For any MMORPG fan, the future often weighs heavily upon the mind. We get excited about what secrets might be in development. We wonder about how the game will grow. We worry about the long-term viability. In short (sorry, Hobbits), we have one foot planted in the present and one tentatively stepping out to tomorrow. The future of Lord of the Rings Online right now seems more uncertain than ever. I don’t mean that in a foreboding way, either. We’ve completed the main story of the books, with only some epilogue and appendix material left to provide solid guidance before the developers go off the rails (eagle mounts, whee!). The game has competition on the way and has to remain profitable and attractive to both its core and expanded audience. With a big content update on the way and talk of more things to come down the road, I thought it’d be a good time to squint and see what we might discern about the future of this MMO as it pushes deeper into its second decade of … [Read more...] about LOTRO Legendarium: Future classes, business models, and direction
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column about my return to Star Wars Galaxies on the Legends server, an NGE emulator for the long-gone but still beloved sandbox. And some of our commenters flipped out. The NGE was an abomination, they said. Why would you want to play any version of that!? Classic forever! Welp, get your nostalgia back on because yet another SWG emu – I told you there were dozens! – is gearing up for a big update, complete with a trailer. Empire in Flames is the name of this one, and it’s a custom server that’s been running for over a year, with a blend of NGE and pre-CU mechanics, a custom profession system, an anti-urban-sprawl housing system, a ton of new races, and a post-Endor setting. The update centers on a rebuilt Galactic Civil War, which vets will recall was the lore-and-score backbone of the TEF-based PvP system. This version includes planetary political systems and planetary invasions “coming soon.” “GCW battles are … [Read more...] about Star Wars Galaxies emulator Empire in Flames is launching its post-Endor PvP system
Hello, parents! There’s no need to be alarmed, it’s just me, your friendly neighborhood superhero! And you’ve no need to fret; your children are completely safe with me, Entirely Avoidable Hazard Man! With me around, your children won’t hurt themselves by tripping and falling, they’ll hurt themselves due to the variety of hazardous materials and environments that could be quickly removed if I had expended even the slightest effort to think about it! First, let’s go for a ride in my wonderful knife car, filled with haphazard razor blades, jagged mental, sharpened dashboard, and possibly some expired bottles of fruit juice. Then they can enter my Lair of Ignored Building Codes, complete with rickety staircases that lack railings, open holes which could easily be covered by the tipping pile of lumber nearby, and exposed nails and wires! We can go trick-or-treating together, when I take them to visit my neighbors who only give unwrapped candy and … [Read more...] about WRUP: Your children are safe with me, Entirely Avoidable Hazard Man! edition
I almost fell for it again. The other night I was logging back into Elder Scrolls Online after a very long absence and decided to start all over with a new character. Without thinking about it much, I clicked on a Breton and started to make a generic good-looking human. Then I paused, stopped, and started over. I’m so tired of falling into the trap of creating model humans in MMOs when there are more interesting options out there. Unfortunately, most MMOs only pay token attention to monster races, preferring instead to focus on six varieties of flawless Elves and the omnipresent and overwhelmingly popular humans. Not me. I went Argonian this time around and am rocking a mohawk made of feathers and a scaly hide of pure attitude. It’s been a visual adjustment to play this “monster” race, but so far it’s felt fresh and far more interesting than a pod person. Yet I was all by myself for most of my travels, a minority in a sea of humans and Elves. Are MMO … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Are MMO monster character races doomed to forever minority status?
One of the key selling points of Novaquark’s upcoming self-billed “civilization building MMO” Dual Universe is the insane degree of customization it provides players in creating and configuring their starfaring vessels, which can be tweaked and fine-tuned by way of Lua scripts. A recent update from the dev team dives into some of the improvements coming to the Lua scripting system that the game has in place. The update is full of technical details for players who are interested in them, but for those of you who just want the high-level overview, here’s the deal: As it stands, when a player creates a ship, the actions that ship can take — from movement to using widgets — are determined by “a set of automatically generated Lua scripts,” which is referred to as “autoconfigure,” or “autoconf” for short. Up until now, the autoconf was the same for all flying constructs, and if players had set up custom scripts for … [Read more...] about Dual Universe details upcoming improvements to Lua scripting system