Can a survival sandbox game be an MMORPG? Until recently, the answer has been pretty much a big nope. Mostly that’s because the game worlds haven’t been massive by any means. Amazon Game Studios’ New World, however, appears to be changing that by increasing both the world size and the number of players within it. Even more, there are other MMO elements in or planned for the game, enough so that the studio calls New World a sandbox MMO. Make no mistake though, it is still very much a survival sandbox at heart. But with an active NDA and closed testing, how do we know how this PvP-focused game will play? We haven’t much more to go on than dev diaries and interviews. Until now. Thanks to a special preview event in San Francisco this week, I got to experience a bit of the small scale survival and PvP first-hand. I sat back and played some New World, then sat down and talked with the devs. Here is what I learned during that session. Before we begin, I need to … [Read more...] about Hands-on with Amazon’s New World sandbox – and its distinctively MMO mechanics
World holy places
I spent a bunch of time post-BlizzCon thinking about why World of Warcraft personally bothered me. Not why its design pitfalls bothered me; that’s easy to understand, and frankly, it’s a case of whatever. It’s no different than Star Wars: The Old Republic fumbling unnecessarily for direction and making more missteps all the while, or Guild Wars 2 spending a year of pretending constant holiday events counted as content, or the litany of things going wrong with WildStar. But WoW felt different to me. It felt personal. And after spending a lot of time thinking about it, I think I’ve figured out why. Unfortunately, explaining it means getting pretty relentlessly self-indulgent, and it’s not really about mechanical sides of things. But I suspect some of it might not be unique to me, and I’d like to think that it’s at least entertaining in the same way that other depressing stories are entertaining. So if you’re not in the mood for some … [Read more...] about Vague Patch Notes: When World of Warcraft breaks off your friendship
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing. “I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.” But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: Is open-world housing really a ‘failed’ MMORPG experiment?
As the final few days count down before Battle for Azeroth drops, World of Warcraft’s developers are making some significant last-minute class adjustments to make sure that players will be in a good place at level 120. This class change hotfix is mostly made up of buffs — mostly. Many builds, such as Frost Death Knights, Beast Master Hunters, Marksman Hunters, Holy Priests, Elemental Shamans, Feral Druids, and Demonology Warlocks are getting across-the-board increases to their damage output. There are a few nerfs as well, most notably to Assassination Rogues, but they are not nearly as extensive. Many PvP tweaks are being made as well. And if you’re still hot and bothered over the recent storyline, you may want to listen to this recent interview with former Blizzard lead Chris Metzen, who discusses the negative reaction to the War of Thorns storyline and the harrassment of the writing staff. Meanwhile, Blizzard continues riling up the playerbase. Source: Patch notes, … [Read more...] about World of Warcraft makes some big last-minute class adjustments before Battle for Azeroth
THE GRINDSTONE TRIBUNAL: Why? Why?! WHY?! WHY?!! WHY?!!! Dreskar: Secret World Legends is one of those games that physically hurts to play. I feel insulted every time I see the game in action or whenever just roaming around within the game’s world. It still has some of the old charm of Secret World in there but covered in layers and layers of stupidity, incompetence, and greed. This is not a good game, not by any stretch of the imagination would I ever recommend such a piece of shit, and I honestly feel the developers should be ashamed of themselves. All that cleverness that the base game had, was eroded by the awful UI, flashy gimmicks and constant looming knowledge of lockboxes containing better loot. Combat was absolutely atrocious with no redeeming qualities to it, an over reliance on RNG and little else without even basic variety in builds as you are so hamstrung with so few abilities and passives you can’t make anything unique work. This even extends to the idea that … [Read more...] about Secret World Legends (Episode 100)