Category Archives: GUIDES

Star Trek Online bandage ICONIAN war story

There is a (very) short positions hint on Star Trek Online Star Trek Online website for the next update, which will put an end to the war Iconian story has continued since the game’s launch five years ago.

Called “Midnight,” the final chapter suggests Iconians owned and players union “, they are scrambling to incorporate technological advantages in the field of” forced into an “incredible decision”, which may violate the temporal prime directive.

There is not many people there, so why not use this opportunity to re-examine our interview STO Executive Producer Steve Ricossa next month about the game? Each click will give you free tribbles *!

Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch 9 Notes

The upcoming Patch 9 for Dragon Age: Inquisition contains a number of bug fixes and improvements to multiplayer.

Patch 9 introduces Pala, the Silent Sister, a new playable multiplayer character. A member of the Silent Sisters of Orzammar, Pala is a zealous dwarven warrior with an unwavering dedication to the art of war. Pala willingly chose exile to join the Inquisition in its perpetual struggle against the enemies of Thedas.

In addition, some platform-specific issues were resolved, including graphical issues for PC users with AMD Crossfire dual GPU and Mantle.

Patch notes in other languages available here.

Dragon Age™: Inquisition Patch 9

Fixed an issue where resetting options of any category could also reset the game difficulty.

Fixed an issue which could cause Multiplayer potions to be consumed if target mode was entered and cancelled.

Fixed an issue which could cause the Yavanalis staff headpiece to not display in Multiplayer.

Added a hot key for Salvage in Multiplayer.

Fixed some issues that caused some localized text to not fit in their proper display areas.

Fixed an issue that could cause XP and other stats to double in Multiplayer.

[PC] Fixed an issue which could cause on-screen flickering when using AMD Crossfire dual GPU and Mantle.

[Xbox One] Fixed unnecessary “online connection” popup at game launch

[PS4] Fixed an issue which could cause the game to become unresponsive when losing connection while joining a full Multiplayer session.

 

The Secret World Developer Funcom Is Looking to Sell

The Secret World developer Funcom is not doing well recently as their newly launched online title Lego Minifigures Online doesn’t meet expectation. The Norwegian studio is now looking for possible acquisition.
VG247 reports:
It has appointed an investment bank to look in to “strategic options”, which include finding “interested parties for discussions surrounding a possible investment, acquisition, merger, or any other available options.”
Those other options are likely to include a sale of individual assets – games, code, etc – or a bankruptcy filing as a last resort.

Funcom expected Lego Minifigures Online to be a profitable game and they changed the model from F2P to B2P right before they released the game. The sales for the PC version were disappointed according to report. The game is also available on Android and iOS systems.

 

Earth Online Sounds Like the Largest and Most Unlikely MMO You Could Have

Earth Online (official site) is an Unreal Engine 4 MMO claims to have a large sandbox world that includes almost everything you have and things you can do in real life. In social aspect, it plans to become a simulation of real life — you’ll need to get a driver license before you can drive a car. In MMO aspect, it allows you to build your house (even government), and fight like you do in GTA.

The game is being developed by an independent team called Kupai, who will soon start crowdfunding in China. The project remains in very early stage and if you think it’s practicable, you can vote for the game at Steam Greenlight page.

Some of the major gameplay systems the developer team plans to make

Survival system
You will get thirty and hungry and you need to eat and drink. You’ll even get sick so you have to take good care of yourself like you do in real life.

Identity system
You’ll have a citizen ID that displays your age, gender, address and so on. It also records your credit and deeds which will affect your life in the game.

Craft system
You can grow vegetables, do fishing, go hunting, raise cattle, and more.

Pet system
With Unreal engine’s AI technology, you will have extensive interaction with pets.

Construction system
You can build, rent or sell houses in particular areas. You can decorate and redecorate your house.

Marriage system
Stable marriage will help you in socialization even in the campaign for senator or mayor.

Economy system
It claims to have banks, credit cards, stock market, and loan which have the similar rules to the reality. You can start your own company and become CEO.

Vehicle system
You need to pass the test and get a license to drive. You can modify your cars. Driving tends to be more like a sim game than arcade game.

Combat system
Lots of weapons with realistic recoil. Police will stop you if you use weapons in public.

Nation system
You can run campaign for mayor even president. You can raise war against other nations. Guilds are available in this game but it will be more like party in real life. Your guild can campaign for positions in the government.

Profession system
Cops, doctors, and even taxi drivers — all professions are supposed to be similar to those in real life. You can change your job.

Adventure system
You can explore the uncharted world (forgot to say that the game sets in a world revives from apocalypse). Will there be mutants, zombies or treasures in the wild?

