Guild Wars 2 PvP (Part 1): Let us go to War

  Today I want to talk about a very important aspect of the game, the PvP of Guild War 2. I believe in competitiveness and the ability to provide a wide array of choices for groups or single players to be ingredients for a healthy and lasting PvP community in a game. Now I'm going to list the PvP formats we know so far:

Hot Join
  "Hot Join" are games aimed for the casual side of structured PvP. From 1v1 and up to 10v10 matches, players can join any open map at any time, as much as to experiment new builds, or wanting a few quick exciting matches to get out of the PvE environment. The Hot Join has a mechanic that on a lost match, the server auto-balances the players on each team, once the round ends the server loads up the next match or players can reselect their own teams for their matches. This kind of setup allows players to find their favorite servers and build a community by playing more then one game with the same people.

  Tournaments are the competitive cookie in GW2. With matches of 5v5, the tournaments will run with varying frequency, and different reward levels will allow some players to gain experience and to just experience what this format entails in smaller tournaments while more-organized teams battle it out in the larger tournaments.

Tournaments come in the following flavors:
  • Pickup Tournaments: These single-elimination tournaments wait for 8 teams to join before starting. Once they start, they go through 3 rounds of eliminations, with winners receiving qualifier points.
  • Monthly Tournaments: For monthly tournaments, you'll need a certain amount of qualifier points to join.
  • Yearly Tournaments: These grand tournaments feature the winners from the monthly tournaments slugging it out for the right to call themselves the best PvP players of the year.
  • Player-Run Tournaments: These tournaments will be customized by players, allowing for great flexibility and unique bragging rights.

Guild Wars 2: a worthy successor to 2011 mmos

Today I want to talk about combat, there are many things worth mentioning about this game and I'll probably spread this for future posts, yet the reason I chose this topic is because I feel that it is one of the most important aspects of the game.

- Cross-class combo's, imagine a Elementarist setting a wall of fire and if someone shoots through it, the projectiles become imbued with the fire attribute dealing extra damage, or a guardian setting a healing circle on the ground and shooting through it will heal the allies in the vicinity of the enemy it hits. These are only a small example of the many combinations there will be in the game, sounds like fun? It sure does to me!

- Dynamic skill system, no longer are we restricted to combat skills only when there is a target present as with most games, for example, if you don't have a target and use a skill, if there is a potential target in the vicinity it will take damage and be auto-targeted, if not, the skill is still used. Did it ever make sense that those 2H weapons almost as big as our own characters never hit more then 1-2 targets? In GW each swing will hit everything within it's reach! Realistic? Flexible? More of that please!

- Customizable skills, although the left half of the skill bar is fixed depending on what weapon we have equipped, there are a big variety of weapons, each with different situation value translating into a wide array of actual choices, the right half is completely customizable much in the same spirit as GW1, plus you can customize it further with some feats that modify skills.

- Unique underwater combat, once you dive your normal skills no longer apply, you get a new set of skills that are exclusive for water combat, this skills have unique effects that would not be possible otherwise such as forcing an enemy to sink.

Eve online: Investment gone wrong

  It comes as a surprise to me that the news aren't about gold selling anymore... eight months ago, two players named Eddie and Mordor began to establish a reputation for themselves as online brokers. In reality, however, it was just the two of them taking in people’s money(aka ISK in-game) and giving back 5% every week as rewards from their "investment".

  Week after week the business snowballed, but not as the money raked in but players who didn't know they were throwing away their money in the guise of investments for the future. In short order, they had as many as 300 new investors each week. All throwing their ISKs at the pair for absolutely nothing in return except a guarantee. A guarantee that their money would be invested into some other worthwhile fund and would earn them a consistent 5% back every week. They weren't found out until they forwarded the a message on their "online trading site" saying it was all over.

  In case someone don't know what a Ponzi scam is and hasn't watched the news in awhile, a explanation: The investment broker, or whoever is running the scheme, offer a solid “investment” that they claim will pay out great sums of money overtime. But instead of investing this money as promised, the person will pocket the money and pay you your 5% out of the money you and others gave them. After a while, people are so happy with their consistent return that they invest even more money not knowing that it’s not going anywhere except the scheme operator’s bank account. As word of mouth spreads on this great investment, the scheme runner will start taking in more and more money while only paying out a consistent 5% every week. As people reinvest their money, the business expands almost exponentially...until they are found out or they stop paying out and make a run with everyones investment money.

