This is huge news and very telling of how well Rift and Trion are doing. I can’t think of the last time a MMORPG released an actual, oldschool “Expansion Pack” that wasn’t for World of Warcraft. Everquest 2 has had a ton of them leading up to their conversion to free-to-play, but SOE and Everquest are ubiquitous with waves and waves of expansions. The original Everquest has 18 expansions chalked up so far, and Everquest 2 is on number eight, 11 if you include the purchasable Adventure Packs. What I’m getting at is that I feel like most modern released MMORPGs can’t afford to have enough employees to be both working on content patches and a retail expansion pack. Even if I’m way off, as I’m not an expert on the inner workings of a development team and publishing process, you can’t ignore the fact that MMORPG expansion packs have become rare, excluding the two examples noted above. How “well” rift is doing and the fact that they’re pushing so much content on top of working on this expansion has to have some correlation to each other. Trion has done one of, if not the best jobs at post-launch support of an MMORPG in its first year. Every patch Rift has received has been chock-full of content, not just filler bug fixes or rehashing of assets. I’m talking about new game systems, new mechanics, new ways to play the game, and a whole new zone; that type of stuff. The type of stuff that most games would withhold for an expansion pack.
Before I get too gushy for Rift and Trion and sound like a flaming fanboy, I’m going to stop and just direct you to take a look at some of the official bullet-points for Rift: Storm Legion and watch the trailer, exclusively from Gamespot.
Announcing RIFT: Storm Legion – Our first epic expansion will transport you to a far away land, ripped asunder by the Bloodstorm’s landing thousands of years before.
Crucia gathers her Storm Legion in the long-lost cradle of civilization. Adventure through this eldritch landscape, battle your way to the planes themselves, and conquer the dragons of Air and Death!
Here’s just a taste of what you’ll find:
Adventure across two huge new continents that more than triple the size of the existing world
A new Soul for each Calling expands the Ascended Class System – build the hero you want!
Rise to new heights of power through 10 challenging levels, increasing the level cap to 60
Dimensions: Customizable spaces allow players and guilds to own a sliver of Telara
Become the talk of the town and boost your stats with stylish new capes
Have a popular RPG franchise? Make it an MMORPG and keep making revenue past the initial purchase! Cynicism aside, I’m super excited for this. I’ve loved the Elder Scrolls games since Morrowind. I find the game world and setting to be the perfect blend between high and dark fantasy, hitting the sweet spot in my fantasy-nerd taste.
Be sure to check out the Game Informer exclusive tomorrow, when a teaser trailer will be unveiled, along with the first screenshot of the game following in the afternoon. I’ll be sure to post them here, as well, as soon as I see them!
It’s obviously a one-time use code, so if you used it successfully please comment or tell me on Twitter (@jamest1080). If you don’t know what Path of Exile is, I definitely recommend checking out the site and getting a feel for what PoE brings to the “diablo-clone” genre.
Almost immediately after the announcement that Lineage 2 would be going from a monthly subscription model to free-to-play, NCsoft announces Lineage Eternal at a pre-G-Star press conference. Going back to the franchise’s roots, Lineage Eternal brings the camera back to a 3D isometric perspective (yes, Lineage started as an isometric MMORPG — before you call “Diablo 3 clone” foul) with an emphasis on more action oriented combat, as well as a rather ingenious addition of “skill-shot” abilities, pretty much straight from your favorite MOBA/DOTA genre game. These abilities are activated and unleashed via a real-time swipe or circular motion of your mouse cursor, making a 1:1 correlation to where and what your attack will do. I love how NCsoft has taken a nod from both touchscreen gaming and MOBA games, and without making it a forced gimmick, implemented it into another type of game, or another platform, in the case of “swipe gaming.” It’s always irked me how people bow to the gods of Apple for touch/swipe gaming, when the mouse has been doing this for years, despite most developers not capitalizing on it in a relevant way.
I highly advise you to take 14 minutes and watch the gameplay preview video of Lineage Eternal embedded above. I really just want to get my hands on this game and see how this beast controls, but based on the video alone, my long-standing (but hibernating) love with the Lineage franchise is definitely piqued, again.
Leading up to Gamescom, I was super intrigued by the slow leakage of concept art and mumblings of NCsoft’s/Carbine Studio’s new mystery MMO. The final unveil of Wildstar surpassed my expectations and this trailer is just the cherry on top. The art style is gorgeous and refreshing; a mix of Torchlight and Team Fortress 2 exaggerated character models and semi-cel-shaded textures. The combat animations look stellar and the emphasis on exploration, and not just combat, has my nerd senses buzzing like crazy.