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
- And more!
Prepare for the coming storm – more info awaits you at www.StormLegion.com!
Gamespot exclusive Rift: Storm Legion Trailer
Patch 1.0.2 was deployed today for Diablo III. Nothing too exciting here besides a(nother) nerf to Monks, this time in patch form rather than a behind-the-scenes hotfix. I’m using “nerf” in the “I’ve accepted this word as a gaming terminology for weaken/balance,” not in the “ahhh wtf Blizzard you hate my class” way, as I’m all for any attempts to balance the Monk. Monk was my first choice on launch day and I took him straight through Normal and into Nightmare difficulty within a few days. He’s 39 right now, in Act II of Nightmare, but he’ll probably be collecting dust for the time being. The more I leveled him, the more every pack of enemies was trivial and boring. I don’t think I drank a single potion until Act III, and probably only a handful the entire campaign. I just never seemed to be taking enough spike-damage to ever worry about my health, and when there was spike damage, I had the bubble ability that shields and heals. When the combat is trivial and unsatisfying, loot-driven, grind-fest RPGs lose a lot of steam for me. I’m going through a similar problem right now as I try to fight the tedious and frustrating combat of Borderlands, in an attempt to finally beat it before the sequel drops this summer.
Diablo III Patch 1.0.2 – v.184.108.40.20649
- Active Skills
- Skill Rune – Tranquility
- Duration of immunity granted to nearby allies from crowd control effects reduced from 2 seconds to 1 second
For a full list of documented game and service bugs, please review the Known Issues sticky located in the Bug Report forum.
- Players should no longer receive an “Error 14009” when logging in
- The “Select a Hero” menu will now also display the difficulty level for each character
- Several speed improvements have been made to the streaming downloader
- All players in a party should now receive “Till Death Do Us Part” even if they don’t have Haedrig Eamon as their active follower
- Act IV
- Witch Doctors should no longer receive an error if they kill a Shadow Clone with a Damage-Over-Time (DoT) skill after it’s launched a Firebomb but before it’s reached its target
- Auction House
- The auction log in the Completed tab will now display a player’s activity (bids, buyouts, sales, etc) in the proper order
- When placing a new bid over a previous bid on the same auction, players will now be provided with the correct warning message: “Raising your maximum bid on an Auction you are already winning raises your current bid to just above your previous maximum bid. Are you sure you want to continue?”
- Players will now receive an error message if they attempt to purchase an item after the 50 item limit has been reached in the Completed tab
- The “Physical Damage” Preferred Stats option for rings has been renamed to “Bonus Minimum Physical Damage”
- The “All Damage” Preferred Stats option for weapons and armor has been removed and replaced with bonuses of specific damage types
- Items which have been purchased from a vendor and equipped by the player can now be sold on the Auction House
- Listing items on the Auction House from a different character than the one currently selected should no longer cause item display issues
- The public chat list will now sort alphabetically
- Witch Doctor
- Spirit Vessel (Passive) no longer clears debuffs when using waypoints or changing equipment
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.
Game Informer had the exclusive details on this and revealed their cover for the June magazine. The Elder Scrolls online is being developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, a studio from Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax. Read the Game Informer link for more exclusive details.
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!
2 will have bots (with what sounds like interesting A.I.). OK, I’m on board.
This update also enables the practice bots. While they’re still a work in progress, they’re a great low-pressure tool for trying out new heroes and item builds. While practicing with them, note that you can ping the minimap to send commands to your allied bots – ping an enemy tower to tell them to push a lane, an enemy hero to ask for assistance in a gank, and so on. At the moment they only know how to play a subset of the current heroes, but they do know how to use all of Dota 2′s many items.
They’ll also use text chat to indicate their plans, so you can join in. For example, they’ll:
- Let you know when they’re coming to your lane for a gank.
- Communicate when they’re fleeing or losing a fight.
- Indicate their high priority targets in upcoming team fights.
- Expose their thinking about whether they should push or defend their lanes.
- Call for assistance versus Roshan if they think the timing is right.
If you’re interested, here are a few features we’ll be adding to them next:
- User specified difficulty levels, so you can tune them to your skill level.
- Deeper control over your allied bots, so you can “command” your team at a high level. For instance, you might want your team’s carry to not join a fight, and instead keep farming their lane. Note that they do a good job of making these kinds of decisions themselves, but if you really want to be hands-on, you can.
- Support for several more heroes.
The one simple thing that has shown to be a determining factor in my enjoyment and attachment of a MOBA game is the ability to quickly and easily practice abilities, champions/heroes, builds, and other variables. The easiest and most enjoyable way to do this? Bot matches. Sure, one can argue that the best way to learn is to play against quality opponents, and I agree with that completely, but when you’re just trying to get a quick handle of how a hero’s abilities synergize together, a bot match is a perfect way to execute this without potentially dragging your team down in a “ranked” match.
