DC Universe Online Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com DC Universe Online RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network DCUO Switch Impressions: Reassessing DC Universe Online in 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/ycw2u/dcuo-switch-impressions-reassessing-dc-universe-online-in-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/ycw2u/dcuo-switch-impressions-reassessing-dc-universe-online-in-2019 Mon, 12 Aug 2019 12:51:12 -0400 David Jagneaux

Daybreak Games’ superhero-themed MMORPG, DC Universe Online (DCUO) just released on the Nintendo Switch last week and I’ve been playing it since the weekend before.

After playing it off and on for a week, I wanted to provide my early impressions of how it plays on Switch, how it shapes up to the MMO competition, and whether it’s worth your time in a crowded market in 2019. 

What is DC Universe Online?

First things first: DC Universe Online is an old game. It first launched back in 2011 as a pay-to-play subscription-based MMO for the PS3 and PC. It later came to the PS4 in 2013 and Xbox One in 2016.

The game essentially didn’t even last a whole year as a subscription offering following a rocky launch, but it has flourished since then with a steady stream of new content and new features. PS3 support was shut down in early 2018 and PS4 and PC players share the same server. Xbox and Switch are separate.

Since DCUO is a free-to-play game, that means you don’t need to pay a dime to download and play it at all, whatsoever, on any platform. There are tons of ways the game tries to get money out of you, though, and if you enjoy it at all, I highly recommend exploring some of those avenues to compensate the developers — but it’s not required to experience a big chunk of the game's content.

Being that this is a comic book-based MMO, updates are doled out a bit differently than you might be used to in other MMOs.

In games like Elder Scrolls Online, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and other MMOs, new expansion releases often bring a ton of new content, maybe some new classes, new land masses to explore, and more. DCUO is different in that its content is actually formatted as shorter episodes, and it gets more consistent releases over an entire year.

Instead of, say, a half dozen expansions over its eight years of life, as you’d expect, it’s actually received over 30 episodes.

The episodes are a bit like comic storylines, or issues, that focus on specific characters, regions, and villains. There are episodes about the Titans, there was a big Atlantis episode, and right now, Justice League Dark is the focus.

DCUO As A Free Player

If you’re a free player, then you get access to the base game and its storyline. There are a handful of powers to pick from, a bunch of costume designs, and plenty of ways to make your hero your own.

Each time a new episode releases, that new episode is free for all players to until the next episode releases. This means if you start now and want to play past episodic content, like Atlantis, then you need to either buy the episodes individually, which usually cost between $4 and $10 each, or you need to pay the game's optional subscription fee, which starts at $15 per month.

If you pay that fee, you get access to all the episodes, more character slots, every character power, and a bunch of other perks.

The generous thing about this system is that if you know you want to play DCUO a lot one month, then you can pay the $15 and binge a bunch of the episodes over that time, then just let your membership run out without renewing it. You’ll keep the gear you earned after its over.

Additionally, subscribing for one month permanently unlocks four more character slots on top of the two free ones that you will keep even after your membership ends — even if they were characters that had paid powers.

You can renew to check out more old episodes any time you want. But if you stay subbed, you get lots of ongoing perks that let you swap builds easier, get recurring currency to purchase upgrades and cosmetics, and more.

If you really don’t want to pay, you don’t have to, although there are some annoyances you’ll find as a strictly free player, like slower loot drops as well as spending money on some feats, which award skill points. 

DCUO Combat and Customization

DCUO has a surprisingly deep combat and customization system that’s mostly open to all free players.

My main is a hero named Jaggerzone, who has ice powers and fights with a staff. Each weapon has its own unlockable combos with skill points, which really adds a lot of depth and nuance to fighting. This isn’t a tab targeting MMO ,and it’s not a game where you just sit there and click through your ability rotation. Combos require timing whilke mixing your light and heavy attacks in rhythm.

Using a staff feels great and the fighting is extremely fluid. I can throw in ice powers to do some AoE damage, reflect attacks, and generally boost damage from my allies.