Gathering system
You can gather metal, oil, woods, herbs and sell for money.

Communication system
There are radios, cellphones, and satellites that can be used for communication. Friend list will be in your cellphone.

After reading these, do you still think this game will happen? You think this is a joke? It does have some screenshots already

SOE AND THE ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT MMO BUFFET. ARE WE AFRAID YET?

It’s almost old news now, SOE and their single-subscription plans for all players. You can head over to Wilhelm’s for a roundup of what that means and why they’re doing it and check the other, related blogger links there. I am of course with Bhagpuss when it comes to feeling rather outraged about the whole Pro7Sat-deal for European players. If you’ve sorta grown up with those TV channels, it fills you with all kinds of dread thinking of them as MMO publishers, all other issues of this arrangement aside. I’ve been bewildered about this for a while now. First time I heard about it, I thought they were pulling my leg.

Syp explained today how the single-sub is really a “big win-win situation for both the studio and its customers” and a move towards rewarding brand loyalty. I can see how cross-financing more and less struggling products makes sense and why friends of SOE games might feel this way. After all, what’s cooler than getting more games for a single subscription, right?

For now. I just can’t help but puzzle over all the included implications for this genre that’s made for longterm, dedicated play. A genre that’s not the most suitable for switching games constantly – a thing that gets incentivized by the way sub bonuses will affect all of SOE’s involved products at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong; this is essentially not much different from free-to-play MMO gaming. You could say that you’re paying a sub for one game and get the rest for free. A single-sub MMO buffet doesn’t “destroy” player commitment any more than free-to-play does, any more than any payment model can. I have never believed in subs being great or in fact genuine tools of facilitating player commitment. I don’t believe they decide over how, when and why MMO players leave a title. Great games keep players. Great games create great communities that keep players. It’s all connected in one direction for me.

Another thing this frontrunner of all-access MMO deals is doing, is inspiring wild industry speculations on what we can expect from here. It’s a no-brainer that other companies will follow suit; certainly other giants such as Blizzard or NCSoft have their own, big enough game palettes to offer. There will be a point in time where business analysts with a very large clip-board will have proven beyond doubt that, in these times of plentiful micro transactions, the pros of single-sub buffets outweigh the cons (such as losing multi-subbers) by far. Once you have access to more games and are actively encouraged to play them in combination, that opens up all types of new avenues of getting hooked and spending money with that one sub payed on top of everything else. As Tesh rightly pointed out on Twitter, it’s opening the floodgates to MMO meta-gaming and cross-overs, too – and we haven’t even properly begun to explore those. Frankly, I am scared to explore them. I do not appreciate those Steam trading cards at all.

But one can almost feel it now: a ripple in the fabric of the MMO market as we knew it. I can’t shake the gloomy feeling that SOE has just rung the bell for an entirely new era of MMO development – or opened a particularly disgusting cans of worms, depending on your viewpoint. One sub to rule them all and in the darkness bind them?

At this time and considering existing games, there may be clear upsides to this model. However, what it may cause in the long run and what types of new games it might inspire to be developed….especially for the traditionalists among us…..

IDENTITY CRISIS AND A WILDSTAR AVATAR

It is the weirdest thing when our plans go topsy-turvy, when the things we thought we were looking forward to fail us miserably and the ones we never even considered, take us by surprise. What do we even know? Nothing.

Sometimes we think we want one thing only to discover that we really didn’t. Something looks just right and suitable in our mind but in truth it never was or will be. In the end, what we want and what we need are two different things and that’s something I have learned before, at a time when I thought I knew exactly what (and whom) to pursue in my life. And then seemingly out of the blue, someone came along and told me he was all I needed.
Right now, I should be playing Guild Wars 2 or The Elder Scrolls Online because they look like everything I want in MMOs. Instead, I am playing Wildstar – a game with traditional questing, a holy trinity and cartoony graphics. Not just that, I am enjoying myself. A lot.

How did it come to this??

Anyway. Happy Wildstar weekend everybody! The Nexus awaits and my olde healer muscles are aching for practice. Never say never.

Release Date for Rise of the Tomb Raider Revealed

A new gameplay demo revealed today at Microsoft’s E3 press conference revealed a stunning look at the new Crystal dynamics game, Rise of the Tomb Raider. Lara Croft traverses a dangerous snowy mountain, only to be separated from her colleague, Jonah. We are taken for a ride as she survives an avalanche. A quick gameplay sizzle reel follows, which you can check out below!