Source: Official DOTA 2 Blog – Twice the blood shall I shed!
Eidos Montreal has finally addressed the terrible “stuttering” issue that has been plaguing a lot of the PC players of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I, myself, had some major stuttering issues in the city hubs of DE:HR and I can confirm that this patch has improved my game’s performance greatly. Now the minor frame-rate dips I get are just a result of my CPU bottleneck, and not poor optimization software-side. Thank you, Eidos Montreal for supporting your game post-launch and listening to your customers. Take a gander at the patch notes below.
The new patch addresses a variety of issues as well as adds some new features:
– We have addressed various issues that can occur for players that would result in ‘stuttering’.
o Stutters that are the result of graphics driver shader processing are now removed or significantly reduced.
o Stutters that are the result of data streaming have been removed or significantly reduced.
o Performance has been improved and made more stable on dual-core systems. This could previously also result in stuttering.
– Fixed issue where some players couldn’t complete the Motherly Ties side quest.
– Fixed an issue where doors in Omega Ranch sometimes wouldn’t open.
– The TYM medical card should no longer fall through the table if an NPC’s body comes into contact with the card. Players already stuck in this area will need to revert to a previous save before the card fell through.
– Occasional hangs for some players during video-playback have been fixed.
– A crash on startup when running DX11 on a single-core CPU has been fixed.
– An issue causing Eyefinity setups to not be correctly detected for some players has been fixed.
– Fixed an issue where the HUD would get permanently disabled for some players.
– Fixed certain issues that caused the mouse cursor to be able to leave the game-screen on multi-monitor setups.
– Fixed an issue that caused the mouse cursor to not be visible in-game when the user has mouse trails enabled in Windows. We still recommend disabling mouse trails for a smoother in-game mouse cursor.
– Fixed issue where ammo count for collected guns is incorrect when Adams weapon is augmented.
– In DX9 mode:
o Fixed error message for some users when trying to use FXAA Medium or FXAA Low anti aliasing modes.
o Fixed shadow-mapping ‘lines’ on some graphics hardware when using anisotropic filtering.
– The Enter and Numpad-Enter keys can now be bound to game actions in the keyboard control menu.
– Intro logos can now be skipped on all but the first run of the game.
– Added windowed mode.
o Selectable in the menu, and can be toggled between windowed, fullscreen, and fullscreen windowed using ALT-ENTER.
– Added an option to change the text language of the game. This setting only changes the text language, the audio is controlled by the language option in Steam.
On top of this we are continuing to monitor for any issues that may need to be addressed in a future patch. One extra feature we can already confirm for a future patch is support for Nvidia 3DVision and Nvidia Surround.
We hope this patch will allow players to further enjoy Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Hard Reset is a throwback first-person shooter in a modern age of gaming, brought to you team members who were responsible for games such as Painkiller and The Witcher. Sounds good to me.
In the only remaining human city of Bezoar, Major Fletcher, an Army Combat Veteran and soldier of the CLN, is dragged into a conflict between two of mankind’s greatest enemies. He is to discover that nothing is what it seems to be.
Hard Reset is an action-packed, single-player shooter for the PC. With over-the-top destruction, loads of enemies, great weapon variety and a beautifully realized cyberpunk setting, Hard Reset is sure to shake up the shooter scene.
The full game launches next week, on September 13th at a very reasonable and consumer friendly price of $29.99 (or save 10% be pre-ordering).
Whoever Uber Entertainment hired or staffed to throw together this trailer knows what they are doing. Absolutely love it. Must have deadly kitten-mini-turrets!
Super Monday Night combat is the next game from Uber Entertainment, following the success of Monday Night Combat on XBLA and PC/Steam. Monday Night Combat was the first successful attempt to bring the MOBA(DOTA) genre to Consoles, and also in a third-person shooter packaging. Following in the path of League of Legends’ success, and just like High Rez Studio’s Smite, Super MNC will be a free to play MOBA game.
Read more at Kotaku’s exclusive.
Just a little insight on his experience playing DOTA 2 at Gamescom and his thoughts on the game so far. I really agree with his response to the internet-ragers who are up in arms with negativity towards a game they haven’t played or even seen first hand.
“I think the criticism is childish. The public does not know what they want. The first time I took a glance at DOTA 2, I didn’t like it also, but in three days I could stop playing it — because in reality, when you play the game — then you will start enjoying it. ‘Cause no game is really made for watching. They are made for playing. So, first play the game, then judge.”