Archive for January, 2011

Triple superhero weekend

January 30, 2011 4 comments

This weekend I decided to focus the playtime on superhero/supervillain activities and thus played the three superhero MMOs I have active; City of Heroes, Champions Online and DC Universe Online.

City of Heroes

In City of Heroes it was double XP weekend, so that meant that the max level characters took a rest and some of the other characters got some playtime instead. There were two characters I put a bit of focus on and that was Don Charge, my electricity hero dominator and Tsu Han, my villain scrapper (kinetic energy/willpower).

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Masthead presents Earthrise roadmap and lifts NDA

January 25, 2011 1 comment

With a bit more than a week until the official release of Earthrise, Masthead Studios have presented a roadmap for things and features that will be added after launch during 2011. At the same time they also lift the NDA, so those that have been in the closed beta are free to talk about the game now. I have not been in the beta, did not even apply for it – so I am curious to see what people think.

Questions and answers are being fired off in the game forums, so far it seems a bit of a mixed bag to me – which does not surprise me at all. The exploration aspects seems good, crafting not as good as I had hoped. The number of active beta testers do not seem to have been that many, which perhaps is not the best sign.

I like that they actually presented some kind of roadmap and thus are to some extent upfront with features that are not in the game yet, before it is released.  This gives at least a bit of hope that they may have thought through the process of running a live game.

I think I will pick up the game during February either way, but might end up being a game I will play for a few weeks and then return to a couple of months later. It would not be the first time and not the last – I think this may even be the pattern for the majority of MMOs I have played in the past few years.

Categories: Earthrise

New Champions Online live today

January 25, 2011 4 comments

So today is the new Champions Online update with the new payment option goes live, called Champions Online: Free-for-all. I hope it works out well for Cryptic with this transition.

There are already enough MMOs for me at the moment and in the pipeline, so will not jump into Champions again directly now. But with a lifetime subscriptions there is no rush for me anyway.


Categories: Champions Online

Five fem viisi

January 23, 2011 5 comments

The number of MMOs I am playing right now have been piling up – currently I have been swapping between five different ones in the past two weeks or so:

  • Fallen Earth
  • Star Trek Online
  • City of Heroes
  • Wurm Online
  • DC Universe Online

Each one have only had a small chunk of time (maybe a bit more for Fallen Earth), but for most of them it has worked out pretty well.

Fallen Earth

A couple of weeks ago Icarus Studios sent out an email with a come-back-and-play offer, giving a slightly reduced initial fee. I played Fallen Earth from release, but did not end up playing paticularly much, even though I really liked the crafting part. There were a few other things that annoyed me with the game and I dropped the subscription. I do not remember exactly when I left, but it seemed anyway that there had gone enough time to merit a look again.

So I jumped in and started a new character – and I have had a blast so far! While I do not remember all the details of the previous time in the game, I do have a feeling that there has been a few changes. The tutorial might have been shortened or changed a bit, I have a feeling there were some more pieces which were not there. The starting area for focus on crafting was also different. Now it was a place called Midway, before I think it was South Burb, if I recall correctly.

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The super dozen

January 22, 2011 3 comments

Today I sort of reached a milestone: I got my 12th max level character in City of Heroes – Dr Charge (an electricity/electricity stalker). This means that my whole first page of characters are all level 50 (I keep them sorted with highest level first) on Defiant server.

The max level family now consists of 9 villains, 2 rogues and 1 hero.

The super dozen

Categories: City of Heroes

Earthrise intro trailer released

January 20, 2011 Comments off

Masthead Studios has ramped up the preparations for the release of Earthrise a bit noew with a cinematic trailer. Whereas the previous beta video had mixed reactions, so far everyone seems quite positive about this trailer.

In a way it tries to include some gameplay features (PvP, vehicles, crafting, insurance). The trailer is pretty nice and I think it is good to some marketing effort for the game.

Categories: Earthrise

Millions of minecrafters

January 17, 2011 Comments off

If you play and/or follow the game Minecraft, you have probably seen that Minecraft has passed 1 million premium (paid) accounts and have more than 3 million registered users. That is pretty impressive I think.

Categories: Minecraft

City of Heroes loyalty rewards

January 17, 2011 Comments off

Paragon Studios has made an announcement that they offer a special 7 year loyalty offering for all customers that have an active City of Heroes account for the whole time between February 1st and April 19th.

That Champions Online soon activates their “F2P” update and that DC Universe Online has recently been released is of course pure coincidence.

Well, Paragon Studios have nothing to worry from my side. I do not particularly care about this special reward, but I have no plans to stop playing City of Heroes even though I might play some of these other MMOs also. I also pay for the game 6 months at a time. So I am already covered until summer time anyway.

Categories: City of Heroes

Worldy vs gamey quotes

January 16, 2011 Comments off

Recently in a blog post Raph Koster asked for simple oneliners why worldy MMOs would be better than gamey MMOs, since there was some funny oneliners in support of gamey MMOs in a different discussion.

Richard Bartle provided one answer there, which I think was a bit amusing:
Games are for Dorothy, worlds are for Alice.

Or, more formally, as I pointed out in my player types paper, there are three non-null stable configurations of players. One of these has socialisers dominant (Wendy worlds, like Second Life); one has achievers dominant (Dorothy worlds, like EverQuest); one has a balance between all types (Alice worlds, like Ultima Online).

If you want this summed up as pithy, insulting one-liners:
Game MMOs are for people who haven’t grown up.
World MMOs are for people who don’t want to grow up.
Social worlds are for people for whom growing up didn’t work out.

The paper Mr Bartle referred to is also a good read I think, if one has not read it before. It talks about the sandbox & themepark (worldy & gamey, Alice & Dorothy, pick your choice of words) mix of gameplay.

Categories: MMO Games

Earthrise or fall

January 16, 2011 5 comments

Just before the weekend Masthead Studios released another beta footage video from Earthrise, which of course led to some at least semi-heated discussion on the Earthrise forums and some less than nice comments elsewhere.

I think the environments themselves looks pretty ok, which is also generally what people say when they say something positive about it. But animations and indications of a less than smooth running of the game have had people tear this thing apart.

The video certainly shows improvements from the previous one they released. The information around the video was somewhat short:

The new beta video showcases dynamic footage of PvE and PvP combat, and displays new areas of Enterra including Sal Vitas square, Seyeen and the Cascade Mountains. The video also presents weapons like the Shielding Device, Leadership Device, the T5 Core Flamer, and many more.

I do think Masthead is struggling a bit to have things working to the release date, so it is most likely not going to be very polished and probably some mentioned features will be missing. In particular since their comments around any open beta has been along “not decided yet” and “no info yet” even a month before release, which leads me to think that they are more pressing issues that a try-before-you-buy open beta, or even a stress-test open beta – the latter is more worrying in that case.

But I am more interested in see how the story elements, exploration, crafting and gameplay in general turns out than how awesome PvP will be, so will still pick up the title to see what it has now and how playable it is. Then maybe continue or let it rest for a while.

Categories: Earthrise