Archive for the ‘MMORPGs’ Category

Two Massive PS3 RPGs: Kingdoms of Amalur and Ni No Kuni

I’ve been mucking about on my PS3 rather a lot of late. Today I’d like to write about two massive (50+ hour) RPGs I’ve been playing. The first is called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and is very much a traditional western single-player RPG. The second is called Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, and is an excellent example of a stereotypical JRPG. Both are well made and fun, though both also have some serious flaws. Continue reading

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GW2 vs TSW

Bronte asked his readers to compare GW2 and TSW. It’s something I’ve been pondering recently as well. Here’s a fairly detailed comparison: Continue reading

Unplanned Fun in GW2

I find myself feeling a little like I have ADD when I play GW2. Which is to say, there are so many distractions, that often I decide to do something and get partway through before something else comes up. This is a good thing. Continue reading

Area completion in MMOs

I’ve been spending some time recently playing GW2, and I think in some respects they’ve done a better job at solving the problem of area completion of any MMO yet. I don’t however think that the problem is fully solved; some issues remain. Continue reading

GW2 First Impressions

A wild GW2 appears! It uses Dynamic Events. It’s super effective!

Which is to say, all right, I admit, I’m really impressed by the way GW2 has evolved public quests from WAR/Champions Online. I honestly think this is the next step in MMO PvE, although there are still some bugs to work out and some minor flaws and drawbacks. I didn’t beta test this game, and avoided most of the publicity beforehand, and disbelieved much of what I did read, so I think it’s meaningful that I’ve been so impressed with this mechanic.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s start from the top and talk about the basic feature set of GW2. Continue reading

TSW – How to Build a Deck (for newbies)

I’ve read rather a lot of reviews of TSW, and many of them reveal that the authors fundamentally didn’t understand the ability system, or know how to build a deck. So without further ado, here are some thoughts on how I’ve done so. Continue reading

The Secret World should be less of a secret

So there’s this MMO… you might have heard of it, and you might not have. It’s called The Secret World (TSW), and it launched just over a month ago.

I was aware of it for the past few years but never really got very excited or interested. The premise was interesting enough; it’s a conspiracy-horror game set in the modern world, with no classes and no levels. I’ve played Funcom games before and got into the closed beta some time back. Initially, I found it interesting but it didn’t really grab me. Then, something strange happened… the more I played, the more I fell in love with the game. As it turns out, TSW is a remarkable game, and actually does some new things – and does them well.

So what’s new and exciting in TSW? There are two novel approaches to quest types, a novel approach to questing overall, and a (largely) novel skill-based character building system that allows for surprising flexibility. Continue reading

Neither long ago nor galactically distant

So, SWTOR, eh? That was really a good game, but never a great one. I stopped playing a couple of months ago and have been pondering what to say about it in post-mortem. Continue reading

Group Tactics for MMOs

Whether you’re using magic, science, or good old muscle power; whether you’re fighting computer-generated foes or other “live” players, there are a few basic tactics that are common to all MMOs, and indeed to video games in general. Surprisingly, a lot of experienced players are unaware of the basic underlying tactics, which prevents them from realizing their full potential. I’ve broken this down to five main ideas: prioritize targets, focus fire, pick your battleground, protect your team, and use every advantage. There are exceptions to most of these rules, but they remain true in 99% of MMO content that I’ve seen. Continue reading

No man is an island, entire of itself

In the time since I started playing online games, back with EverQuest, things have changed in a lot of ways, mostly for the better. There’s one area though in which modern MMOs haven’t shown a great deal of innovation: social tools. In the last decade, I’d argue that there have been three meaningful new ideas for social tools in MMOs. I’d like to talk about what we have and what we lack. Continue reading