Continue for Value of Min and Conclusion

12/12/2012 / Comments Off

As a World of Warcraft player for many years, Mists of Pandaria absolutely wins in terms of value.  It is a welcome expansion for a game that really felt like a downward slide  after Cataclysm. Mists is a solid expansion with plenty to do. It is not anything crazy new and innovative but it is an enjoyable update to the king of all MMOs. I believe the true value comes in the form of the pet system and instance designs. They are really quite fun and Blizzard continues to add to their world by pushing new systems and fine- tuining older ones with new ideas. Although I liked Lich King the best of all the expansions, Mists of Pandaria definitely delivers.  With recent sales on the old expansions, WoW is still King of the subscription MMO, and you get quite a lot for your money.

Mists of Pandaria continues the long tradition of Warcraft in a great way for veteran players. I don’t know that too many new players will be joining WoW in this expansion, but it does favor the fan base. We will see how Blizzard handles patches and updates in the coming months and into 2013. My hope is that in 2014 Blizzard will truly deliver a knock out punch for the game’s ten year anniversary. If they are also launching Titan around that time it will be a very interesting year indeed.

  

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

How does Mists of Pandaria fare?

12/12/2012 / Comments Off

World of Warcraft has been top dog in the MMO space for a good long while. Each expansion brings renewed hope that it will continue to sit atop the heap. How does Mists of Pandaria fare? Find out in our official review then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

In the meantime, we have Mists of Pandaria. Mists was a tough journey in the beginning but became a much more fun experience as I went through the content and worked my way up. For me, Mists is an excellent Worl d of Warcraft expansion. However, in terms of MMOs in general it does not bring the thunder that a WoW expansion used too. If you are a veteran WoW player than Mists has a lot to offer in terms of game play and especially content. If you are a hardened MMO vet looking for something new this is not the game for you any more. Let’s go through the stages and get this final score underway.

 

Despite the strength of their newfound allies, Malfurion and his colleagues realized that the Legion could not be defeated by martial strength alone. As the titanic battle raged around Azshara’s capital city, the delusional queen waited in anticipation for Sargeras’ arrival. The lord of the Legion was preparing to pass through the Well of Eternity and enter the ravaged world. As his impossibly huge shadow drew ever closer to the raging surface, Azshara gathered the most powerful of her Highborne followers. Only by linking their magics together in one focused spell would they be able to create a gateway large enough for Sargeras to enter. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Fractals of the Mist Dungeon

12/11/2012 / Comments Off

The ‘Fractals of the Mist’ dungeon is a result of all the lessons ArenaNet has learned from developing the game’s initial dungeon offerings as well as the feedback they’ve received from players on dungeon content since launch. Players will enter the Fractals of the Mist dungeon via a central hub that will feature an assortment of amenities such as repair NPCs and other merchants. Once players have gathered their party members, they will be launched into one of the nine ‘fractals’ that will be randomly selected for each group.

Each fractal’s experience will be similar to that of the various mini-dungeons littered throughout the open world of Guild Wars 2. These fractals will feature a variety of challenges, puzzles, and boss fights, with an emphasis placed on use of the environment. Players can expect each fractal to take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes to complete and the game will throw you through a series of three fractals, from one to the next, before returning you to town.  Every other set of three fractals that players complete will initiate a special boss fight along the lines of Tequatl the Sunless or The Shatterer.

Once players return to town, future entries into the dungeon will scale to become harder than the last. The amount of enemies players will face will increase as will their health and damage, for example. Of course, you can also expect commensurate rewards for completing harder versions of the dungeon.

Speaking of rewards, the Fractals of the Mist Dungeon will introduce the new ‘Ascended’ item type. This type is a bit more powerful than the Exotic quality items currently found in the game. There will only be a couple of Ascended quality items available initially, but some of the rarer Ascended items will also feature a new Infusion slot that will make players even more powerful so that they can tackle new challenges that ArenaNet plans to throw at them as they continue to expand on the dungeon over the coming months and years. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Have few things that hurt Mists in this area

12/10/2012 / Comments Off

 

There are a few things that hurt Mists in this area and yet several which saved it from getting a much lower score. The first is the fact that Warcraft’s gameplay systems are really starting to become out of date when compared other MMOs emerging in the market. Linear questing and hubs are becoming a thing of the past. This style of MMO gameplay needs to evolve in Warcraft’s next expansion for sure. Mists offered some solid rewards in terms of getting through the content, no doubt, however there are much better worlds to play in out there on the horizon and even right now.

The talent system also hurt a lot here. The fact that talents are now so simple and that a strong portion of character customization is reduced to so few choices really makes the leveling process feel like you are missing something. If this system was designed for players to join the game from the start I would find it very unrewarding. For high level players it is just a respec and a few choices at the end to flesh out your character. I do think this new system has hurt the game. Even if players argue that there are more choices for classes, I personally can’t see it. The idea was to be rid of cookie cutter builds, but this seems to have only made it worse.

