Tag Archives: PvE

MMO Burnout: Engineers in spaaace

I missed the whole Minecraft craze. I was stupidly grinding my virtual life away in various MMORPGs, plus I couldn't get past Minecraft's so-fugly-it's-hip aesthetic. No matter, though, because Space Engineers takes Minecraft's core concepts and dolls them up with pleasing visuals, a nifty near future sci-fi setting, and addictive gameplay that's much more than the sum of its parts.

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MassivelyMMO Burnout: Engineers in spaaace originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PAX South 2015: Hangin’ with Frontier, playin’ Elite on the Oculus Rift

 
Elite: Dangerous
Readers of the Choose My Adventure column may remember that I spent the month of September smuggling beer, shooting NPCs, and dodging space rocks in Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous. Though the game was in early beta, I found lots to do and lots to love about the space simulator that isn't that other space simulator. Realistic physics, challenging flight controls, and beautiful design work made the game stand out to me as unique and promising (other Massively staffers seem to agree), and I've revisited it since and enjoyed it every time. Thus, I jumped at the chance to check Elite out again at PAX South 2015, this time with the experience enhanced by a rad HOTAS setup and the ever-so-popular Oculus Rift. Guided by producer Eddie Symons, I bluffed my way through a combat demo and discovered that when it comes to shooting things in space, being able to look and fly separately is a great thing indeed. Continue reading PAX South 2015: Hangin' with Frontier, playin' Elite on the Oculus Rift

MassivelyPAX South 2015: Hangin' with Frontier, playin' Elite on the Oculus Rift originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE’s corporation tools

EVE Evolved title image The MMO genre is defined by the online interactions of thousands of players, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the single-shard sandbox of EVE Online. While it's possible to play EVE solo, it's the players who make most of the game's meaningful content, and it's only in your emergent interactions with other players that I think the game truly comes to life. Some time ago, I wrote about the importance of CCP supporting EVE's power players, the corporation owners, fleet commanders, and event organisers who give the rest of us something fun to do. Now it looks like CCP is starting to deliver that support, with developers currently looking at updating EVE's archaic corp management tools.

CCP Punkturis recently asked corporation owners for a list of the most annoying "little things" they'd like to see fixed with the corporation management interface and was instead flooded with requests for big features and complete overhauls. Developers later confirmed on The o7 Show that at least one highly requested big feature is definitely on its way: CEOs will soon be able to switch off friendly-fire between corp members. The threat of corporate infiltrators attacking corp members has been a massive barrier preventing corps from recruiting new players, so its removal is good news for everyone (except spies). So now that corporation management is finally back on the drawing board, what other features do corp owners need?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at a few ideas for corporation tools and features that would make EVE a better place for everyone.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE's corporation tools originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Fitting the Confessor for PvE and PvP

EVE Evolved title image December was a great month for EVE Online players, with the Rhea update opening new wormhole systems for the first time since 2009, updating the star map and all ships with amazing new visuals, and advancing the Sleeper storyline with mysterious cloaked structures appearing all over EVE and Sleeper NPCs making incursions into normal space. The update also brought us a ship-carrying freighter called the Bowhead and the first of a new line of tech 3 tactical destroyers called the Confessor. While every race will eventually get its own tech 3 destroyer, the Amarr Confessor was the first to be released due to the Amarr winning a research race player event.

Tactical Destroyers are a completely new class of ship in EVE with the ability to transform between three different combat modes in the middle of a fight to adapt to changing circumstances. Defense Mode boosts armour resistances and reduces the ship's signature radius, Propulsion Mode increases the ship's speed and agility, and Sharpshooter Mode increases turret optimal range and boosts the ship's sensors. With Confessor prices having now dropped below the 100 million ISK mark and more pilots finishing the skill training required, people have started figuring out some interesting ship setups for it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I check out a few of the Confessor setups players have devised so far and look at what makes this transforming terror tick.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Fitting the Confessor for PvE and PvP originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 04 Jan 2015 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Norrathian Notebook: Landmark’s two-week PvE checkup

Happy New Year! It makes sense to start this new year off by talking about a new game, right? And let's face it, after the fabled PvE content update, Landmark feels like a new game! This massive addition to the core of the sandbox has been live for two weeks now; that means two weeks of spelunking, salvaging, and more often than not, surviving. While it's true we got a preview of the update back on the day, that peek involved neither the cavern system nor crafting. And it certainly didn't contain nearly enough time! So now that I've had the chance to canvass the caverns, play with particle emitters, kills various critters, and concoct some new crafted items, how is it? How are things in the not-just-about-building game doing? Do these new systems offer more staying power as the closed beta continues on? Let's give Landmark its two-week PvE checkup!

