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Archive for August, 2011

City of Heroes VIP sale?

August 21, 2011 Comments off

Paragon Studios is running a promotion where you can buy City of Heroes for 1.99 dollars/1.49 Euro/1.29 British pounds and get one month of game time. This offer lasts only until August 29th 16:00 pacific time (August 30th 01:00 central European time).

There has been some speculation here regarding the timing of this promotion; either it would mean that it would be another month after the end of this promotion that Issue 21/Freedom will launch, or it will launch on August 30th.

Personally, I am leaning a bit towards the latter – it will launch on August 30th, or at least that what their current plan may be. The VIP beta has been running for about 2 weeks now and with another week that is a somewhat normal time period for how long they usually run open betas for new issues.  The update frequency has increased and it is mostly smaller things corrected, although there are still various bug reports being entered – most of them minor though, it seems. August 30th is a Tuesday, which is the day of the week they typically apply updates.

Also the end of the free trial accounts will also pretty much coincide with August 30th as well, my guess is that they want to minimize the amount of time where new players cannot sign up to play. If they launch on AUgust 30th then this promotion deal is a fairly good one; you can get VIP status for up to a month, should get you 400 paragon points (which would cost $5) and access to everything that VIPs get as part of the subscription. Sort of a try-before-you-buy for the VIP access. That is, assuming it will launch by the end of the month. Since it is something paid for, the account will be a premium account if the subscription is not extended.

This promotion cannot be applied to existing inactive accounts though – it has to be an entirely new game account, or upgrade an existing trial account. That game account can be part of an existing NCSoft master account though.

A number of existing players seem to jump on this to create a 2nd (or 3rd etc) account. If anyone plans to spend any money on the game and do not mind a new account, this is probably a pretty good deal to get started.

First Ward zone

Categories: City of Heroes

The new superhero creation

August 17, 2011 4 comments

With the soon-to-be-released hybrid payment model update of City of Heroes, there is a long list of changes that has been done, both in terms of content and user interface design. The first part that players will encounter is of course the character creator, which have had a user interface revamp. An interesting feature is also that the character creator will be available before the complete game has downloaded.

Many people may spend a fair amount of time creating their character before they start to actually play, so it only makes sense to have that available while the rest of the game downloads. The same thing is also for the tutorial, this one will also be available before the complete game has downloaded.

Initial view in the new City of Heroes tutorial

I have collected a couple of screenshots from the latest beta update of the character creation, which is likely what it may look like at release. Continue after the break to see more.

Read more…

Categories: City of Heroes

From Cthulhu with love

August 16, 2011 3 comments

Well, perhaps not Cthulhu himself, but Funcom does a good job with getting people excited about their upcoming game The Secret World, which now also has an official release target in April 2012. They also have started a countdown on the game web site, with 231 hours to go (when this was written) to the start of the possibility to apply for beta test of the game.

And of course another video has been released also, which is a pretty neat one.

Categories: The Secret World

Star Legends officially released

August 11, 2011 Comments off

Star Legends has been in open beta for a bit over a week and has now been officially released, at least on Android.

Spacetime Studios submitted the iOS version of the game initially to Apple for approval about a month ago. Initially they said they intended to release it at the same time on all platforms. However it seems they changed their mind and decided to release on Android before it had been approved for Apple’s app store.

One issue that the approval process of a certain platform had was that Spacetime Studios wanted their virtual currency that people buy, platinum, should be possible to use in all their games. I.e. if you buy platinum in Pocket Legends you can also use it in Star Legends, if you play both. This was something Spacetime Studios had announced was their intention. However, it seems that this was not ok with that app store and a change had to be made; a recent update made the platinum game specific.

That of course upset a few players that wanted to use platinum they had bought in Pocket Legends in Star Legends. As that platform’s app store did not allow for a one-off transfer between games like some players suggested, Spacetime Studios instead issued 30 platinum for Star Legends to every single player who had bought platinum at some point after they had made the first announcement about shared platinum. That seems to have totalled to about 1.5 million platinum. Since I had bought a small chunk of platinum just prior to this I also ended up with 30 platinum extra. I think it was a nice gesture of Spacetime Studios.

The number is also interesting since it shows indirectly how many players have bought platinum since they made that announcement a few months ago; 1.5 million/30 = 50000 players. Each of these players have spent at least $5 on the games and in many cases probably more. They are probably doing ok financially.

