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Latest Articles by Sardu

  • Champions_Online_July_9th_US_Tour_Assets-PCScreenshots24912co_screen_062309_52
    You’ve saved Millennium City from the Qulaar invasion, not only earning the eternal respect of the Champions, but the key to the city from Mayer Bissell himself. No sooner have you begun to celebrate your victory amidst a crowd of cheering onlookers than your attention is diverted by two Champions greatly in need of your assistance; Witchcraft and Ravenspeaker. The latter urgently requests that you aid him with the current crisis in Canada before Force Station Steelhead is lost to the legions of ice demons wreaking havoc in the nearby forests. Think of the crisis zones in Champions Online as a cool story arc spanning a few issues of your favorite comic series, only instead of watching the action unfold with each turn of the page, you get to be part of the action and play the hero. This guide will provide a complete walkthrough of the Crisis in Canada, so snap on your show shoes and grab your best zombie-whacking stick.
    Zone Info, Guides
    Thu, Aug 06, 2009
    Sardu
  • Champions_Online_July_9th_US_Tour_Assets-PCScreenshots24914co_screen_062609_16
    With less than a month to go before the September 1st launch of Champions Online and the open beta just around the corner, interest in the latest MMOG from Cryptic Studios is at an all time high. We’ve learned many interesting details on everything from power sets to PvP in Ten Ton Hammer’s series of exclusive interviews with Bill Roper, but we were also curious to learn more about grouping opportunities in the game which is exactly what we set out to discover in our most recent discussion.
    Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve also mentioned previously that certain content will dynamically scale depending on a team’s size. Could you give us a brief overview of how that system works? Bill Roper: The Reinforcements system triggers at having 3 and 5 heroes going through an area. What it does is sets how aggressively NPCs go to other similar groups in the area for backup. So say you find some VIPER agents and you come at them with 3 heroes in your team, one of their members will run and get help.
    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Aug 10, 2009
    Sardu
  • While rumors began circulating earlier today about a possible launch date for Star Wars: The Old Republic, Ten Ton Hammer’s friendly neighborhood Sardu has been coming up with some wild speculation of his very own concerning a possible start date for the Star Trek Online closed beta. Though unconfirmed by any official sources, Sardu believes a series of mysterious signs in Cryptic’s upcoming Champions Online may hold the key:
    Flash forward to the present, and it seems that Cryptic may indeed be dropping hints to players in the form of a mysterious set of posters found on the side of random bus stops in CO’s Millennium City. Each of these signs bears the same date – October 8, 2009 – curiously only a week off from the date that may or may not have previously been hinted at with the NX-91001.
    Rumors
    Wed, Aug 12, 2009
    Sardu
  • While the core of the gaming industry may revolve around a more transitory entertainment experience, MMOGs enjoy the rare distinction of being built to provide many years’ worth of replayability. Certain titles, such as ArenaNet’s highly successful Guild Wars franchise, have done an excellent job of not only providing fans a constant stream of new content, but also finding ways of keeping older content perfectly viable far into the future. Reuben “Sardu” Waters recently brought his Ritualist out of hibernation for Guild Wars’ Wintersday in July celebration, and has been spamming a long trail of spirits across Tyria and beyond ever since:
    One thing that instantly stood out for me is that while each new campaign has added a significant amount of new content and meaningful gameplay mechanics, one of the series’ main strengths lies in the plethora of new ways to approach the available content. For example, Nicholas the Traveler and his trusty dolyak Professor Yakkington have become a weekly Easter egg hunt of sorts, as players scour zones to discover his new location and which collectible items he wants in exchange for one of his random gifts.
    Features, Opinions
    Thu, Aug 13, 2009
    Sardu
  • Champions_Online_July_9th_US_Tour_Assets-PCScreenshots24920co_screen_062309_07
    The concept of character customization has been taken to unparalleled extremes in Champions Online. Not content to merely allow players to create the visual style of a hero to their liking, Cryptic has gone the extra mile to truly immerse players in nearly every aspect of what shapes their character’s overall role in a world threatened by countless supervillains. One such means of shaping your hero is the use of Innate Talents, also known as Characteristics. While you have the option to select a pre-defined Framework for your character from the get-go, you may also build a custom framework which includes the ability to choose the exact characteristic you want your new hero to begin their adventures with.To help demystify this process for the would-be heroes among you, we’ve put together a complete guide to the innate talent options in Champions Online, as well as a brief look at the 8 core stats they’ll ultimately affect.
    Basics, Guides
    Thu, Aug 13, 2009
    Sardu
  • Champions_Online_July_9th_US_Tour_Assets-PCScreenshots24923co_screen_062309_35
    The crafting system in Champions Online offers players the opportunity to expand their arsenal of upgrades and devices, and can even be a means of creating interesting new visual elements for many of the available powers in the game. At first glance the system can be a bit daunting, as crafting deviates from industry norms in a few key areas while still providing a fairly robust overall experience. To help players better understand what Research and Development is all about, we’ve put together a complete guide to crafting in Champions Online.
