Archive for the ‘Role Playing Games’ Category

In SWTOR (Star Wars the Old Republic), once you hit level 50 you gain access to a level 50 only planet called Ilum. This planet has some daily repeatable PvE quests, but the main function of the planet is the world PvP area (in which there is a daily and weekly which you can get PvP gear from). The problem with this area is that its… well… boring and severely lacking in PvP! The cause of this problem, in my opinion, is that aside from those trying to grind for their PvP gear, there is really nothing there thats worthwhile. What ends up happening is that, especially on low population servers, the whole area is either empty, or completely one sided (usually in favor of the imps) so actual PvP either doesn’t happen, or is essentially a gang bang with many players of one faction killing a few of the other. What follows is my ideas for making Ilum worthwhile and fun!

 

Turn it into a level 50 hub

One of the main problems with Ilum is that its simply empty, and there really isn’t any reason to spend more than an hour at the most on Ilum (mainly to finish the PvP daily). What Bioware should do is turn this area into a Hub so players are drawn to it, or at least willing to spend a little more time than the time it takes to finish the daily. In order to make it a Hub, they could add a few things to the bases that you would only find in the Fleet or capitol city of the factions. These could be more vendors (specifically the PvP gear vendors at the least), a mail box, the PvPand PvE  mission box (so we can pick up the PvP daily/weekly here, as well as the PvE daily, since there are a few flash points on Ilum), the Galactic Trade Network, and more! Doing this won’t solve the fact that Ilum is empty, but it could help keep people on Ilum who usually just come for the daily, and then leave for the fleet immediately afterwards.

Change the PvP Daily

The Ilum PvP daily is one of the worst PvP dailies i’ve ever seen. You can complete the daily without even seeing a player of the opposing faction (and I often do, being on a low population server with a pretty severe faction imbalance). For those who don’t know, the PvP daily quest has you collect 30 “armaments” or kill 30 enemies (or a combination of the 2, like kill 5 people and collet 25 armaments). Farming item nodes is Not PvP. The simplest correction would be to revert the daily back to what it used to be, which is to take control of one of the assaults 5 times. Unfortunately, what used to happen is the two factions would sit in an assault (generally center from my experience) and basically trade control of it back and forth without even touching each other. To fix this, the developers could require that all enemy players (out of stealth, to prevent abuse by stealth characters) be eliminated before you can take control of the area.

Another possible change could be to require only kills, rather than having armaments or other quest items to collect. This would most likely be bad though, especially on low population servers where the opposing faction (usually the Republic) is always outnumbered. At the least the PvP daily would take MUCH longer, and would be much more frustrating.

If Bioware refuses to change the PvP daily, the least they could do is increase the spawn rate of the armaments, and have them spawn in other areas besides he central assault.

Add a Faction Wide Buff

Right now, as I’ve mentioned, there is really no reason to go to Ilum besides the daily quest. Even then, there is no reason to stay on Ilum once you have completed it. If Bioware were to add a faction wide buff for controlling Ilum, players  buff, and damage boost in PvE would suffice. They could have a Flash point that is only accessible to the faction that controls Ilum. Regardless of what the buff does, anything that affects the whole faction in a good way would be an incentive for going to Ilum. If you combine this with my idea above for changing the daily, I think you would definitely see more fights and PvP in general on Ilum.

 

Fix the Faction Imbalance

Now this is a difficult problem to tackle. You can’t force people to reroll, and you can’t just change someones character to one of the opposing faction. There are some solutions however. Merging low population servers would definitely help. Bioware could also lower the population cap on the PvP area of Ilum itself, so that if there are a bunch of one faction, and very few of the others, at least one phase could have some fair fights. Beyond that, I’m not sure what other solutions are out there, but the faction imbalance (which can be very severe on certain servers) really needs to be addressed!

 

There are more ways in which Ilum could be fixed, but I believe that the above suggestions address the most important problems of Ilum. If you have some suggestions, leave them in the comments!

Anyone who is into MMORPG’s or video games in general should know about Star Wars the Old Republic, by Bioware. Many people have said that Bioware’s latest game will be a. WoW killer. While this is great from Bioware’s perspective, I sincerely hope that SWTOR doesn’t kill WoW.

Now, this may seem like a strange opinion, but here me out. In my opinion, WoW was best in its first iteration, before any of the expansions came out. Vanilla WoW was one of my best gaming experiences ever, and i’m sure this is true for many others. However, over the years the game play has gotten stale (even as the player base grew). So what happened?

Well, I attribute the above to WoW’s success. More accurately, as WoW got more popular it got worse. To further explain, each subsequent expansion (and even each subsequent patch) overall degraded the game play. Things that were once challenging had ceased to become a challenge, but rather a repetitive grind to chase the proverbial carrot on a stick, and new content was of similar, or the same caliber. This is of course because as WoW’s audience grew, Blizzard decided to continue making the game easier to play. At a certain point, Blizzard had to pick between the novice players, who wanted some sort of instant gratification or else they would quit, and the hard core players. Unfortunately, as far as numbers go, the novice members were Blizzards bread and butter, and the rest is history.

Think about it. WoW’s unprecedented success come from the fact that WoW is very easy for a casual or new player to get into. The term welfare epics, which has been thrown around the WoW community, comes to mind as an example of this. This dumbing down of the game to appeal to casuals and noobs is exactly what I don’t want to happen to SWTOR. I’m not saying that SWTOR shouldn’t Be easy for noobs or casuals to get into, but they shouldn’t make the game essentially give out gear for free, or dumb down end game fights. Wow used to be like a teens novel. Easy to read but had some depth and provided rewards for those willing to read through all the way. Now it’s like a children’s picture book, providing cheap and easy gratification without the need to read more than a few words.