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MassivelyNorrathian Notebook: Landmark's two-week PvE checkup originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 01 Jan 2015 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

EVE Evolved title image Ever since the announcement of 100 new wormhole systems and the unique Thera wormhole hub system, some interesting things have been going on in EVE Online. A new star appeared in the night sky and began rapidly growing in brightness like a supernova, and curiously, the light from that star was able to be seen from every star system in New Eden simultaneously in clear violation of the laws of physics. Two days prior to the event, Sansha's Nation were seen scattering from an Incursion site and leaving the area without using wormholes, hinting that something big was happening in their home system. Combined with the intruiging story of Thera, this has had even non-roleplayers scrambling through the EVE lore to come up with theories about what's to come.

Players slowly set apart picking the mystery to pieces, conducting a galaxy-wide search to find the origin of the bright star and sending people into the test server to get clues. The mystery intensified when players discovered that the star was likely near or within restricted Jove space, and soon after they began finding strange cloaked structures throughout known space. While observing these structures, players even found that an all-new form of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Sleeper was periodically warping into the site and using some kind of scanning beam on the cloaked structure. All of this comes in anticipation of the public release of the Rhea patch on Tuesday 9th, which will introduce hidden Sleeper sites in known space and kick off the arms race to discover tech 3 destroyers.

In this lore-heavy edition of EVE Evolved, I look at everything we know of EVE's new Sleeper storyline event and try to figure out how it all fits together.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming! originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 07 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lost Continent: Why so impatient with ArcheAge?

It's kinda silly, but I feel like giving up on ArcheAge. It's silly because the game launched in mid-September and we're currently in November. The fantasy sandpark does have more than it's share of problems, but logically I know that it's way, way too early to start piling dirt on its imaginary corpse.

That said, there are so many MMOs clamoring for my attention nowadays that the idea of being patient with one of them is almost laughable. I'm not alone here, either, as many gamers I know look for the first available reason to leave an MMO and cross it off their to-do list, simply because they're wired to complete tasks and the ginormous glut of games long ago passed the point of overwhelming.

Continue reading Lost Continent: Why so impatient with ArcheAge?

MassivelyLost Continent: Why so impatient with ArcheAge? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 30 Nov 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

EVE Evolved title image If you've been keeping up with the recent news updates on EVE Online, you've probably heard about the upcoming Rhea update scheduled for December 9th. This mega patch will introduce the new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class, Sleeper incursions into normal space, hands-on WASD flight controls, and 101 new wormhole systems (including 25 that are limited to small ships). The new wormhole systems have had all of their planets shattered by an as-yet unknown stellar phenomenon, and clues as to what transpired there will be hidden in the rubble. This infusion of new content and story will mark the first time the wormhole storyline and gameplay have been significantly expanded in over four years.

Each of the new shattered star systems is guaranteed to have at least one outgoing wormhole leading to normal space at all times, increasing the likelihood that pirates will catch you exploring or farming them. And since these systems won't have any in-tact moons, you won't be able to put up a permanent starbase to retreat to if hostiles appear. I'm pretty excited for exploring this new lawless frontier, but it's a unique shattered star system called Thera that I'm most looking forward to finding. Thera will be the first and only wormhole system to have fully kitted NPC stations and will serve as neutral ground for anyone who wants to live there. It's been described as the Mos Eisley of EVE, a permanent home to pirates, PvP corps, and smugglers looking to make some quick ISK.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how the Thera system could revolutionise EVE for a lot of players and where the EVE storyline could go as a result.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow

My ArcheAge avatar is pretty fortunate. Last Friday night he became the proud owner of a breezy bungalow, which is that big bamboo marine house that you've probably seen in screenshots, videos, and the like.

The bungalow's blueprint costs a whopping 300 gilda stars -- i.e., no small amount for a guildless guy like me who mostly duos his way through Haranya. I'd managed to save 250 of the character-bound gilda by doing various dailies over the past several weeks, but I had a few days to go before I'd finally be able to afford the plans. How did I come up with the balance ahead of schedule, not to mention the boat load of materials required to actually build the house? That's an interesting story, and it's another example of how ArcheAge's mechanics are a necessary breath of fresh air in a stale genre.

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MassivelyLost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 16 Nov 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lost Continent: This is how you go off the rails in ArcheAge

Are you an ArcheAge tire-kicker who's wondering how to go "off the rails" and trade the game's questpark level grind for some of that downhome sandbox flavor? I'm here to tell you that it's as easy as deciding that you really want to do it.

There's no magic button or pre-scripted path, though, because the game is sorta sandboxy.

Continue reading Lost Continent: This is how you go off the rails in ArcheAge

MassivelyLost Continent: This is how you go off the rails in ArcheAge originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 02 Nov 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Why I Play: ArcheAge

Addicted may be too strong a word when talking about my relationship to ArcheAge... but not by much! Have I logged in every day since the early access? Do I look forward to logging in? Have I said, "I'll go to bed right after I plant a couple more things" only to find more hours have slipped by before I finally do sleep? Do I get excited about the next trade run? Have I set alarms to wake up to try and nab a prime piece of land? Have I had dreams about ArcheAge when I sleep?