Categories: Star Legends

Lego Universe is F2P nowadays

August 9, 2011 1 comment

I just stumbled on this while following some links, seems Lego Universe has adopted an F2P payment model.

While I have not played the game yet, it seems from other posts I have seen about it that it has struggled a bit in the past, which is a shame. There should definitely be a market for some good building-games in the multiplayer space (looks at Minecraft). Maybe this transition helps.

Will probably end up trying it at some point now.

Categories: Lego Universe

City of Heroes: Freedom VIP beta available

August 9, 2011 Comments off

Later today/tomorrow, depending on time zone, the City of Heroes: Freedom VIP beta will be available for people to try out. That means everyone who is currently an active subscriber can try out Freedom and Issue 21.

This will be on the City of Heroes beta server. While not available right away it seem there will be some “fake” Paragon Points given out to all characters for those that want to try out the Paragon Market.

I guess this means that Freedom/Issue 21 may be entering an open beta stage then and that the NDA from closed beta is lifted – although I have not seen any confirmation on that yet. If someone has played in closed beta they might be able to share some of that soon then…

Update: Paragon Studios have stated they will seed every currently active account with 10000 Paragon Points to play around with in the beta. (not in live!)

Categories: City of Heroes

Blasting in Star Legends

August 7, 2011 4 comments

When I got back home this weekend I noticed that Star Legends was now available on Android Market. The game seems now to be in an open beta stage. I did not really like Spacetime Studios previous mobile MMO, Pocket Legends, but with a SciFi theme I thought I should check it out and I downloaded it to my Eee Pad.

You have 3 different professions to choose from; commando, operative and engineer. There is of course gender selection and some basic hair and face customisation for the character. This is a quite action-packed game. You start out with a quick and simple tutorial to save the day and after that you will enter the UCS Blackstar. This ship acts as a kind of lobby area with various facilities – auction house, crafting stations, guild management area, some bounty lists (PvP? not sure), space hangar and also vendor stations and mission NPCs.

Initially I must say I did not quite like it; I had some trouble with camera movement because I tried to swipe in a different way than the game expected, but once I figured that out it worked out better. Some of the store interfaces were also not intuitive to me (swipe the list to select what you buy, not press on it).  I also died quite a lot in mission fights. But after a while it did grow on me and now I must say I quite like it; it is good fun and you can jump in for a few minutes to play quite easily.

The mission system is an instanced approach with automatic teaming, so people will jump in and out of your mission instance all the time. From your quest panel you can select to jump to a mission in your quest list, or there is also a general list with ongoing instances that one can choose from. Or you can just select an area to choose a transporter from Blackstar in some cases to go there.

Throughout the mission areas there are boxes with loot and regardless of who opens the box it seems everyone gets something. The first few missions were pretty simple “go kill stuff” type of missions, with some boss fights. Later missions introduced some simple puzzles also. There are also various enviroment considerations – there can be toxic waste or toxic gas in some areas, so you need to get an anti-toxin first. There are vents which may spew fire from them from time to time and there are different items that can be shot at so they explode and possibly hurt things nearby.

One will earn cash (gold) from fighting enemies and doing missions, plus also selling loot that you pick up in the missions. Some items and in particular stimpacks (recover health or power) can be bought with those. But you are not earning huge amounts of money. So there is of course also an item shop in the game, where you buy things with platinum, which is a higher value option – 1 platinum corresponds to 100 gold.

Some items are available both through platinum (game store) and through gold (vendor machines), but with the exchange rate it seems to favour buying directly using platinum, e.g. buying 25 stimpacks cost 3 platinum from store, but 625 gold from vendor machine. Some items are only available in the game store, like enhancements, which boosts a number of things – XP, armor and damage for a while.

Platinum prices vary depending how much you buy – the larger amounts you buy, the cheaper it is per platinum. The most expensive option is the smallest amount you can buy, 30 platinum for 5 dollars. But if you are willing to put up 100 dollars directly, you get 2000 platinum. And then there are a few other platinum package options in between those extremes.

I think Spacetime Studios have done quite a good job with the game; it is fast-paced and fun and playing together with others is really quite easy. The installed game itself allows for four accounts to play – this is most certainly with tablets in mind, which probably would be shared devices in a family.

For Android the game should work on anything running Android 2.0 or later. I have not tried it on my phone yet. For Apple devices it seems that they are still going through the approval process with Apple and once that is done it should be available for iOS devices also.

Categories: Star Legends