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Archive for July, 2011

Fallen Earth updates

July 30, 2011 2 comments

I got an email from Fallen Earth about a few updates for August, which included:

GamersFirst Account Merge
Starting now, you’ll need to log in to Fallen Earth with a GamersFirst account. Don’t fret! The first time you log in once the change is live, you’ll automatically be directed through a process to link your Fallen Earth account with your GamersFirst account. As a bonus for the early birds, if you link your account before August 5, you’ll receive some free G1 Credits!

You need an active account to do this as I understand it. Personally I will probably wait until the F2P transition is completely done, too many games to consider anyway.

New Fast Travel System The LifeNet system is being overhauled and upgraded! Over 50 new facilities will be available to travel between when this update hits, with hubs in all major cities and many small towns. With Fast Travel comes a streamlined ATV quest to make things more accessible for new players, as well as a more intuitive early-quest progression.

Not quite sure what to think of this, to be honest. I think part of the charm with Fallen Earth was that there was a rather low-tech down-to-earth travel you had to do, it fit very well with the setting. Of course you are not forced to use this. A more streamlined ATV quest chain is probably a good thing though.

And then of course some items to pay for with points:
Upcoming Additions to the Fallen Earth Store

  • Colorful Sombrero: Now you can live out your dreams of becoming a wasteland mariachi!
  • Antique Nightvision Goggles: Don’t snap necks in the shadows without’em
  • Wiry Mask: A great way to frighten out-of-towners, children
  • Anti-Glare Sunglasses: You gotta protect your eyes in an Ozone-less future.
  • Flame Pants: You, your pants are on fire!
  • Surviving Shades: You’re a survivor; you’re not going to give up.
  • Hockey Mask: Commonly worn by hockey players and serial killers – and there ain’t no hockey in the wasteland.
  • Coming Soon: New functional items for your mounts and vehicles.

It will be interesting to see where the game is after the transition is completed.

Categories: Fallen Earth

Comic-Con City of Heroes panel

July 27, 2011 3 comments

As perhaps expected for an MMO that are dealing with comic book style superheroes, there was a panel at ComicCon talking covering City of Heroes: Freedom, courtesy of Gamespot.  It is about 34 minutes long. There is also an excerpt video of the panel which provides a shortened version of the content (almost 9 minutes).

A few points to note from the panel:

  • Quick start – you can get into the game and start creating your character after a few minutes, while the rest of the game downloads
  • Redesigned character creation user interface
  • Revamped shared tutorial for all players – you choose if you are going to be a hero or villain in the tutorial and take different paths in the tutorial
  • Online training missions – tutorial itself if intended to be quite quick to go through; instead some extra training information is provided through optional story arc missions once you are in the “real” game.
  • Starter zones (Atlas Park and Mercy Island) have both had a revamp – Mercy primarily the mission content, Atlas Park also the whole zone design with better graphics.
  • Low level Sewer trial event – first team event aimed at level 1-5 players, which you can queue up for using the game’s LFG queueing system (similar to WoW Dungeon Finder). This is available to both heroes and villains.
  • Travel powers available from level 4 and new enhanced travel powers available also from the same power pools (at later levels)
  • New powerset Time Manipulation available to everyone
  • Two new premium powersets (i.e. you have to pay for them) – Street Justice and Beam Rifle
  • New zone First Ward aimed at level 20-25, Praetorian Earth zone, but Praetorian character not needed for access.
  • New incarnate trial – Underground Trial
  • Find contact button – find contacts which may have mission content for you and even allow you to teleport to those contacts.
  • Signature stories – new story arcs released once per month. Heroes and villains play the same story, but from different perspectives. Free for VIPs, must be bought by others.
Categories: City of Heroes, MMO Games

GW2 Engineer video

July 23, 2011 3 comments

ArenaNet has published  gameplay demo video from ComicCon showing off the engineer profession, as well as underwater combat. I quite like the approach to switch back and forth between utilities and have various skills attached to them, including the special ones for underwater combat.  Good also to see a demo where the character is not just standing still. Not quite sure what to think for the random buff they talked about, that is probably one thing that will have to be tested to form an opinion about. Overall I think it looks promising, even though I am not overwhelmed. Part of that may be that there was no really any game audio to listen to. That makes a significant difference I think, so may change perception with the full experience.

It also shows the “downed” state that gives a last chance to defeat any enemies with specific set of attacks.

Towards the end of the video the presenter mentions that there will be a beta and it seems he starts to say “sometime in the new year” but then changes that to “in the future”. He did not say open or closed beta, just beta.

Categories: Guild Wars 2

Issue 21 trailer

July 22, 2011 Comments off

Paragon Studios has released a trailer for the upcoming Issue 21: Convergence. This trailer shows some of the new features and content that are part of that Issue, which may potentially be one of the larger updates they have done, by the looks of it.

Categories: City of Heroes

Paragon rewards program details

July 22, 2011 Comments off

Paragon Studios has provided some more information of what is called the Paragon Rewards program. This is what will replace the old Veteran Rewards program, but which is now adapted to the new hybrid payment model.

Essentially they map rewards and badges from the old Veteran Rewards program into a new reward tree with 9+ tiers – tier 9 has a regular and a VIP part. They also add a number of new rewards in this new rewards program. The new “currency” for the reward program is a Reward Token. When they translate from the old program, they translate each veteran badge into a reward token, plus add a token for each 12 months of subscription. A veteran badge is the title badge one currently receives every 3 months.