Instead of picking traditional classes, you create your own, in a way, by choosing a weapon and then picking a power-set separately. From the start you also get to choose either flight, super speed, or acrobatics as a movement style, which has a big effect on moment-to-moment gameplay.

You get a lot of freedom to design your character for free, but a large chunk of the powers are behind the paywall, which might be off-putting to some.

DCUO Content and Game Flow

In terms of content, DCUO is a very PvE-focused game. PvP content does exist in the form of team battles, lair battles, and a Legends mode that lets you play as and fight against iconic DC characters, but the core of the game is centered around PvE stories and group content.

There is an “On Duty” queue full of instances for one, two, four, and even up to eight players, as well as the episodic content that has team missions, and the overworld itself that’s full of enemies to fight. And as far as I’ve seen, most of these “On Duty” events seem to be included for free players, too. 

I’m only Level 15 on my main hero at the time of this writing (the base level cap is 30, then it switches to being about your “Combat Power” and gear which can get much higher),  but my Journal is overflowing with things to do. My villain is around Level 10 in the same situation. 

Mission variety hasn’t been great so far, but the story beats are good. For example, I recently fought a possessed team of Titans as Raven’s father was trying to take over, so beating back Cyborg, Starfire, and others was really cool. But the missions themselves so far have all just been "Kill X enemies," "Walk over and hold 'A' for a few seconds on random things," "Go fight this boss," etc.

That’s par for the course in most MMOs, but the combat in DCUO has kept me entertained. It helps that this one has some of the best voice acting in the entire genre, and the comic-book-style illustrated cutscenes are cool and actually worth watching. Many of the key characters are voiced by their animated show counterparts, so you’ll recognize voices often.

DCUO Switch Performance

With regard to the Switch port specifically, I’m extremely impressed. Performance wise, I have not had any issues in either docked or handheld mode. I actually prefer playing it handheld because it seems a little blurrier when docked. Although it runs great either way, having it on a handheld screen is just super impressive.

I still can’t believe an MMO of this size fits on a console like the Switch.

In fact, I played it on the train recently using my Pixel 2 as a mobile hotspot, and it worked flawlessly, even when the train went underground from Oakland to San Francisco. It never lost connection and ther was no lag.

Honestly, it’s just super impressive it plays so great on Switch. I wasn’t a big DCUO player prior to this version, but having it available in a such a magnificent portable version means I can easily hop in and out with zero hassle.

I can see myself investing quite a bit of time this way.

DCUO Switch Impressions: Bottom Line

Overall, DC Universe Online is a great MMO with tons of content that respects your time — and it’s definitely the perfect MMO for the Switch.

If you want to spend cash on it to get more content and more options, you can. There are over 30 pieces of DLC full of interesting stories to explore if you’re still hungry for more after exhausting the base game. While this was about the Switch version, DCUO’s content and gameplay are essentially the same on all platforms.

The bottom line is that this is a free, AAA MMO on Switch, and it is frankly the only MMO of its kind on the Switch at all. Hopefully, it will serve as a bat signal to other devs to bring their online virtual worlds to Nintendo’s latest platform.

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Supehero Blitz: The Best Crime Fighter Cosplays! https://www.gameskinny.com/oqxa6/supehero-blitz-the-best-crime-fighter-cosplays https://www.gameskinny.com/oqxa6/supehero-blitz-the-best-crime-fighter-cosplays Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:26:53 -0400 Stephanie Tang

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That's all for now! 

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This last-but-not-least take on our favorite God of Thunder may not look as polished as all the rest but it's something that you can actually DIY at home without heading out and paying for something off the costume racks (you know the prices are going to be as jacked as Thor's manly biceps right now just before the holiday). Check it out for some more ideas of your own!