Rise of the Tomb Raider features beautiful, dynamic snow and ice effects, return of the gameplay elements of the first Tomb Raider and introducing new gameplay elements such as swimming and underwater fighting.

Rise of the Tomb Raider will be Available November 10th 2015 as an Xbox One Exclusive. There is no information on availability for other consoles at this moment. Tomb Raider 2 looks to be a blockbuster hit, but how will it far releasing the same day as Fallout 4? Sound off in the comments below! Stick with GameNews on all the latest on Rise of the Tomb Raider.

 

Was Pathfinder Online Right to Ask Backers to Recruit More Players?

Pathfinder Online is one of the more intriguing mmo games currently in development. Its mixture of sandbox and theme park mmo features should make for some fascinating gameplay, and I have an interest in the game as that I’m familiar with the pen-and-paper roleplaying game that the online rpg is based upon. The success of the Pathfinder tabletop rpg has been miraculous as it has outsold Dungeons and Dragons in recent years, an amazing feat in of itself. While the game is still in its early testing stages, a cry was sent out by Ryan Dancey, the CEO of Goblinworks, for current players to actively go out and recruit additional players on top of the financial backing that they’re already providing. Was Pathfinder Online right to ask backers to recruit more players?

This call to increase current Pathfinder Online recruitment went out a few weeks ago. Ryan Dancey asked players to go to various gaming websites, some sub-reddits, and the EVE Online community to find and recruit more players to join the game. The specific reason was that settlement recruiting activities was essentially non-existent. The player-created settlements are one of the core features of the game as they can expand over time depending upon how active its members are and how many are involved.

The result from the current Pathfinder Online players was mixed. Some were quite happy to extol the virtues of the game, and they want to bring in other players to help create something new. Other players were more reticent, feeling that the time was not yet right as the game is still early on in development. One poster said, “Ryan, I think that most of us are just barely reaching the stage where we are willing to try to bring anyone into this game who isn’t already interested. I love that you are so directly engaged with us, and open to what we have to say, and Pathfinder Online is improving at a phenomenal rate, but there have been a lot of things that were embarrassing, and for many it still isn’t mvp (minimally viable product).” So which side is right?

On one hand, I see nothing wrong with players asked to go out and find others to join them. Every great mmorpg is built upon a strong community, and the sandbox elements of Pathfinder Online should ensure that committed players will be attracted to the game. While some may argue that Goblinworks is asking players to mount a marketing campaign of their own (something that those players feel that Goblinworks should be doing instead), I would counter that there is no greater ambassador for an online game than an enthusiastic player. With YouTube videos and Twitch livestreams, gamers today have far more ability to go out and reach other players and entice them into playing their chosen game. Another consideration is that if Pathfinder Online recruitment is taken over by the players, that frees the company up to devote its resources to making the game even better.

However, there are some powerful arguments against the mmo asking players to go out and beef up the Pathfinder Online player numbers. The first is that of cost. If the game was free-to-play, then luring additional players would be no hassle at all. The rub is that the game currently charges a $15 a month subscription fee to play. This is a pretty big pill for most gamers to swallow in this day and age. Most mmo games are f2p nowadays, with only a few charging a subscription fee. Few are the gamers that would be willing to pony up fifteen bucks a month to play a game that’s still being developed.

Another anti-Pathfinder Online recruitment drive argument is that Goblinworks does not have a firm grip on the numbers. One poster asked about how many buddy keys had been handed out, and whether those keys have led to a purchase or subscription, as well as if the number of new subscriptions is more or less than the number of prepaid accounts that are expiring. The reply from Ryan Dancey was, ” I am somewhat chagrined to say that I don’t have those numbers. They are all being tracked but we have not written an analysis tool to review them yet. This is actually a pretty large issue – there are a lot of analytics that we should have but don’t have because I would rather invest team resources in features and polish than in analysis. Realistically, nothing that analysis would tell us would really impact any decisions anyway. We would be doing the Buddy Trial system even if zero percent of the trials converted.”

To me, going out and recruiting more players is of little value if their analytics are not going to be compiled and studied. One may get the impression that the mmo is just looking for more paying customers to help fund their continued development. Please note that I’m not saying that this is the case. However, if the company does need additional funds to keep development going, then they should freely communicate that to their backers. Quite a few players have dropped a lot of money on the game already, and the mmo does have a $1000 platinum account option available for purchase in their cash shop, not to mention their $5000 tavern owner option.

