MMO Search Comes Alive With MMO+

 

Here’s something pretty cool.  In the author’s own words:

MMO+ is the result of the frustration that comes from looking for an MMO to play that suits me, the lack of decent MMO search engines, and too many World of Warcraft clones.

The project is still in development and it’s in a beta state, so it’s probably going to break somewhere. I would love to get a bug report in case something fails.

Head over to the site and hit the three lines in the upper right corner to set your desired criteria and the site will provide a list of games that matches what you’re looking for. I know I’ve wanted as much many, many times.

I hope this is a project that continues!

HBS Takes on Battletech

I have fond memories of the Battletech boardgame from when I was a kid. A friend had sanded and painted every miniature ‘mech beautifully, and the game itself was a ton of fun. That’s why I am excited that Hairbrained Studios, the people behind Shadowrun: Returns, will be bringing the Battletech universe next.

Promising tactical combat and Machiavellian scheming, I’ll keep an eye out for this title.

Source: Annoucement

 

Good Times in Guild Wars

Sometimes I’m stuck with an itch that is a bit more base and simplistic. While we’re far past the point in design, I’ll admit I have fond memories of actually setting up spawn camps in Final Fantasy XI, and I end up heartened by discovering good, private grind spots in The Elder Scrolls Online.  So I found it no surprise that recently I decided that I had to pick up Guild Wars.

To rewind, back when I really swung into MMOs without hope of escaping I was a college student with far less means. When I made the decision that I wanted to get back into MMOs after a long break, I found myself torn between Final Fantasy XI and the original Guild Wars. The lack of subscription fees was a large positive to GW, but the larger expanse and lack of instancing led me to FFXI (and eventually WoW). Continue reading Good Times in Guild Wars

Star Wars: The Old Republic Revisit – Familiar is Just Fine

It is no surprise that a consumer-fanatic fandom such as Star Wars has created what amounts to it’s own Black Friday, and “May the 4th” certainly lives up to its name. As a brilliant series of coincidences arose, I was able to snag myself a copy of The Old Republic’s Bundle Pack at a great deal. Containing all the content, a two month subscription and a boatload of Cartel Coins the pack was a steal.

TOR Bundle

But there was still the looming worry that it was the same game I abandoned in 2012 soon after launch and never could get back interest after the free-to-play conversion.

I was sort-of wrong and sort-of right. I certainly enjoyed myself enough, but in the end my interest couldn’t hold. To be truthful, I never thought it would. Continue reading Star Wars: The Old Republic Revisit – Familiar is Just Fine

Project Gorgon Returns to Kickstarter

I’ve been keeping an eye on Project Gorgon for years now, ever since the earlier builds were released to the public. What can I say? This effort seeks a return to many of the elements which once made MMOs into living worlds and not games to be completed then forgotten. “Immersion” isn’t a buzzword here, but a core element of design.

So once again, the brilliant and immersive Project Gorgon has returned to Kickstarter with a very specific and manageable goal leading toward a concrete release. While this is the project’s third Kickstarter campaign (the previous two failed to meet goals), the team has already reached just shy of the halfway point toward their manageable $20k goal as of Monday morning. Continue reading Project Gorgon Returns to Kickstarter

Buy-to-Play, Sub-to-Own

I’ve noticed a little drama starting up around The Elder Scrolls Online and their new DLC pack, “The Imperial City”. There’s some question of it if it better to buy crowns directly or sub to the game. As I mentioned in my own coverage, I find the $25 price point slightly baffling since it both seems steep for the content offered in comparison to the more common $10-15 range, as well as a “strange” choice of price point since there exists no $25 Crown purchase option (3000 Crowns is the closest match).

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As best that I can tell, ESO is taking a rough page from SWTOR’s book in using subscriptions to driven loyalty. The ethical or moral ramifications aside, it is clear that ESO is taking the stance that there is no real benefit to buying DLC packs instead of subscribing for even a short period of time. ESO+, the game’s subscription plan, costs $15 a month and provides a few boosts as well as a full $15 worth of Crowns every period.

This makes sense if the approach being taken by Zenimax is to allow subscribing players to retain their level of access if they decide to cancel their monthly payment, as is common. You can subscribe, collect Crowns and then buy DLC as-needed.

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We’ll have to see how this works. The cost of this DLC pack is already above what is generally expected, but we’re still not clear on exactly how meaty the new area and storylines will end up being. ESO continues to impress me by the caliber of their storytelling and worldbuilding (though they have it pretty easy for rich IPs).

I remain ever awaiting the eventual Vvardenfell expansion.

KotOR II Patched: Widescreen, Controller and Workshop

In a surprisingly stealth move, Aspyr has recently released a small-but-significant official update to the Steam edition of Obsidian’s 2004 Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.  KotOR II was famously hobbled by an extraordinarily short development cycle, going from conception to release in only a short year-and-a-half. While the mechanics, game systems and philosophy is decidedly deeper and more nuanced than its fantastic predecessor, the short development time led to a number of fatal content cuts which resulted in a stunted, confusing story experience.  Most egregious was the extreme amount of content that was left on the floor during the game’s ending, leaving players without closure or even much understanding of what they had just accomplished.

Despite its flaws, the game is amazing and remains one of my favorite RPGs of all time. Thankfully, this patch provides fixes for many of the numerous issues present in the game. The full list:

• 37 achievements to be earned through gameplay
• Steam Cloud saves
• Native widescreen resolution support
• Resolution support up to 4K and 5K
• Support for controllers, including Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation
3, and Playstation 4, along with several others (check the system requirements for details)
• Steam Workshop support! We proudly worked with the Restored Content Mod team to have their famous TSLRCM up on launch day

Most importantly, Workshop support means that The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM) is available to restore almost all the content that was cut for the game’s initial launch. This mod had been around as a community-driven labor for years, and seeing it get the official support it deserves is really very wonderful.

You can read more about the patch here, and find out about TSLRCM here.