Every year, Sony Online Entertainment brings its fans together in Las Vegas at SOE Live, and this year was its 15th anniversary. PC Gamer sat down with SOE President John Smedley at the event to talk about the future of EverQuest Next, the 15th birthday for the original EverQuest, and H1Z1, its upcoming survival MMO. He also talks about the fate of the MMO subscription model, what separates H1Z1 from DayZ, and the value of emergent gameplay and player-driven storytelling.
The Elder Scrolls Online should get a bit more Elder Scrollsy further down the line, but in the short term, here's a free pet. Starting September, Zenimax will be rewarding long-term subscribers with various tokens of gratitude. The first, for three months' good service, is a "High Hrothgar Wraith vanity pet", while the gift for six months' subscription time will be revealed "soon".
World vs. World is Guild Wars 2's Dark Age of Camelot style 3-way PvP war. Each week, servers engage in a constant push-and-pull of objective capturing—usually by merging into a big ball of people, then smashing into another big ball of people until all life and inventory space has been stamped out. Periodically, ArenaNet formalises this chaos into a tournament, and they've just announced a new one, starting 12 September.
While there's no shortage of interest in World of Warcraft's remaining subscriber count, it's important to remember that the game still has a lot of players. Put it this way: if you once had 12 million slices of cake and you now have only 6.8 million, the result is still you in the corner of the room, shivering in a growing pile of vomit. Despite this, Blizzard say they don't necessarily expect their
cake player count to grow.
UK WoWers: time to schedule an appointment with your bank manager. When Warlords of Draenor releases this November, the game's £9 per month subscription will be sky-rocketing for those not already nestled in its auto-renewing charge. The cost? One whole pound.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition will let you run your mouse on Blackhand's face
The Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition may not be the cheapest way to go about getting the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, but fans with a taste for swag will no doubt want to take a moment to at least consider the option.
Back in April, Guild Wars 2 had a break from its regular content releases, and instead received a bumper bundle of features. Now, ArenaNet have announced that they're doing it again, only this time it will launch in September. Naturally, they're calling it the September Feature Pack.
In a completely unrelated announcement, the game is also 50% off until 28 August.
I don't play The Elder Scrolls Online so I'm in no position to judge the worthiness of the third major content update that recently went live. But I do find it interesting, and possibly telling, that the number-one entry on the list of "Big Changes/Updates/New Features" is the addition of dyes that players can use to change the color of their armor—provided they've unlocked the desired color with the appropriate achievement, that is. That's not meant to belittle the importance of looking good in the Argonian hood, I'm just surprised that it's given such prominence, although I suppose it could be seen as a good sign. After all, if this is the most pressing thing a game has to worry about, then it probably doesn't have much to worry about at all.
Those damn dragons, always up to their dragon tricks. If they're not hoarding gold or flying in circles near an ice-topped mountain, they're threatening to awaken and envelop the world in their evil shadow. You don't get unicorns pulling this shit. Continuing on from last week's chapter, Guild Wars 2's next update escalates the threat posed by Elder Dragon Mordremoth.
Blizzard has announced it will announce the release date for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor next week. That's the modern world of blockbuster video games for you: announcements for announcements are announced.
I sometimes forget how much time, effort and heart people will dedicate to a single game. Where I'll skim the ocean of my Steam library—fully aware that I'll one day drown—others live happily on the island of their chosen hobby. That dedication and belonging spills out of these games, too. There's fan art, fan videos, and yes, likely some questionable fan-fic. There's something joyous about that, especially when—as is the case of this amazing Guild Wars 2 fan-made video—it's backed by a catchy pop song.
Firefall, the free-to-play MMO shooter, is now available. As per PC Gamer's reviews policy, MMOs aren't scored until our reviewer has spent time with the public release. This, then, is part two of a review-in-progress, charting Phil's initial impressions with the game. You'll find part one here.
Things get off to an interesting start. I log in and head towards a new area, and the new campaign mission I've unlocked. As I make my way toward the mission flag, I'm alerted to some "seismic activity". The warning is coming from a resource node. Sensing it would be a bad idea, I blow it up anyway. Yes, it was a bad idea. An insectoid creature emerges from the ground, much higher than my current level. It's takes a few swipes from my health, but, with plenty of jetpack strafing, I manage to bring it down.
The newly free-to-play MMO Defiance will get a new expansion on August 5, and in keeping with the whole free theme, you won't have to pay for it. Entitled 'Silicon Valley', it will be the first to introduce whole new areas to the shooter. It also introduces a new 'Encryption' mechanic, which is a new modifier for weapons and shields.
Firefall, the free-to-play MMO shooter, is now available. As per PC Gamer's reviews policy, MMOs aren't scored until our reviewer has spent time with the public release. Here, then, is a review-in-progress, charting Phil's initial impressions with the game.
Things get off to a bad start when, upon loading into the game, I recoil in horror at what my eyeballs are seeing. I'll cover Firefall's graphics later, but the tutorial map is perhaps the worst possible introduction to its aesthetic. The textures are blurry, the environments murky, and the characters flat and cartoonish. Compared to this year's other MMO releases, there's none of the vibrancy or charm of Wildstar, and none of the relatively higher-res textures of the otherwise visually bland (and oppressively foggy) TESO.
Here's something for every MMO player who likes to vacuum up quests without reading the mission text: a 40 minute video summarising the bulk of Warcraft's story. It covers the series' main timeline, from events depicted in the old RTS games, to the evolving lore of World of Warcraft. It's the perfect guide if you want to catch up ahead of Warlords of Draenor, or if you just want to know why you beat up a demon guy that one time.
The Elder Scrolls Online European megaserver migration promised in May will take place on July 29—yes, that's tomorrow—and unfortunately for those who play on it, it's going to be an all-day process.
You there! Are your next seven days not filled with an expansive and enjoyable MMO? Don't worry, we can fix that. We have 5,000 Wildstar trial keys, and we're literally giving them away. The keys—which are redeemable from Tuesday, 29 July—will give you a full week of Wildstar access, up to a Level 20 cap. Don't worry, that still means a trial period packed full of questing, Adventures, Dungeons and more.
Update: The keys have all been taken. Those that successfully claimed one should be getting their email soon.
There are few things more disturbing than a cow wearing a bra, and Blizzard just made me look at a whole bunch of them in order to write this news post. Upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor is giving the MMO a bit of a graphical overhaul - I mean, just look at how slightly different the Draenei will look in a few months' time. Now it's time for the Tauren to go under the
knife 3D modelling programs, and it seems Blizzard have made them a bit more human. WoW's resident cow-people will boast a bigger range of facial expressions, more detailed hair and hooves - as it turns out, this makes it extra creepy to see them strolling around in a bra and pants.