The new dungeons, scenarios, challenge modes, and the Pet Battles definitely save Mists from getting a low score. The new challenge mode system really is fun and gives players a whole new goal to shoot for. The Pet Battles also are a lot of fun and add a lot to the game even if they’re “fluff”. I found both of these to really add to the enjoyment of playing the expansion. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Zenimax’ MMO Philosophy

12/08/2012 / Comments Off

You hear game developers talk about design a lot. You hear them talk about philosophy almost as much. The best part of the Elder Scrolls Online presentation last Wednesday was that we heard about the design and the philosophy behind the game, and then we immediately played it. For anyone who had doubts about Zenimax Online Studios’ monster undertaking, it is time to end those doubts. The game is playable, and it is amazing. So what did the team do to really introduce the hardcore press to the game last week? They gave us their design ideals, and then sat us in front of the game for three straight hours. You know you have a good game, when no one gets up for lunch.  But let’s go over how ZOS introduced their core philosophy behind the game to us all.

 

 

Universe comes to us from none other than Xulu Entertainment. We had the opportunity for a guided tour of XU with CEO Nancy Solomon and CTO Joe Santos. Check out our preview of Xulu Universe and then let us know what you think in the comments.

Players are given access to a robust and fairly detailed set of builder tools that include the ability to create just about any type of environment desired. Builders can make games or social gathering spots or even medieval castles complete with quests and monsters to fight. The sky is the limit and the tools are as simple or as complex as a builder has skills to support. In fact, what the team is hoping is that professionals will take advantage of the tools to not only create content but also behavioral pieces or music or anything they can think of. In addition, builders can collaboratively share venues with others to work together in its creation.
 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

This is one of the areas where the game truly shines

12/07/2012 / Comments Off

Mist of Pandaria is absolutely beautiful. This is one of the areas where the game truly shines. The world is an amazing tribute to Asia itself and holds plenty of secret locations and treasures for all to enjoy. Zones like the Jade Forest and Vale of the Eternal Blossoms truly stand out as some of the most beautiful zones in the game. The idea that the Horde and Alliance have brought their war here to Pandaria makes for a quality story line and really does bring the player into the new landscape with purpose.

 advertisement

The monsters and bosses all have nifty new animations and the instances while sometimes short, look fantastic. The Pandarians themselves may have a cartoon look that turns off some, but I found as I played through more of the game I really enjoyed them (keep in mind they did exist long before Kung Fu Panda). The character and story behind the race adds to the feel of the continent and theme of the expansion. The other creatures I found to be really interesting were the Sha. Not only is the story fascinating to follow, but the artwork of these evil creatures created by imbalance and anger was a sight to behold.

The artwork, zones, story, and philosophy behind Pandaria really are some of its strongest points. I found it much more playable than Cataclysm just based on the look and feel of the expansion alone. The art and writing teams at Blizzard have a lot to be proud of with this expansion. The only downside is that compared to all the rest of WoW, the Pandaren and the Pandaria zones stand out like sore (beautiful) thumbs when compared to the dated visuals of the other areas.  A model revamp for all races is due, and I wonder what other facelifts the game could be in line for 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

ArenaNet has been lauded for its intention to shake up the traditional MMO mold

12/05/2012 / Comments Off

ArenaNet has been lauded for its intention to shake up the traditional MMO mold as it relates to quest design and player participation in PvE areas.  Rather than approaching Guild Wars 2 with the tried, true, and tired formula of centralized quest hubs and kill X, fetch Y activities, the Bellevue-based studio opted for a gameplay design based on dynamic content, wherein adventuring and advancement depend more upon tiered locational events than static quest givers.  ArenaNet’s game also highly encourages open grouping, doing away with conventional mob tagging, and incentivizing player collaboration.

The ‘Temple of the Silent Storm’ is a new map coming to Guild Wars 2 with the November content update. The map takes place on and inside a massive iceberg, which features a large temple that serves as a place of meditation and training dojo for Guild Wars 2’s armored polar bear race, the Koden. ArenaNet is emphasizing a sense of verticality with this map and just like all of the Guild Wars 2 PvP maps, the ‘Temple of the Silent Storm’ will feature conquest gameplay with a twist. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Mist of Pandaria is absolutely beautiful

12/04/2012 / Comments Off

Mist of Pandaria is absolutely beautiful. This is one of the areas where the game truly shines. The world is an amazing tribute to Asia itself and holds plenty of secret locations and treasures for all to enjoy. Zones like the Jade Forest and Vale of the Eternal Blossoms truly stand out as some of the most beautiful zones in the game. The idea that the Horde and Alliance have brought their war here to Pandaria makes for a quality story line and really does bring the player into the new landscape with purpose.

The monsters and bosses all have nifty new animations and the instances while sometimes short, look fantastic. The Pandarians themselves may have a cartoon look that turns off some, but I found as I played through more of the game I really enjoyed them (keep in mind they did exist long before Kung Fu Panda). The character and story behind the race adds to the feel of the continent and theme of the expansion. The other creatures I found to be really interesting were the Sha. Not only is the story fascinating to follow, but the artwork of these evil creatures created by imbalance and anger was a sight to behold.

The artwork, zones, story, and philosophy behind Pandaria really are some of its strongest points. I found it much more playable than Cataclysm just based on the look and feel of the expansion alone. The art and writing teams at Blizzard have a lot to be proud of with this expansion. The only downside is that compared to all the rest of WoW, the Pandaren and the Pandaria zones stand out like sore (beautiful) thumbs when compared to the dated visuals of the other areas.  A model revamp for all races is due, and I wonder what other facelifts the game could be in line for. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)