Mythic announced that WAR is still profitable as it comes to its second birthday this September, and that the game is still chugging forward despite the naysayers. The endless trial has had its desired effect, and “tens of thousands of players” are experiencing the game each month for the first time, according to EA.
Even if you go by mmodata.net’s figures and give WAR a mean 90,000 subscribers, Mythic is still looking at $1.3 million in income a month.
Here’s hoping the Endless Trial goes even better than expected, and Mythic has plenty in the coffers to keep the game going. More on Warhammer Online as it appears.
Eurogamer! To many gamers, Eurogamer is a great source for gaming news, reviews, and other editorials. To Darkfall fans, on the other hand, Eurogamer is just another shady “unbiased” review website that backs up writers with questionable journalistic integrity. It feels like only a year ago that Eurogamer was launched into a controversy regarding the then-recently launched Darkfall. A contributor by the name of Ed Zitron wrote a scathing review of the title, scoring a 2/10 (Or a “Don’t touch this game”), and causing quite a stirrup at the Darkfall community. Aventurine, the title’s developers, shot back quickly: Publicly revealing logs from the accounts that revealed not only did the reviewer spend less than two hours in-game, but the majority of that time was spent in the character creation screen, with only a few minutes of login time each session. Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer did nothing to fan out the flames when he announced that Eurogamer was backing up Zitron. Of course, it was Zitron’s word (And who wouldn’t trust a man who laid out in writing his complete inability to do the most basic tasks in Darkfall?) versus Aventurine’s log files. Eventually, Eurogamer had another reviewer take a look.
Like water down the Niagara, the slip ups just keep flowing. This time, Gamespot is in some hot water after a review giving the recently launched Global Agenda a 5.5/10. Being as loyal to the title as one would expect a community, the Global Agenda community quickly did some dirt digging on the reviewer, and found quite a dearth in play time. The reviewer’s account, fittingly named DoofusJones, clocked in less than six hours of gameplay, making it to level 13 and wholly ignoring the subscription areas of the game.
I don’t get paid to write for MMO Fallout, but I often get the idea that I have more integrity than some of those who do get paid. Although Ed Zitron was not paid for his review of Darkfall, the Gamespot reviewer was, even though the review has since been removed. Myself, along with a legion of millions of other gamers, would kill to have the opportunity to be paid to write reviews for MMOs. Hell, if MMO Fallout paid my college tuition, you’d see me here every waking minute I wasn’t at my regular job or at classes! Alas, my future is in political talk, but the legion of millions still stand.
As if Gamespot needs to hand out more stakes to the people who are still angry over the Kane and Lynch fiasco several years back. I vet my own articles before I publish them, and I do my own fact checking in-house, but I still do fact-checking. For the companies that actually pay people to be “main editors,” do your jobs and make sure the person doing the review isn’t skimming off the top and putting out a half-assed piece of work.
More importantly, and I regularly reinforce this, if you are looking for a source to base your purchase on, don’t read a review. Don’t listen to what Gamespot tells you, or any other review website. I even tell people not to listen to what I say in the “month in review” articles, foremost because MMO Fallout is not in the business of reviewing titles, and secondly because I don’t want people basing their purchases of a genre where enjoyment comes out of the player’s own experience, to come from a piece of text no matter the size. The Month In Review is meant to be an, albeit morbid, comedic article about my own failed attempts to reign in spending.
So I’ll say what I always say when it comes to choosing your MMO: Go window shopping, almost every MMO on the market has some form of demo available, and in cases of Champions Online and Warhammer Online, you can try entire sections of the game for absolutely free, without limits. You may go through a large number of MMOs before you find the one that suits you, but look at it this way: You’re not spending thirty dollars a pop for each title that eventually ends up gathering dust. And if a title doesn’t have a demo, that is their loss, not your own.