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jalexbrown

First Impressions: Everquest 2: Age of Discovery Beta

By: jalexbrown Dec 7, 2011 | 185 Views | 3 Comments

Jalexbrown looks at the beta for the upcoming expansion for Everquest 2.

It should be noted up front that Age of Discovery is not a content expansion; it's a feature expansion.  There are no new zones, no new raids or dungeons, and perhaps a scant few new quests associated with the new Freeport Reborn patch that is technically a separate entity altogether from the expansion pack.  Destiny of Velious, the last major expansion pack for the game, is going to be coming with content well into 2013 according to Sony Online Entertainment.  So what's coming with Age of Discovery?  A fair enough of a question, I suppose.  Fortunately I was able to play the beta for a few days over the weekend, so allow me to fill you in.

Firstly, and perhaps of most interest, there's the new class: Beastlord.  The Beastlord class is a scout class, so it's a melee dps class - specifically a pet dps class.  The main aspect of the Beastlord class is the ability to tame enemies found across the game's continents so that they'll fight at your side.  I was unfortunately limited in my ability to try the new class out, but from my experience it looks to be a pretty viable dps class.  If it's anything like the Beastlord class from the original Everquest, it'll also have a fair amount of buffs and HP/MP regen spells.  In the original it was relatively possible to use a Beastlord as an off-tank or an off-healer, but I can't personally vouche for how viable this will be with Everquest 2's Beastlord class.

(My awesome Beastlord...and, unfortunately, the armor is all appearance only.)

(And its awesome pet.)

Another new feature being added is the ability to hire mercenaries to help you in combat.  if you're familiar with the original Everquest post-Seeds (Seeds of Destruction), then the whole mercenary system will be pretty familiar to you.  Mercenaries are NPCs that the player can hire to help them in combat as either a tank, melee dps, ranged dps, or healer.  These mercenaries will be found around the world for recruitment, and Sony Online Entertainment has even included a few rare mercenaries that I'm guessing will work on random spawn timers and possibly in random locations.  There will be ten different mercenaries available for hire, and I believe you'll be able to hire only one at a time.

Another noteworthy inclusion to the new Age of Discovery is the Dungeon Maker.  The premise of the Dungeon Maker is similar to the player housing of Everquest 2.  Essentially you'll unlock themed layouts as you play the game, and you'll be able to use them to create your own dungeons.  You'll be able to set your mobs, set your bosses, set your decor, player spawn and end points, all that good stuff.  Once you're done getting your dungeon to your liking, you'll be able to publish it for others to play through and rate.  The players won't get to run their own characters, but will instead be able to select from different level 50 template characters; this allows the developers to dynamically scale the difficulty of the mobs so each and every dungeon can be completed by anything from a solo player to a full party of players.  There won't be any sort of loot rewarded to players for playing through the player-made content, but the players' real in-game characters will gain experience for what they do in the dungeons.

The last two things worth mentioning aren't really tied to the Age of Discovery expansion, but they are tied to the Age of Discovery's release.  The first is that Freeport, one of the game's capital cities, is getting a complete redesign.  This will include, amongst other things, new quests and less zoning across different areas of the city.

The other thing worth mentioning is that the game is going with a freemium model.  Sony Online Entertainment experimented with this on a relatively small scale with Everquest 2 Extended, and now they're rolling out the full thing.  This means that free-to-play players will be able to participate on the same servers as silver and gold players.  A detailed list of what's included with each plan can be found here.  It's worth noting that, to get a silver membership (which I highly recommend if you like the game, even if you don't want to pay the full subscription rate), you only have to pay $5 once.  This means that if you buy 500 Station Cash, you'll automatically be upgraded forever to a silver membership.

So what say you, Gouki?  Do any of you care about MMOs?  Will any of you be trying this when the free-to-play is available?  The Age of Discovery expansion, which also presumably includes the Freeport Reborn patch and the free-to-play option, is launching sometime on December 6th.

(Click pictures included to see full-sized versions.)

Community Blog

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MMO Report #1: Do MMOs Need Stories?

By: jalexbrown Nov 19, 2011 | 97 Views | 2 Comments

In MMO Report #1, Jalexbrown discusses The Old Reublic, its story, and rather or not it's needed.

It's seems like everyone's been talking about the same thing lately.  With The Old Republic's release date looming around the corner, the topic of discussion is rather or not its story-based progression is going to wipe every other MMO off the map.  And it really does bear the simple question: Is story the element that's been missing from MMOs since their inception?

 

In the early days of MMOs there was very little in the way of story.  Dialog with NPCs, if you paid attention to them, served to establish a certain amount of lore and backstory regarding the world and its people, but players were in charge of defining their own character's motives.  A lot of this was due to developer restrictions; nobody knew at the time how to present a compelling story in a multiplayer environment.