Besides being dumbed down, I also don’t want to see world PVP become nonexistent like it became in WoW. Unfortunately, world PVP started its slow death once battlegrounds were implemented. The same kind of players who want instant gratification, rather than a greater reward after longer time spent, are the ones who made battlegrounds so popular, and as a result world PVP became non existent. Unfortunately Blizzard did nothing to make world PVP worthwhile until it was much too late. Now, I am not saying Battlegrounds are bad. In fact Battlegrounds were a whole lot of fun, and are a great way to get some quick PVP in, especially during non peak hours when world PVP is low. However, what I hope Bioware will do that Blizzard did not until too late is add incentive for both styles of play. And I don’t mean the same incentive (IE both grant you honor) because battleground like PVP will always win out in a race to grind honor.

Now you may be thinking, just because SWTOR is a WoW killer doesn’t mean that Bioware will have to dumb down their game, or appeal solely to casual players. However, if you think about it, they kind of will. In order to attract the WoW players, who are so used to the instant gratification, Bioware will have to either provide a game so compelling, that the WoW players completely forget about the WoW style of MMO, or play WoW’s game (which as evident by recently released MMORPG’s like Rift, you can’t beat WoW at the WoW game). Now, whether or not the game is compelling enough to kill WoW is another story, and if it becomes a WoW killer in that sense, I will be ok with that. However, given that the game has yet to be released, only time will tell. My only hope is, regardless of how compelling WoW fans find SWTOR, I hope SWTOR stays SWTOR.

The news that everyone has been waiting for is finally here! On the 24th of September, Bioware finally announced (after months and months of anticipation) the release date for Star Wars the Old republic. The launch date is planned to be December 20th, 2011 in America, and December 24th, 2011 in Europe!

This is awesome news for everyone who is a fan of Bioware. Those who have been following this game since its inception have been waiting for the release date to come. Many people have grown impatient with Bioware and the lack of a release date for so long, but all those who have been negative and impatient can finally relax!

So for you gamers out there, keep playing whatever game you are currently playing to hold you over until December!

Along with the release date announcement, they also released the subscription details. It is the normal monthly subscription model used by most MMO’s, with bulk buying deals (IE paying for 3 months in advance is less than paying a month at a time). The details on the official release announcement is as follows:

Each copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic will come with 30 days of subscription time, after which you have the option to continue playing with one of the following monthly subscription fees:

  • 1 Month Subscription: $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99)
  • 3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month (one-time charge of $41.97/£25.17/€35.97)
  • 6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month (one-time charge of $77.94/£46.14/€65.94)
Personally, I think this is great news for gamers. There was some speculation on the forums that they may use a Free to Play model (similar to Lord of the Rings Online), which many gamers (including me) are strongly against (at least for MMO’s). Not to say that Free to Play MMO’s are inherently bad, but usually they end up selling power for money. Regardless of anyones feelings on the free to play model, i’m sure everyone is excited to finally have a date.

If you want to read the official announcement by bioware, navigate here: http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20110924

PS. Preorders are still available! If you preorder, you may get early access to the game, as evidence by the following from the news article:

Those who have pre-ordered the game and entered their pre-order code onStarWarsTheOldRepublic.com are eligible for Early Game Access. If you haven’t yet reserved your copy of the game, be sure to visit our Pre-Order page and secure your place in the Old Republic now!

 

EDIT: EA has also confirmed that SWTOR will not be released in Australia as of right now. I don’t imagine that this game will never be released there, but there is no planned release date as of right now.

Very interesting article I just read about certain PC games that just won’t work on a console. The games mostly fall under the RPG or RTS category, but there are a couple of notable FPS games on the list. Some games of note that I personally enjoyed (or can’t wait to enjoy) were

  • Star Wars the Old Republic
  • Starcraft 2
  • EVE online
  • Civilization 5
  • Crysis
  • League of Legends

 

Personally, as an avid PC gamer, I think this article is a wonderful read for any type of gamer (whether on PC or Console) and gives some great games to try if you aren’t well versed in PC gaming yet. Personally, I think they should have included The Master of Orion series (a game similar to Sins of a Solar Empire, which was included). I would say they should have said Starcraft instead of Starcraft 2, but Starcraft was available on the N64 (most people don’t know that!). I actually first played Starcraft on my brothers old N64 before I got it for the PC.

 

Give the article a read! Its great: http://www.gamepro.com/article/features/221593/21-great-pc-games-you-ll-never-play-on-a-console/

 

 

I have started my first video game, an RPG named “The Realm of Darthon”. The name is a reference to a Regular Show episode. So far, I have a combat system, looting system, vendor system, and very simple magic system. I have also implemented a very simple melee AI, armor, and weapons. I am going to be working on ironing out the first entry level (complete with a town with a vendor and perhaps a quest giver, and a field with enemies to attack.

It is an entirely 2D game, with hand drawn graphics. It’s quite buggy right now, but was stable enough for me to demo in my Intro to Game Development class earlier today. I’m going to continue development on it, in hopes that I can add all the features that I wanted to when I was planning what I wanted to do.

I am using the .Net environment, using the XNA game development engine in C#. I have never used C# before learning about XNA so it has been an interesting learning curve. XNA makes certain things quite simple, like drawing 2D sprites. Handling collision however seems to be something that XNA expects you to do yourself, and it doesn’t really provide any functionality to make the coding of collision any easier. I would have expected there to be at least a bounding rectangle level of collision detection built in, but implementing such is easy enough.

I expect this to be the first of quite a few games. My next game(s) will probably be a little simpler than a full fledged RPG

Screenshots below:

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