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Have any other suggestions for awesome superhero costumes? Let us know!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/p/impressive-ultron-cosplay-for-avengers-age-ultron-10927.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/p/impressive-ultron-cosplay-for-avengers-age-ultron-10927.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"189552","description":"

All right, you are probably not going to be pulling together an Ultron costume just in time for the big Halloween bash in a couple weeks. You are probably also not going to confuse Ultron for a superhero, not even a dance-between-the-lines kind of superhero/villain like Catwoman. 

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But seriously. who doesn't dream of showing up in a shiny, glowing, show-stealing getup like this? These in particular are by Village’s Hope who partnered with Disney to amp up the crowds at the Thailand premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Even cooler is the fact that all that shiny chrome isn't actually shiny chrome at all, but a mix of EVA foam, PVC leather, and LEDs. Wow!

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(image source: Geek Tyrant)

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Wakanda forever! You didn't think we'd make it through a superhero cosplay post without a little Black Panther thrown in for style, right? 

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While there may be very little point by now (who still hasn't watched this movie??) to hold back the spoilers of Infinity War, suffice to say that CutiePieSensei had some pretty good reasons for feeling like baby sister Shuri needed to step up into her big brother's Black Panther shoes. 

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This isn't exactly a super canon costume that she's donned since she pulled design inspiration from both the comic books and the movie, but between the wicked styling and the fact that it lights up(!!), it is too rad not to place on this list. 

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You should also take a look at some of her other work, including this WIP Starfire (take notes, Titans) and super-stylin' Domino. Super worth. 

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Pull some creativity from this talented artist, cosplayer, and gamer. Get inspired by the the designs that excite you, make up some designs your own!

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(image source: Instagram)

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Can I really think of any one Deadpool cosplayer? (Well, yes, actually, but as much as I love D Piddy, I can't resist the lure of a million convention Deadpools all conga line dancing around the showroom floor.)

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Is there anything quite like a Deadpool cosplay? It is such a wacky, oddball, utterly freeing experience where you can pretty much do whatever weirdo thought comes into your brain and somehow it translates into something 300x funnier. 

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We're keeping it fairly easy to glam up like this in time for Halloween - with the super success of Deadpool and Deadpool 2, costume stores are stocked for everyone who comes in wanting to play the Merc With the Mouth. Why not join the dance party?

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(image source: Geeks and Sundry)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/r/mera-04f6c.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/r/mera-04f6c.png","type":"slide","id":"189523","description":"

On the topic of nostalgia, the recent wave of Aquaman hype had me thinking back to Adella's fantastically shot series of photos for her Mera costume that she released last year.

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It stands out from the pack because of her choice in location and also because her son was just about the right age for Aquababy… and looked so stinking cute dressed up with her! (Check out the link at the bottom to check out the full gallery.)

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Adella has been in the cosplay scene for years and is most well-known for how good she looks when dressed up as Aeris/Aerith Gainsborough from FFVII and Malon from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

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If you're thinking of filling in these slick, shiny green shoes, you'll probably be able to put together all the pieces for a decent Halloween costume from easy places like Amazo

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(image source: Adella Cosplay)

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I don't know what it is about Australian cosplayers this round, but here we're clocking at 3 out of 3! Kyle Parmley's Captain America is somewhat dated at this point (3 calendar years which approximately equals 10 in internet years) but with the end of the Chris Evans era fast approaching, a little nostalgia is good for the soul. 

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An actor and performer, Kyle Parmley has got a ton of other priorities before cosplay so he hasn't popped off as many mind-blowing superhero shoots over the years as some of the others on this list, but that hasn't stopped him from taking a turn as both Superman and Batman ("MARTHA!") as well.

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If you're thinking of pulling together a Cap costume in time for Halloween, chances are you'll find all the pieces you'll need at your local costume shop or Hot Topic long before you have to buckle down and hunt something down online.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/i/spi-5b602.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/i/spi-5b602.png","type":"slide","id":"189513","description":"

Pint-sized Mary Jane is suited up and ready to kick some serious Green Goblin butt. A dancer and prolific cosplayer (especially for her age!), Nevada Newman's an official model for cosplay store Hero's Time, and hails from Australia.

