So, apparently Allods Online is releasing a Russian subscription only server.Â No cash shop, no pay to win, no ridiculous design choices to force you into paying inordinate amounts of…
Another year has come and gone.Â As I reflect on a year of blogging, gaming, and industry events, I’m full of mixed emotions.Â Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog in 2012
We had more traffic this year than ever before!Â We started blogging in February 2007 meaning we’re almost six years old.Â I’m extremely proud that last year we grew our daily readership by 53%.Â That’s insane!Â I can’t believe so many more people now visit us daily compared to the start of 2011.Â We didn’t hype any major MMO releases, come up with any new phrases adopted by the industry, or receive any magical exclusives to drive traffic.Â Â I think the biggest increases came from two blog posts that were done simply to help people:
- Diablo 3 stuck at “Updating Setup Files” Fix – We came up with a fix to help thousands of people get Diablo 3 to install.
- Wii U WiFi Connection Error Fix (103-1001, 101-1002) – The Wii U launched with issues connecting to certain routers.Â We came up with a very quick fix that was linked around the web on dozens of major sites including Nintendo’s.
Each of the above brought in hundreds of thousands of people.Â Maybe this means we should go into tech support instead of musing about games all day?
I’m always fascinated by how I wrote during the year.Â Some years I’m hyped up, others I’m negative.Â Some years I feel full of ideas and inspired to share my thoughts on how games should be made, and others I just analyze what’s happening.Â This year was really ‘matter of fact’.Â I commented a lot on the state of things.Â Although this isn’t my favorite style (I prefer sharing ideas I have for how games can be made) it was needed, and fit the events of 2012.
‘Sandbox vs. Themepark’ and ‘Old school vs. A New Trope’ were extremely hot topics that came up in some form every month.Â I didn’t debate F2P as much as I did in 2011 because that topic took a back seat to analyzing why games are 3 monthers, or why MMOs die.Â Â I think we really dug into what MMOs are doing to deserve their classification, and discovered together what makes them fail and succeed.Â I’ve had a wonderful time learning from what you have to say in the comments.Â Keep it up!
Check out more of my 2012 in review including my year-end thoughts on specific MMO’s after the break. (more…)
In this last look at my tour of Rift: Storm Legion, I want to outline some of the details I gleaned about the world, souls, and overall Rift experience from Community Manager James “Elrar” Nichols.
Changes to the World
Storm Legion adds two new continents and a new capital city.Â According to James, each of the new continents are bigger than the original game world.Â That means the new areas roughly triple the size of the world. There are two starting locations — one on each continent — and a different experience can be found playing through each of the continents.Â Brevane is all about discovering what is going on, figuring out the mystery, and exploring.Â Dusken throws the player into the middle of a war.Â James emphasized that players can find a unique experience on each of the continents, allowing for additional playthroughs without repeating content.
Quest Hubs are story-driven locations.Â The team wants to get away from having a player go to a camp and pick up a ton of kill quests.Â Now the kill quests are available in a slightly more organic way.Â If a bear is slain it can offer a quest to kill more bears.Â You can then turn that quest in to an NPC.Â I was reminded of the “bears bears bears” Paul Barnett line back from the WAR hype days.Â Â So like I said, quest hubs are for the story aspects whether for you personally or for the zone.
Read more after the break for my impressions of Rift: Storm Legion. (more…)
In Part 2 of my Rift: Storm Legion hands-on Tour I want to focus on Raids and PvE content.Â Storm Legion will launch with 1 20-man raid, 1 10-man raid, 7 new dungeons, and after their first big patch a second 20-man will be added.Â Listening to James explain Trion’s approach to content in Storm Legion, I got the distinct impression that Trion really wants to come out of the gate strong.Â Their story is important to them.
Regulos and Crucia are some nasty villains.Â Regulos, The Dragon of Extinction, The Destructor, and a slue of other titles, is planning his comeback.Â His presence (Plane of Death stuff) is clearly visible in some of the new zones.Â Crucia, leader of the Storm Legion, Dragon Goddess, and lover of oddly-attractive succubi-harpy-things, is of course center stage during the entire expansion.Â These bosses are so big and important to the story of Rift that the only fitting way to emphasize their strength is through raiding.
Rift doesn’t do a whole lot to change the concept of raiding for themeparks.Â These will feature tiered loot progression, be instanced, and be very familiar to veterans of contemporary MMO raiding.Â I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this is a good thing or not.
I took a ton of screenshots.Â Perhaps too many.Â Â Instead of a wall of text, I’m going to give you a picture tour and briefly talk about each image.Â Any images I do not include can be found at the bottom in the embedded gallery.Â Â Is it still appropriate to give a 56k warning?
Since I was shown many of the new raid bosses, including the current final encounter for the expansion, I was asked not to reveal any strategies.Â Here’s a hint though: Having an invulnerable insta-kill-wielding CM with you helps.
Read on for more after the break.