 

So we all know that The Old Republic promises to change all that, and I can vouche that it's absolutely true.  The Old Republic does include a compelling story; in fact it has many different compelling stories depending on your class choice.  It's an amazing experience in all honesty, and I wasn't the least bit disappointed with the quality of the story presented.

 

On the other hand I couldn't help but think: "Is this really what we've been missing?"  The question has to be asked at some point, really.  How much is the story adding to the overall experience?  Well, I regretfully say that, awesome as The Old Republic might be, the story doesn't make for a better MMO.  What The Old Republic is, however, is a great single-player RPG where you happen to be surrounded by lots of other players.  The story's linearity irked me until I stopped thinking about the game as an MMO.  Was I immersed in the story?  Sure...once I stopped thinking about the game as an MMO.

 

So is this an MMO for the single-player crowd, or is it a single-player game for the MMO crowd?  It's a little bit of both.  Unfortunately I think it'll satisfy neither the single-player gamers wanting a single-player game nor the MMO gamers wanting an MMO.

 

So where does that leave story in the grand scheme of things, then?  Is it the future of the MMO genre?  I think so, but I think it's only a part of the future of the genre.  The notion of stories in gaming will have to evolve in a way that really fits the MMO genre and isn't just a single-player story pidgeon-holed into an MMO before it feels like a true evolution.  As it stands now, it just feels like a cross-breeding experiment - a damn good one, but a cross-breeding experiment nonetheless.

Community Blog

jalexbrown

JRPG and MMO Articles Coming Soon

By: jalexbrown Nov 7, 2011 | 95 Views | 4 Comments

Just a brief blurb letting you know what's coming up.

I've had a lot going on lately.  Hospital trips, family deaths, school...the list goes on.  But I've also been busy playing games, and I'm glad to report that I've got some items in the pipeline.  One of the things I'm getting lined up is my MMO Report, an article I'd ideally post every couple weeks outlining the MMOs I've been playing and what I've done...maybe some gameplay videos or screenshots to go with it.  I'm also working on my first JRPG Corner article, which is a sort of editorial piece outlining whatever I'm thinking about that has to do with the JRPG scene.  I'd also like to do a few retro reviews if time's permitting and I come up with good old games to review.  If you've got any suggestions for retro games (PS1 or earlier) that you think I might enjoy or should just check out, let me know if the comments.

 

See ya on the flipside.

 

Jalexbrown

News

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Alert!: DC Universe Online now free to play. Includes PS3

By: goukijones Nov 3, 2011 | 119 Views | 4 Comments | Updated: Nov 7, 2011

This is official. I'm downloading it right now. DC Universe Online is now free to play. This includes the PC & PS3 versions. Hurry up and play before it gets cancelled in 6 months.

I wanted to play DCUO when it was first announced. Oh how I long for another experience like Final Fantasy 11. I crave that specific feeling of adventure that FF11 gave to me for 365 actual days of in game play time. Maniac! I loved it. Star Wars The Old Republic is allegedly coming out in December and I will be trying that. In the meantime, DCUO has made the announcement that it is now Free to Play. For instructions on how to get DCUO on the PS3, open new tab.

Personally I'm hyped about this. I wanted to try this game earlier this year and we purchase a copy for FnJimmy.(FnJimmy said it took him 2 days to figure out how to land, after he first took flight at the very beginning of the game.) My thoughts, he'd install it, run it for a month and then I'll install it and see if we want to play seriously. Well I couldn't install his disc on my PS3 and just pay for a separate account. For some reason, I had to go buy another disc to get a code to play online. That got it banned right there for me. Final Fantasy XIV did a similar thing, but that was miniscule compared to FF14's actual problems. So yeah, I've been hard up for an MMO since FF11 on the Xbox 360 days.

People ask me, why don't you play the WoW. I like Pandas, I do, but I just don't like the colors of WoW. The colors? Yes, mofo the colors. A game does have to look appalling to me, whether the graphics are good or not. What were we even talking about here? Oh yeah, the DCUO. Check out this video.

Catch me on PSN: King-of-Jimmys. Fuckin' -'s, Fuckin' Sony. Hit me up on the Twitter if you wanna play or leave a comment below. Don't be a Jimmy!

News

reipuerto

MegaMan Online Trailer & Gameplay

By: reipuerto Nov 18, 2010 | 273 Views | 6 Comments

Yes, Megaman lives on... As a....

MMORPG that is being worked in Korea. Cheak out these trailers and gameplay for this MMORPG.

And the gameplay;

 

This is strange. The first one is of Megaman, not X, and the second one is about X. Of course, they're Koreans and CAPCOM so they'll make anything happen.

Tell me what do you think of this game. Will Korea have a new MMORPG hit?

Find out more on http://www.themmnetwork.com/2010/11/17/more-robot-master-sightings-in-rockman-online/

 
Catalog entries tagged: mmorpg

DC Universe Online | Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn | Star Wars: The Old Republic | Tera


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