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When she's not playing Spidey's redheaded bombshell, she's also sitting through the tedious body paint process for her amazing Starfire from Teen Titans, smacking mallets around as Harley Quinn, and absolutely slaying as Hela from Thor: Ragnarok. It's a tough schedule, but evidently Nevada is in it to win it. Who says kids can't cosplay as well as the best of 'em?

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If you're looking for this exact costume, you can find it on the Hero's Time website, or you can check around for a solid Spidey costume as well. Those are certainly not hard to find either!

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(image source: Instagram)

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Okay, so villain, superhero.. Catwoman straddles that line most of the time. I think that counts. 

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If you think there's something familiar about this face but can't quite put your finger on it, it's probably because you just saw her in the last slide as well as a fantastic genderbent Aquaman. If you didn't even notice, I think that stands as testament to how good she is at her work!

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A Melbourne native, Yeliz (or Just Yeliz on Facebook and Instagram) frequents a number of different Aussie cons, and has pulled off a ton of different costumes (check out her Kassandra from Assassin's Creed Odyssey for example, she's an official cosplayer for Ubisoft Australia).

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I'll also level with you here. I don't know what iteration of Catwoman this costume comes from. This cowl is reminiscent of the worst-fated Catwoman to date (poor, poor Razzie-winning Halle Berry) but to be honest, it was the best part of that ripped-up leather mess of a costume. The rest of it definitely looks a lot more contemporary. Is it from something? Was it pulled together? I don't know, and I must know!

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This particular version might not be the easiest to put together in time for Halloween, but that won't stop you from whipping together something similar from a number of different Catwoman eras. She has been a popular costume for many years, and for good reason!

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(image source: Instagram)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/q/u/aquaman-cosplay-c2f74.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/q/u/aquaman-cosplay-c2f74.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189486","description":"

New York Comic Con has just finished wrapping up, and so has the summer blockbuster season. It's been a smash hit for the superhero genre.. more on the Marvel side of the fence than DC with runaway winners like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, and some smaller but very profitable successes in movies like Deadpool 2 and the recent release of Venom.

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DC has been keeping its cards a little closer to its chest with only a few animated releases scattered throughout the year, pushing only to make upcoming Aquaman the big DC hype machine of the year. Of course, we can still hope that the DC-led Titans (the Teen Titans live action show that garnered so much fan rage over the actress choice and costume styling for Starfire when behind the scenes photos leaked earlier this year) will pleasantly surprise us. 

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But with the cooler weather and the fall fever starting to creep up on us, our thoughts to more important questions... what are we going to wear on Halloween? (Totally an adult question.)

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Take a look at some of our suggestions, and some of the best versions of these costumes that we've seen!

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(image source: GeekxGirls)

"}]]]>
5 Underplayed and Underrated MMOs You Should Try Out Now https://www.gameskinny.com/8evky/5-underplayed-and-underrated-mmos-you-should-try-out-now https://www.gameskinny.com/8evky/5-underplayed-and-underrated-mmos-you-should-try-out-now Wed, 01 Feb 2017 07:00:02 -0500 SpaceGamerUK

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So there they are, the MMOs which feels underplayed or underrated for different reasons. Quite often this feel very unfair, as the games are good and highly playable.

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There is one more game which is heavily affected by word of mouth and popular opinions; EVE -- being known for a ruthless community and a very difficult steep learning curve in game. All of this sounds pretty bad, all the stories about new players losing everything, and being killed in seconds by skilled old-timers. But this is simply not the truth. Regardless of popular opinion about EVE being very difficult and cruel -- it is still in good condition and even growing.

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Do you know any underplayed or underrated MMO games. Are you still playing them? Why do you think other should play them as well? Let us know.

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Runescape
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Why has Runescape landed on this list? The game has been on the market since 2001 -- at some point it was probably one of the most popular MMOs. With a huge community of players, tonnes of content and a very playable realm, Runescape should be one of the winners.