So in my case, where I have earned the 60 months veteran reward, I would get 20 + 5 reward tokens – if the conversion would be today. This would go up to tier 7 essentially.

After the Freedom release though, people will earn reward tokens at a higher rate – 1 token per month of subscription or per 1200 paragon points (about $15). Subscribers also get an additional token per 12 months. So the speed of receiving these rewards will essentially speed up by a factor of 3.

The highest tier, tier 9 and tier 9 VIP contains repeatable rewards, i.e. you can use them multiple times. They are consumable rewards and some of them can also be bought directly  in the store, but if tier 9 is unlocked then they are available for free. The tier 9 VIP is the only part here that is exclusive to VIP players, so these things require VIP status to get.

From what I can see in some forum discussions it seems that you need to unlock all items in a tier to be able to access the next higher tier, however you can get all items from a certain tier in any order you want.

Categories: City of Heroes

Bonus everything in SWG

July 19, 2011 6 comments

An small patch was made to Star Wars Galaxies (barely noticed the update), but the impact is significant as the following post says:

Bonus Everything

  • Everyone logged in will earn Double XP, Double GCW Points, Double Heroic Tokens, Double GCW Tokens from Battlefields and City Invasions, Double Pet XP and Loyalty, Double Duty Mission Tokens, Double Chronicles XP, Double Chronicles Silver Tokens, increased chance to earn Gold Chronicles Tokens, increased RLS chance, increased chance to catch real fish (instead of junk loot and collection fish) and bonus Restuss Commendations!
  • NOTE: The RLS chance has been increased to 5 times the normal value.

Fan Faire 2011

  • The Fan Faire 2011 items are now available to be claimed in-game.

I noticed this when I created a harvester deed and saw the significant chunk of XP that this provided, much more than it used to do. Not sure for how long this is in place, or if it is permanent until the shutdown. It will certainly make the game less grindy.

Categories: Star Wars Galaxies

Visiting uncle Owen

July 17, 2011 7 comments

Last month when I saw Massively’s article about Star Wars Galaxies’ 8th anniversary it raised my curiosity what the status was for the game nowadays. I felt that maybe I should try it out again, since had been a few years since the last visit (and that was a brief one as well). Then came the news about SOE closing down the game in December, at which point I felt that now I must play the game again – there was no option really.

Background

I am a pre-NGE player; I started playing Star Wars Galaxies shortly after release in summer 2003 and in my first round played actively until January 2004. For some months after that I played FFXI primarily until I went back to SWG during autumn and winter of 2004. After that I stopped playing for a while, due to EQ2 and WoW.

I did jump in back into the game briefly right after the NGE happened, to see what it was about. My main character back then (master ranger/master creature handler/pistoleer) was no more. Back then I was quite disappointed with SOE and did not touch the game for some time. A brief re-visit maybe 2-3 years later did not do much for me, because the client kept crashing on me.

With this I want to emphasize that I am not bitter with SOE or hold a grudge; the NGE was six years ago – many popular MMO titles today have not even existed for that long. There is no point in looking at what the state was at Publish 25, but rather see the game for what it is now – today.

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Double rewards weekend in City of Heroes

July 15, 2011 Comments off

The last weekend in July will have another double rewards weekend in City of Heroes. As ususal, XP as well as inf (i.e. influence/infamy/information) and prestige will be doubled when playing during this weekend. I also assume as usual that this will not apply to regular Mission Architect missions since it is not mentioned. Incarnate rewards are not mentioned either, so these might be left out as well.

In  other words, if you have a character which is not at max level and perhaps in a rough spot leveling-wise, this might be a good time to get past that hurdle. For me I find the low 40s to be where I end up struggling a bit with the enthusiasm. I have one character in that range, so might take him for a spin that weekend. Also, this might be the time to get a Brute past level 30 – something I never managed before. I have a candidate in the high 20s for that, which is still fun to play.

Categories: City of Heroes

The Secret World play example

July 9, 2011 Comments off

Massively has posted an article with a walkthough of what seems to be pretty much the first instanced team experience the players will encounter in The Secret World. It consists of three parts and is about 20 minutes in total, showing a few aspects of the gameplay. It showed some good elements I think and if this is one of the first instanced team experiences it looks promising I think.

When watching this and some othe related videos I also ran into another developer walhthrough from a few months back (in March). This covers some areas a bit more in depth and also some other gameplay elements, plus shows other areas in the game also (but some of the enemies are the same). I had not seen that one before, so that was also a good one to watch, included below. This one is about 30 minutes long.

I am definitely looking forward to this game.

Categories: The Secret World

The new First City

July 8, 2011 Comments off

This is mainly a couple of screenshots from the new Qo’noS area in Star Trek Online. It is divided into two parts, the First City itself on the planet and the Shipyard, which is a space station.

In the First City one will find all the different key NPCs and facilities to talk to, except obviously those that has to do with your ships and ship equipment. I quite like new design, more open space, feels a bit more lively and easier to figure out where to go IMHO if you are not completely familiar with where things are, in particular since there are signs leading you to the right spots (really neat design on those signs). Some places you can also visually guess what they may be about.

Good work, Cryptic!

First view when you enter the city from the transporter area

More pictures after the break.

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Categories: Star Trek Online