  Over the years I have heard many such news in RL, it came as a mild surprise that this could spread to the online world, but the most suprising thing for me is that it reached the scale it did in such a long time with no one the wiser...don't people watch tv at least? Naturally CCP being themselves allows such schemes in the EVE universe so technically what they did isn't illegal, except maybe in the eyes of all the people that lost their money but that's another story....

Free to play MMOs a new trend?

  In the past couple of years we have seen a lot of MMORPGs going from P2P(pay to play) to F2P(free to play) mainly due to subscription decline as a way to regain some players while maintaining profit from the online shops.
  Most of this games were not made from unknown indy companies but from well established IPs and we are going to briefly talk about each one of them.

  Dungeons and Dragons Online launched on February 28, 2006 and remained a p2p MMORPG with a $14.99 monthly fee up until September 9, 2009. Since going free to play Dungeons and Dragons Online has more players than ever. Plus, the game’s publisher("Turbin") is reporting record revenues from the game.

  RF Online or Rising Force Online, launched on November 21, 2006 with a $14.99 monthly fee. The game was both developed and published by CCR International but only went free to play in late 2008.

  The Chronicles of Spellborn launched on April 23, 2009 as a p2p MMORPG with a subscription of $14.99 / month. The game’s developers went bankrupt in June 2009, the game’s publisher in North America announced that they would redevelop the game as a free to play title. Since going free to play – TCoS  has opened up to many more players.

  Lord of the Rings Online launched on April 24, 2007 after several expansions re-launched as F2P on September 8, 2010. Since their transition to a mixture of subscription/F2P model Executive Producer Kate Paiz announced that they have doubled both revenue and player-base.

  Age of Conan launched on May 20, 2008 was made F2P recently in a new expansion named Unchained on July 1st, 2011. On the first month since they gone F2P their player-base was increased by 300,000 accounts.

  It is clear from past experiences that the Free to Play model is a success, increasing both revenue and the player-base it is becoming more and more common now-a-days.

  I dislike F2P games because allowing players to buy item/buffs at a shop ruins immersion, any sense of accomplishment and the overall fun i have in the game, as a PvP(player vs player) lover i feel that the game is ruined once the "wining condition" becomes "who wasted more money".

  What do you think?

Tera: Political system

  For those who don't know Tera is one of the next-generation games of the MMO genre, or should i say action-MMORPG. It's most known features are the targeting, combat and political system, to keep this post small i will only talk about its political system.

  In Tera players can rise to fame through PvP, epic quests and via the popular vote to become 1 of 18 Vanarchs, these players are the rulers of their designated region and have the unique power to change the rules within their domain, such as changing the taxes, forbid(or not) world-pvp, opening new shops, make player-made events, change the spawn time of the mobs and even throw players in jail.

  Above the Vanarchs there are the Exarchs which we know very little about due to lack of information, however it is known that they supposedly have the power to affect entire continents.

  This is where the information stops and players start to wonder... will this be balanced? Can these politicians be overthrown? Can a big guild maintain constant power?
Maybe some of them will be answered at GamesCom, but until then we can only wait.

Guild Wars 2: Sylvari redesign

  It seems that the designers were not pleased with the initial look of the Sylvari race, apparently they looked too much like the typical elfs which are humanoids that embrace nature(tree-huggers?) and not the intended "beautiful  plants", so they started to redesign it to make it more like a humanoid plant and this was the result:

  Personally when i choose a race for my character i look at their animation and how cool the armor looks on them, i can't see their animation until it is shown in GamesCom but their armor seems to be entirely made out of plants as well which for me is a major turnoff, specially in a game were the typical cloth/leather/mail textures look so awesome.

  As a result this means that the Sylvari race is off-limits for me and it will be more then likely that most of my Guild Wars 2 characters will be Human.

World of Warcraft sustaining heavy casualties!