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But it is not the case. At least not any more.

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It seems that issues started from 2007 when the game was heavily rebalanced, or for vast amount of active players -- unbalanced.

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From then on, more and more active players to left the game. Finally, the developer -- Jagex -- asked their player base for its opinion on the changes provided in 2007. 99% of them wanted to go back to previous system of game mechanics.

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While this should have solved the problem, Jagex -- in a separate referendum -- decided to also maintain the new rules on separate servers. This decision divided the existing player base into two communities, and since 2013 there are two separate versions of Runescape -- old school version and current version.

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It seems that this was not helpful for the franchise as Runescape moved quickly to the niche of MMO market. Although it is good to know that the game is still stunning and highly playable for anybody into fantasy worlds.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/c/1/dc1-ee1db.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/c/1/dc1-ee1db.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149178","description":"
DC Universe Online
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Let's see: we have all the superheroes from the DC Comics Universe, superpowers, tonnes of action and stunning visuals. Nothing should go wrong.

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DC Universe Online has also rather good reviews from the critics and holds reasonable base of players, reaching 18 million.

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For some reason most of those players come from the Xbox and PlayStation.

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DC Universe Online is underplayed by PC gamers, which are turning to other more popular MMO titles. It seems the biggest concerns for people trying this title are some limitation in character creations, shortages in storyline, and too long cinematic sentences.

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Personally I didn't notice any of above issues. Perhaps DC Universe Online is not exactly what I am looking for in MMO games, but certainly there is no reason for this title to be underrated by players.

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The game can be played for free, and MMO fans who have yet to try DC Universe Online should try it now.

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EverQuest II
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EverQuest II brought significant improvements to the EverQuest franchise. A 3D MMORPG situated in fictional world of Norrath, sometimes compared to un-doubtful ruler on the market -- World of Warcraft, EverQuest II never reached same popularity.

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EverQuest II offers a lot of different playable races and decent amount of character classes. While the storyline is very classic, players should not have any problems to connect with the in-game lore and expand it on their own. EverQuest II is solid example of classic approach to MMO.

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Game has been on the market since 2004, still providing new content and has a stable base of players. It just seem to be not popular enough.

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Certainly EverQuest II seems to be underrated, but with a free to play option added a couple of years ago, it is a recommended MMO for all those who did not try it yet.

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The Secret World
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How about an MMO which takes place in our times? It could be an extremely boring idea, but imagine this: every myth, every legend and every conspiracy theory is true?

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In this MMO the world is attacked by the occult forces. To fight them humanity has three different secret societies, known from conspiracy theories: The Illuminates, The Dragons and The Templars.

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Just the storyline should grant some attention from players, but this is not everything. The scenery and overall feeling of the game is stunning!

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The Secret World is set very contemporary reality, drawing aesthetics from folklore and legends, smoothly connecting monsters: Zombies in foggy England, mummies in Egypt and of course vampires in Transylvania.

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And there is more, The Secret World offers very playable classes (they are easy to learn and play with for the most part) and a reasonably easy to follow system for advancing your character. No steep learning curve and high playability.

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Regardless of the fact the game has stayed on the market since 2012, and had a lot of positive reception, it seems to be hidden gem. Overpowered by much more popular titles on the market.

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The Secret World is based on buy-to-play model, but there is 10 days free trial giving full access to the game.

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My advice would be to jump in, and feel the different approach to MMO offered by this title.

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Dungeons & Dragons Online
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This classic MMORPG game stayed in the market since 2006. Based on the tabletop RPG, which was hugely popular before computer MMOs were even "a thing."

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The action takes place in and around the city of Stormreach, somewhere on the fictional continent called Xen'drik. The continent is mostly unexplored but some time in the past it was the centre of highly prosperous Giant Civilisation.

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With stunning visuals, huge amounts of missions and very classical approach to RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons Online should draw a lot more attention and is one of the titles underplayed by many MMO fans. 