The answer to all of these is yes.

ArcheAge may not have everything I have ever wanted in a game (entertainment classes should be a requirement), but it checks more than a few of my boxes. I haven't had this much fun throwing myself into a game in a very long time. I look forward to each play session, and I tend to spend hours in game each day enjoying whatever I happen to be doing, be it sailing, trade runs, sneaking into enemy territory, or even just staring at my plants waiting for them to grow.

Continue reading Why I Play: ArcheAge

MassivelyWhy I Play: ArcheAge originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Could permadeath work in EVE?

EVE Evolved title image Permadeath has been one of the most contentuous features in online gaming since as far back as I can remember. The feeling of permanently losing a character you've spent months training up and playing with because of a single mistake or lag spike would be horrifying to most people, yet the idea continues to intrigue both players and developers. Diablo II's Hardcore mode is probably the most successful permadeath mechanic in an online game to date, separating the hardcore players onto a different server so that they develop their own game economy and leaderboard. Several MMOs have experimented with permadeath servers or mechanics over the years, but they're almost always reverted as failures.

In a recent presentation at EVE Vegas 2014, EVE Online developer CCP Rise discussed the idea of permadeath characters as something he's wanted to add to the game for the past few years. This is particularly problematic for EVE as the game uses passive time-based skill training and the whole game takes place on one massive shard. The hardcore players would need to have enough incentive to risk their characters' lives on a daily basis, their abilities would have to be balanced with non-hardcore players, and abuse of the system to suicide gank players would need to be handled. But if those problems are tackled, is it possible that there's a place for permadeath in EVE?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how permadeath could be added to EVE Online without disrupting the rest of the game.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Could permadeath work in EVE? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lost Continent: Living a fisherman’s life in ArcheAge

Fifteen years ago, I was floundering around southern Florida in a rudderless post-graduation haze. I rented this dinky apartment across US1 from the University of Miami, and my summers were equally divided between a series of forgettable jobs and a series of lengthy fishing excursions around the Keys and out into the Atlantic.

The fishing was basically something to do; I didn't dislike it, but neither did I wake up thinking wow, I can't wait to get that gooey chum all over my shorts and bake in the sun for 10 hours.

Now, in an odd but enjoyable art-imitating-life moment, I'm revisiting the experience in ArcheAge.

Continue reading Lost Continent: Living a fisherman's life in ArcheAge

MassivelyLost Continent: Living a fisherman's life in ArcheAge originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

EVE Evolved title image If you've been playing EVE Online lately or just following the major events in the game, it can't have escaped your notice that nullsec has become a bit stagnant. The lawless nullsec regions are supposed to be politically unstable territories claimed by hundreds of warring player-run alliances, but today they're dominated primarily by just two or three mega-coalitions. Individual alliances can no longer hold out against the combined forces of the coalitions and must either pick a side or be annihilated. The coalitions have even signed agreements not to take space from each other by force, and players are being bored to death as a result.

Two weeks ago, I examined the history of force projection in EVE Online and made the argument that capital ships and jump drives ultimately created today's nullsec problems. Increases in mobility have led to alliances teaming up over vast distances, making mega-coalitions an inevitable outcome. It's obviously too late to remove capital ships or jump logistics, but there are plenty of other ways to potentially fix the nullsec problem. We had some great discussions in the comments of the previous article about how this complex problem could be solved without making warfare the painful slog it was back in 2004, and I believe it's possible.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out some ideas for new game mechanics that could solve the current nullsec crisis and may meet CCP's goals for the eventual sovereignty revamp that's on the way.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Stepping through the EVE Gate

EVE Evolved title image Though EVE Online is often lauded for its rich decade-long player history full of wars and complex political dealings, the NPC storyline and New Eden's ancient backstory have always held my fascination. I started playing in early 2004 after reading dozens of fiction chronicles and mock scientific articles on the EVE website that painted the picture of a real living universe where incredible things could happen. Sure enough, my first years of play were punctuated with compelling live events and storyline arcs like the Crielere research project that led to the development of cloaking devices, the theft of a Federation Navy titan by Serpentis pirates, and the Blood Raiders taking over Delve.

CCP has frequently stated that its goal with EVE is to create the ultimate sci-fi simulator, and the core of a compelling sci-fi setting is a living universe that grows and changes. The best sci-fi TV shows are those with a constant cycle of revealing compelling mysteries and then solving them and of encountering escalating challenges to be overcome. EVE has done this extremely well a few times in its life, such as with the release of wormholes or when the Sansha incursions events were kicking off, and each time the concurrent player numbers have spiked. Guild Wars 2 has shown the power of an evolving living storyline to get people into the game and keep them actively playing in the long term, something that should be the norm for MMOs and that EVE Online could take much greater advantage of.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the big NPC mysteries revealed in EVE Online's decade-long history and ask why they were abandoned and where they could go now.

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MassivelyEVE Evolved: Stepping through the EVE Gate originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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