In the end, my gut feeling of asking for current players to go out and actively recruit more players is not the best idea at the current time. The game has a lot to offer and some great features, but I just can’t get past the fact that one has to pay a subscription fee for an unfinished game. When you add in the fact that they’re not even analyzing the data that they’re gathering, then it seems to be premature to go out and attempt to wrestle up a bunch of new players. Perhaps if the mmo offered a free month of two of playing time as a lure to grab more players (and I would accept that those new players would have to get a buddy key from a current backer of the game) and allow them to see what the game has to offer, then I would be more amenable to a Pathfinder Online recruitment drive. For the current time, I would have to vote against it though.

Can Nintendo Actually Change the F2P Monetization Model?

The structure of online gaming has shifted dramatically over the last six years or more. Where once the mighty subscription mmorpg was king over all it surveyed, the scrappy free-to-play model was not to be denied. The initial f2p mmos were normally nothing more than money pits that nickel and dimed players to death, forcing them to buy the most basic items (healing potions being one example) in order to play the game. Those days are long gone, but there are those who wonder how the current state of f2p monetization for mmo games can be sustained. One such person is the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, and he recently proclaimed that he wants the company to shift away from the current model in use. Can Nintendo actually change the f2p monetization model?

During a Q&A with Satoru Iwata, he said, “A key term should be “wide and small” rather than “narrow and large.” The basis of our strategy will be how we can receive a small amount of money from a wide range of consumers. However, as people in general recognize that the narrow-and-large method has been outperforming the others, we are investigating where to change in order to surpass existing hurdles. We have had various discussions internally, I have challenged the developers with this issue and they have had many active discussions on the topic. We already have some specific ideas and will announce them in due course. Above all, as Nintendo is a family brand, we do not intend on changing the situation where parents and guardians can give Nintendo products to their children with peace of mind. In that sense, we want to pay very close attention to how we receive money.”

One would think that mmorpg games that use the standard f2p monetization model derive their revenue from a broad spectrum of gamers. However, such is not the case. Most f2p online games derive the bulk of their revenue from a tiny percentage of those playing the game. League of Legends is one game where the number of paying players is in the single digits, but those who do pay can spend quite a bit of money within the game. One such player revealed that he had spent over $7,715 on the game so far. The fact is that f2p mmos rely upon these “whales” to keep the game going by spending large amounts of money. It’s this current situation that Nintendo looks to change in how f2p revenue is created.

So can such a change in the approach to f2p monetization work? In the abstract sense, the answer is yes. A game should be able to derive a huge amount of revenue if the vast majority of the players in the game are spending money, even if that amount is very little. League of Legends boasts over 70 million players, and it earned $124 million last January alone. While incredible, that amount was created by a small percentage. Imagine if every player spent just three dollars a month playing the game. That would add up to $210 million, an almost fifty percent increase in revenue. Casting a wide net by going after a ton of small sales as opposed to just a handful of giant ones is a successful strategy used by the largest retailer in the world, Walmart. Their revenue model has crushed every other retailer, but will such an approach realistically work for online games?

There are some hurdles facing Nintendo in their quest to change the f2p monetization model. The first is that the current model is incredibly profitable as the gaming “whales” show no signs of slowing down their spending. Any company executive will tell you that you’re nuts if you want to rock the boat and jeopardize a money-making enterprise. No online game is willing to be the first to change their f2p revenue model and have things go south. They’ll wait to see what the other game companies will do, how the players react, and then figure out how to tweak the process to make it successful. Another issue is that of choice. If one game decides to make more of its players spend money in order to play the game, then those players can decide to move on to other mmo games that don’t quite easily as there are literally hundreds of free mmos out there.

Lastly, the f2p monetization of mmo games will likely not be impacted for quite a while by Nintendo’s actions. The main reason for this is that Nintendo is not really in the mmo business. The vast majority of their games are arcade games and rpgs, although they do have a DS version of Ragnarok Online. That being said, do not discount their influence. Nintendo is the world’s number one video game company by revenue, having sold more than 670 million hardware units and 4.23 billion software units though March of 2014. With an increasing emphasis on mobile games, it is very possible that Nintendo can lead the charge in changing the model of f2p monetization as they have the resources and clout to pull it off. What really matters is if they have the will to do so and if gamers are willing to go along with such changes.

For the foreseeable future, I honestly don’t see any big shifts in the f2p monetization model used by online games. While quite a few gamers will moan in forums about lockboxes and grinding, the reality is that the current model makes a lot of money for the game companies. I also think that most players will happily leave one game and go to another if they’re forced to spend any money at all. (In my opinion, most people are pretty cheap.) It is possible for such a “wide and small” approach described by Satoru Iwata to work, but it’ll take quite some time to achieve. While Iwata wants to make those changes, the shareholders of Nintendo might decide differently if profits are affected.