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The game has a unique approach to the characters levelling up system. Traditionally new skills are gained by killing monsters, while in Dungeons and Dragons Online skill improvements can be gained by completing quests.

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It is quite possible that sourcing this MMO from the classic RPG can make some players reluctant as it suggests a high level of complication and very slow dynamics of the game. But once you will step into Dungeons and Dragons Online, it is easy to see that there is nothing to worry about. The game is classy, beautiful and highly playable once player would soak into the lore.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/n/landmark-61b6d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/n/landmark-61b6d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"149174","description":"

An MMO Universe is as big as the imagination of the developers who are designing new games. But the popularity of any MMO title is determined by the amount of people willing to play a particular game for longer than a few days.

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I will ask why some MMO titles did not achieve the success which was expected, the answer could be very simple; lore, content, character progression were poor or too difficult to grasp -- I believe that in the case of 80% games vanishing from the market this is exact issue.

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But it seems that there is whole group of games which did not achieve success regardless of being very decent products. They are somehow underplayed, even if hanging on in the market for long time. Still, regardless of having a dedicated but small player base, they could use some additional love treatment from MMO fans.

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Let's take a look on 5 Underplayed MMO's You Should Try Out Now.

"}]]]>
5 Great MMOs That Aren't Fantasy Themed https://www.gameskinny.com/o9e7x/5-great-mmos-that-arent-fantasy-themed https://www.gameskinny.com/o9e7x/5-great-mmos-that-arent-fantasy-themed Mon, 14 Nov 2016 02:50:53 -0500 Pablo Seara

We have played all sorts of MMOs based on fantasy worlds, with fictional races, magic and other typical elements of the genre. However, there is also a place for other kinds of titles based in different themes. They take inspiration from franchises, real places or history, and set themselves in unique settings, far from what we are used to.

In this list, you will find the best five MMOs you can currently play that are not fantasy themed. 

Star Trek Online

Trekies have their own MMO with Star Trek Online, which lets you play as the captain of a startship, have your own crew and explore the infinite vastness of the universe. The game is filled with planets, characters and nods to the franchise. It also has a very strong community that lasts until its current days, thanks to the transmediality of the franchise.

However, Star Trek Online isn't just a simple MMO for hardcore fans. It includes great character customization, deep and entertaining space combat and lots of objectives and quests to do, which can be created by the players themselves. It also offers on-foot missions, but they aren't as developed as the other ones.

It is a great alternative to other futuristic, spaceship-focused MMOs that are too complex, like EVE Online.

Age of Wushu

Age of Wushu is a stylish MMO inspired by ancient China. It is the most unique game on this list, a game capable of delivering a truly Chinese atmosphere, with great sound design and a colourful setting.

The combat system is also really original and agile, and based on martial arts. You get to use a variety of movements that fall into three different classes: defense, offense and feints. Combining these actions, you will have to defeat your enemies in a game where PvP is the king, one that is incredibly complex and packed with a great variety of game modes.

For those who are looking for something really different and unique, Age of Wushu is your MMO.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars is the second sci-fi franchise on the list, but its inclusion is totally justified. The Old Republic is an excellent MMO with an exponential growth in both quality and size. Its gameplay is very traditional, yet effective, with all the elements fans are known to love.

It even has a compelling story, especially for non-MMO standards, that stands out above other games of its genre, following the steps of the fantastic Knights of the Old Republic. As usual, you can choose between becoming a jedi or a sith and follow the path you desire, which is plagued with moral decisions that impact the world around you.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is the perfect game for fans (obviously), but also for anyone who loves traditional MMOs and good storytelling.

EVE Online

Of course, we had to include the tremendously deep EVE Online on the list. The amount of time and effort this game demands is titanic, but you won't find any MMO that is more complex and mature than this one. The grandiosity of EVE Online extends to every aspect of the title, from spaceship combat and maintenance to economy, exploration and more.

It also has one of the biggest and most dedicated communities in any MMO. The amount of customization options mean that you can play as a pirate, a politic, a merchant, a spy... It is such a social experience that the interactions with other players will probably define if you love or hate the game.

