Newsie Tidbits for November 19, 2014
Today's update looks at DDoS attacks on FFXIV, the single-player controversy of Elite: Dangerous, Black Gold Online's latest upcoming expansion, Firefall's Update 1.2, and the latest dev Q&A in Skyforge.
Not much to say here, besides that the servers are currently under a DDoS attack. Looks like someone did something they shouldn't have, threw a fit and then whipped out mommy's credit card to buy an attack on the servers. Yawn. Get a better hobby or grow up. Maybe try both?
Elite: Dangerous will be online only, which have people feeling things like anger, mistrust, despair and unease. What they seem to be missing is that the game is built within a persistent world, and even if you don't want to play with others, other people affect the universe. Rather than getting up in arms that Elite: Dangerous is online only, it's okay to admit that this might not be the game for you, and lucky for you, there are plenty of other games out there. This isn't some ploy to rope people into some pay-to-win sucker punch, it's just how persistent worlds work. It's really not that hard to figure out, but there seems to be too many people these days who think every game needs to play just the way they want it to play, rather than realizing there are plenty of options out there. This kind of reminds me of that time I saw someone throw a fit on the official WildStar forums because Espers have stationary-only casted heals, and instead of playing the other two more mobile healers, they were dead set that Espers needed to be changed to suit their playstyle.
The game originally had plans for a single-player offline mode, but it ended up that Elite: Dangerous had positive feedback from the online multiplayer options and negative feedback in regards to the single-player option. Since Frontiers doesn't have oodles of money and other development resources laying around to work on making single-player a fun and engaging experience for players, they can focus on making multiplayer even better. Rather than seeing this as some great conspiracy, I see this as a good decision from a company that knows its strengths and weaknesses. Too many companies try to do too much with too little and end up with a wholly half-assed game instead. While I have no interest in Elite: Dangerous, I can appreciate this move.
For a look at what could be a real issue with Elite: Dangerous, I suggest Lewis' latest article, where he discusses what it's like to be in an MMO without a chat system.
Black Gold Online
It feels like it's been only a year since Black Gold Online released, and Snail Games has been churning out expansions ever since. The latest one, Bloodied Tides, will release as a free DLC on November 24. This update will include an increased level cap (which won't be the first time the cap has been increased already since release), two new added races (Upyrian Vampires and Aurek Brutes), a new Brawler class, 3v3 Battle Arena, a new system called equipment engraving, underwater dungeons and instances, payments for Time Vials removed, naval warfare, and aquatic battle carriers.
Firefall just received Update 1.2, which includes a five-man instance called Operation: Miru, an outdoor public encounter where ARES pilots defend an object called Skydock, and two new public encounters for ground targets, Melded Outbreak (tower defense – where you defend an actual tower and not the type of game where you build towers) and Chosen Mortar Team (a wandering encounter). While the lore behind each encounter has extensive updates that mostly cover the lore, not a whole lot else was released in the news blast.
The Accord calls upon its fiercest soldiers, the men and women of the ARES Initiative, to defend humanity against a new round of Chosen attacks. Join a strike team to eliminate Chosen forces from the Miru mining facility. Unite with hundreds of other ARES pilots to defend the Accord Skydock from Chosen sabotage. And team up with fellow ARES teams to fight back against the latest Chosen attempt to destroy New Eden’s watchtowers. The Chosen are getting smarter and more aggressive than ever. But together, we will defeat them!
The technical weekend beta just ended, but in the middle of it, Allods managed to release a quick dev Q&A. Want the quick and dirty? Here we go. Skyforge has been in development since 2010, and unless you're invite to play tests, you can't download it. When it will be available to download, it'll be available through the my.com Game Center. The second wave of testing will start when they figure it out. They want to have a closed beta, but need to get their feedback together and then plot out dates. Closed beta may or may not come with limited early access invites. When closed beta is up and running in full swing, they expect their technology to be able to handle the influx of players, so they won't have to worry about stepping on each others' toes and whatnot. While Allods is still working on specs for system requirements, they're hoping to make Skyforge available for a large variety of builds, including 32-bit systems. They are aiming to make the client around 10 gigs in size, which could change closer to launch. The game's portal will be available outside of the game, as well, available on any device with a web browser.
Skyforge will have a robust character creator, but the game is currently slated to launch with only the one humanoid race as playable. While you cannot have one class equipped (such as Cryomancer) and use skills from another (example, Paladin), you can switch classes you have access to quickly, to adjust to any role you might need. Guilds in Skyforge are called Pantheons, which will come with benefits. Allods will release an announcement on these later. God form, once obtained, is a skill you will have available forever. It will run on faith from your followers.
For mechanics, area of effect abilities can be avoided with the Dash skill. Mobs will drop healing orbs that will function similar to health potions in other games. Skyforge will launch with personal ground transportation, there will not be personal water transportation. A wide variety of PvE activities will be available in Skyforge, since the team is diverse in what they enjoy in games. Crafting in Skyforge will be a little different, since it will be your followers – more specifically, Adepts – who craft for you. There is no reset button on skills, as these are permanent developments for you character. While a great deal of activities in the game will be available regardless of Prestige range in the game, Skyforge will not allow for massive differences in Prestige for PvP. I'm reading this as, don't worry about getting roflstomped in battle grounds types of activities. Rather than an auction house, a Market will be available to purchase goods from, which will fluctuate depending on demand. There will not be any direct trading (my read: so long, gold sellers). As for the age-old question for solo players and gear? Have a quote:
Good equipment can be crafted or obtained in solo instances, so you don't need a group for that. We can't promise that there will be no difference at all, because MMORPG’s are traditionally focused primarily on player interaction. Players who prefer to play solo often naturally won’t be accessing some of the content.
But keep in mind that only a third of your power comes from on your equipment. Two other components which factor into your power are the faith of your followers and your progress in the Ascension Atlas – both of which are not affected by your play style.
Secondly, group quests, instances and even raids in Skyforge are not designed for long hours of non-stop gameplay. Instead, they are mostly focused on relatively “short” sessions. Even so, if you don't have a regular group of allies you complete content with, you will not have to search for allies as there's a system in Skyforge that will randomly pick players for you to team up with.