  We are on the second quarter of 2011 and it has been confirmed that Blizzard has lost over 300,000 World of Warcraft subscribers, adding to the losses in the first quarter it mounts up to 600,000+ subscribers that stopped playing in this year alone.

As a result of the decline the developers are forced to find out other ways to please their faithful customers by other means other "adding random content".
"As our players have become more experienced playing World of Warcraft over many years, they have become much better and much faster at consuming content..." - Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime
  Yes either that or Blizzard has dumbed down the genre to badly that even the newest of players needs little to no experience to overcome what ever "obstacles" also know as 'content' to get their gear which seems to rain from the skies in WoW.

  Obviously we don't expect blizzard to blame them selves, so instead they choose to pat the back of their players and say "hey its because you're THE MAN", raising their moral and maintaining the corporate facade... a text book example of Public Relations to minimize their losses.

Diablo 3: No Mods & No Offline...wut?

  Diablo 1 and 2 was part of my teen life, it brings back fond memories whenever I think back on the fun (and slightly masochist) times I spent with my friends in Hard Mode... now knowing that Blizzard forbids mods for a interface like Diablo 3 doesn't sway me much one way or another, the classic Diablo interface was never in much need for re-arrangings. And it’s no surprise they don’t want you modding the online game: it would rather undermine the item market.
  However it is a shame to know that there will not be a offline mode for Diablo 3, I very much enjoyed that aspect on the previous versions and considering how Starcraft 2 went way beyond standard limitations, the flexibility of the editor was such that you could create new games in it, I was rather hoping some of it would seep through to Diablo 3...

SW:TOR - (Raid Loot) trend for the future?

  It's come to my attention that Star Wars is on test phase regarding a new way to sort through loot drop from Operations(raids) in game, now any mmo gamer worth their salt should have experienced at least some of the few classic raid loot dramas, DKP system? Ninja looted? Well if this new system works out we can say goodbye to them and some more!
Loot containers' (name is still a work in progress!) do indeed exist and are designed to alleviate the frustration some feel around high-level loot drops.

As it's currently implemented, at the end of a key encounter within an Operation, upon looting a high-level opponent, everyone in the Operations group will get an individual container which has a chance to give you a random piece of loot that's specific to your class. It could be part of an armor set, a weapon, and so on. If you don't get loot, you'll get commendations which can be used to purchase gear.

Please note, this feature is currently in Game Testing and may well be modified before launch.
  • The items that do not drop for you (or do not appear in your loot bag) from boss kills can all be bought from the commendation vendor.
  • To access new flashpoints you have to clear beginner ones.
  • There will be no pre-raid armor grind. You will enter low-level raids in the armor you finished your story in.
  • Loot bags can contain upgrades for weapons and armor.
  This means that Raid-Loot will start to be a personal-drop instead of raid-drop, it will definitely help to avoid loot issues within guild members but will it turn guilds into randomized groups? Hopefully the tests will prove otherwise.

Diablo 3: Auction House

Just saw the announcement of the Auction House system that Blizzard is going to implement in the 3rd sequel of the Diablo series, it seems that players will be able to sell picked-up items in the AH for REAL MONEY, that's right it will be similar to a cash-shop, the only difference is that you can only buy items that dropped for someone else contrary to the cash-shops where the company creates the item for you.

So how will it work?
Its Simple you play the game as you have always done until some nice item drops, then you must make a decision... will you equip the item(and probably bind it to your character) or will you sell it... if you want to sell it you can sell it just like a regular AH but the bid will be done in real currency and Blizzard take a small percentage.

The community seems to be divided between opinions as some feel outraged and some say that its the best idea ever, Personally i am unsure of what to think, on one side these players that don't mind wasting money in a game can buy awesome items and gain an edge, but since the item needs to be dropped first the only difference is that the owner might not be the one it dropped to.

On the other side this idea will virtually eliminate Gold farmers all together because players can now sell their own stuff and gain money directly from Blizzard thus making Gold Farmers obsolete, also this will allow players to gain money by playing the game they like maybe even enough to be a decent profit.

Will this be the next generation of games? it may even make the "professional player" an actual profession... time will tell.

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