EVE Online is the least accesible game on the list, one that can be terrifying for a noob, but it can also be the richest one.

DC Universe Online

Finally, there is DC Universe Online, the MMO based in the well-known comic book publisher universe. It is a game that has managed to capture the essence of being a super hero/super villain, with an extremely active take on the gameplay that differentiate itself from other titles of the genre. The combat feels like a hack n' slash: full of combos, dodges and powerful, striking moves.

Regarding the in-game progression, it has a traditional approach in some ways, with quests, open areas and both PvP and PvE. It also displays a great, deep high-end loop, with lots of raids, dungeons and PvP modes. From an artistic point of view, it manages to recreate the atmosphere of the comics, fitting all kinds of characters in one, big world.

Now that the superheroes movies are more popular than ever, it is a great time to dive into DC Universe Online and enjoy an interesting, fun game.

What do you think of these games? Do they interest you? Or do you prefer more traditional MMORPGS? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

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Jack Emmert Joins Daybreak Games https://www.gameskinny.com/i72he/jack-emmert-joins-daybreak-games https://www.gameskinny.com/i72he/jack-emmert-joins-daybreak-games Fri, 10 Jun 2016 05:01:03 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

Jack Emmert, a designer who worked on the groundbreaking (and sadly defunct) MMOs City of Heroes and City of Villains, is now part of Daybreak Games.  Given that Daybreak is known for quality MMOs, like the genre-defining Everquest, this seems to be a natural fit for him.  

Emmert will be overseeing the development of one of Daybreak's most successful new titles, the free-to-play MMO DC Universe Online.  As a lifetime fan of DC Comics, Emmert says that the chance to work on the MMO is "truly amazing," and that having the chance to work for Daybreak games is one of the best things he could hope for.

Elaborating on that sentiment, Emmert said:

"Daybreak, to me, is the godfather of the MMORPG industry. Without EverQuest, we never would have seen City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, or any of the other great MMOs that came out. Because of so many seminal games, Daybreak has an unparalleled community of fans who’ve loyally followed the company for years. There’s few places that an MMO developer can go that are so set up for success."

What are your thoughts on Emmert's move and the potential changes to DC Universe Online?  Let us know in the comments!

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DC Universe Online is now available on Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/13k1d/dc-universe-online-is-now-available-on-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/13k1d/dc-universe-online-is-now-available-on-xbox-one Sun, 01 May 2016 06:04:21 -0400 Cresta Starr

On the 29th of April, Daybreak Game Company officially released the massively multiplayer online game DC Universe Online on Xbox One. Players can download the game for free from the Xbox Games Store, provided they have an Xbox Live Gold membership. With over 5 years of successful content, players with Xbox Ones can finally get in on all the action.

In a Q and A type update, Daybreak Game Company gave the rundown of most of the things players with Xbox One's can expect when they download DC Universe Online. Here is the TL;DR version:

  • All the data and updates that can be found on PlayStation 4 and PC will also be available on Xbox One.
  • No cross platform play between PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
  • No transferring of preexisting characters to Xbox One.
  • The game will continue to be free to play and download even for Xbox One

Also, to celebrate the game’s launch, Daybreak Games has created three items for download: the Powered-Up Cape, Powered-Up Emblem and Vapor Aura exclusively for Xbox One users. DC Universe Online is the first title from Daybreak Games to be published on Xbox One. H1Z1 King of the Kill will follow later on this year.

In DC Universe Online, players can either create and play their very own Superhero or Villain, or play as one of the many iconic DC Comics characters. Should players choose to create a character, they can be be equipped with special and unique powers. With these powers, players can either help or harm cities like Gotham, Metropolis and many more.

So if you are ready to get in to the fight as your own super charged character, head on over to the the Xbox Store and download the game for free today. If you want more information about DC Universe Online or for the full list of Q&A be sure to visit www.DCUniverseOnline.com.