    Certain instances or lairs will include interactive objects that can only be used if you have the appropriate crafting skill of the minimum required level. For example you might head into an underground bunker to put a stop to one of ARGENT’s lieutenants and have the option to disarm or even rewire the defensive weapons systems if you have a high enough Arms skill.
    Crafting Guides, Guides
    Tue, Aug 18, 2009
    Sardu
  • The face of PvP in Guild Wars has changed quite a bit over the years. From a lower barrier of entry to a plethora of new arena options the system has grown to offer something for players of all skill levels. Continuing our series of second look editorials, Reuben “Sardu” Waters recently traveled to the beating heart of PvP in Guild Wars, the Battle Isles, offering some insights as to how the competitive aspects of the game have changed and what challenges await new or returning players.
    Random arenas are pretty similar to the team arenas in the sense that both focus on 4v4 competition. The key difference is that with the random arenas you don’t need to spend time finding a group – as the name suggests you simply hit the ‘Enter Battle’ button and you’ll be randomly placed into a group with 3 other players. While you’ll still come across some pretty hardcore players in the random arena matches, for the most part these tend to be quick, fun events that I think really help you learn quite a bit about how different build types function in competitive play.
    Features, Opinions
    Mon, Aug 24, 2009
    Sardu
  • Champions_Online_July_9th_US_Tour_Assets-PCScreenshots24925co_screen_062309_46
    The last few days leading up to a major MMOG launch is an exciting time for the developers and fans alike, and Champions Online is no exception. Ten Ton Hammer recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Roper to discuss the end of the open beta, the importance of player feedback and what kind of content updates players can look forward to once the game officially launches on September 1st, including a sneak peak at the Blood Moon event coming this October.
    Ten Ton Hammer: There’s been some really solid feedback from the beta so far; I’ve been able to see some of the genuine impact it’s had on gameplay improvements over the past number of months. How integral do you feel player feedback is moving forward after launch? Bill Roper: Easily as much as it was in beta, and once you go live it becomes even more important. There was a time basically during the beta where we decided that we needed to start treating everything like it’s live, and we’re actually servicing the game as though we’d launched. I think what you’ve seen through the beta – for us – it was also kind of a beta for how we’re treating our players moving forward.
    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Aug 31, 2009
    Sardu
  • Champions_HQ
    There has been an interesting evolutionary process at work behind the MMOG industry’s rising success stretching all the way back to the late 1990s when  the first few titles that pioneered the concept sprang forth from the primordial MUD soup. As with most dominant genres in gaming, current MMOGs continue to fall back on the foundations created by these early success stories, but for a newer title to be truly successful on its own terms, something new must be added to the magical brew of gameplay mechanics and beyond. With the launch of Cryptic Studios’ newest offering, Reuben “Sardu” Waters takes a look at both the core gameplay elements in Champions Online that have built upon the foundation of the title’s predecessors as well as the dynamic approach to content design that could very well lead the industry as a whole into interesting new directions.
    The Nemesis System – Nemesis is perhaps Champions Online’s biggest leap forward on a scale that rivals WAR’s public quests. By combining player created content, random spawning and a self-contained reward structure this system shatters the mold of linear gameplay. Add in the fact that the entire thing is wrapped in a story-driven mission arc and you have the makings of a new way of playing MMOGs that’s never been experienced before.
    Features, Opinions
    Tue, Sep 01, 2009
    Sardu
  • STO Asteroid Base
    Now that Cryptic Studios has the first major MMOG launch of 2009 tucked neatly under its belt with the release of Champions Online, the developer has been ramping up the presence of Star Trek Online in a big way. Ever since Cryptic first revealed that it would be picking up the development reigns on the online incarnation of the Trek universe, it’s been one of the major MMOG’s looming over the launch horizon that sci-fi fans have been itching to get some hands-on time with. This weekend at PAX 2009, many of those fans finally got their wish, and Ten Ton Hammer wasted no time diving into this hotly anticipated MMOG to get a feel for how ship to ship and away team combat is shaping up.
    Oh yes, there were definitely tribbles to be found and it was only natural that I led my away team right into the center of the bunch where I proceeded to gleefully scamper around with a big old smile on my rebellious Starfleet captain’s face each time I’d see the little buggers multiply. A passing fan noticed my discovery and heartily exclaimed, “Whoa, are those tribbles?” Executive producer Craig Zinkievich was all too happy to affirm that I had indeed hopped into a small (but rapidly expanding) pile of the things, adding in “Don’t pick one up!”
    Features, Previews
    Sun, Sep 06, 2009
    Sardu

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