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DC Universe Online gets an Xbox One version https://www.gameskinny.com/snigx/dc-universe-online-gets-an-xbox-one-version https://www.gameskinny.com/snigx/dc-universe-online-gets-an-xbox-one-version Wed, 13 Jan 2016 04:09:05 -0500 Nick Harshman

DC Universe Online creator Daybreak Games announced via Twitter today that they will be creating an Xbox One version of the popular MMO. Previously only available on PC and PlayStation 3 and 4, the former Sony-owned company announced the plans as part of their five year anniversary celebration. 

Formerly Sony Online Entertainment, the company was sold and became an independent studio back in February of last year. The team renamed themselves Daybreak Games, and have continued providing support for their popular MMO since.

Announced at the same time was PC and PS4 cross-play that allows users from both systems to play together - if they can get along, of course. That particular feature will make its debut on the 25th of January.

Players can also look forward to content that ties into DC's new Legends of Tomorrow TV show, as well as new storylines that have to do with the likes of Superman and Harley Quinn. Some of the remaining announcements include a new powerset and anniversary gifts.

Do you play DCUO? Will you give it a try? Let us know in the comments!

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The best in-game events for Halloween 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/r0de0/the-best-in-game-events-for-halloween-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/r0de0/the-best-in-game-events-for-halloween-2015 Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:08:53 -0400 Brandon Morgan

If you're anything like me, then Halloween is your favorite holiday of the entire year. The time when spooky spirits come out to play, random strangers give you candy, and horror movies play on television for hours and hours on end. It's easily the best day of the year, hands down.

However, as gamers, we get to enjoy another facet of the holiday: the in-game holiday events that happen in our favorite games. These generally include some spoopy atmosphere, characters in their own costumes, candy that offers some stat boosts, and a quest or two involving a headless horsemen or other legendary creature.

So, without further ado, here are the best in-game events to explore for Halloween 2015.

1. EverQuest II

Oct. 8 - Nov. 11

Players of of the old-school massively multiplayer online role-playing game can enjoy Nights of the Dead once more this year, where freaks abound and scary happenings occur in the world of Norrath. Festivities, obviously, are plentiful, and previous year's items and events have returned, including Halloween-themed Player Studio items, costumes, and weapons.

2. PlanetSide 2

Sept. 23 - Nov. 12

Most people wouldn't even consider a first-person shooter as a game that would have a Halloween event, but PlanetSide 2 certainly does. Sony will bring about the Nanite of the Living Dead, where players may collect pumpkin seeds by shooting said pumpkins to obtain Halloween Helmets. Season-themed weapons are included in your arsenal, too!

3. DC Universe Online

Oct. 1 - Nov. 2

The city of Gotham is about to become a little more twisted than usual, as the Witcher Hour has returned for this Halloween season. Players will earn themselves Spooky Bites every single day they play the game during the event, which can be used to visit Skeet's Boo-tique to buy creepy tricks, treats, and items for their bases or guild halls.

4. H1Z1

Oct. 27 - Nov. 12

Sony, obviously, loves Halloween. Just look at all of their in-game Halloween events for proof of that. In H1Z1, the studio is delivering zombies with pumpkin heads to celebrate, which can be killed for special tricks and treats. A rare scarecrow mask has also been included in Battle Royale airdrops.

5. Landmark

Oct. 8 - Oct. 29

While this one may end soon, the Halloween Livestream Party is well worth checking out. The Landmark developers are going to visit "Halloween Island," where Halloween builds and other spooky stuff has been constructed for the event. Players can visit the island and check everything out themselves, too.

6. ARK: Survival Evolved

Late October

Dinosaurs may not be what most people think about during Halloween, but the developers of ARK certainly are! ARK: Fear Evolved will take place over one week near the end of October. We will see bats, creepy-themed creatures, carvable pumpkins, and "bloodthirsty zombie Dodos."

7. Guild Wars 2

Oct. 23 - ?

Beginning today, Guild Wars 2 will introduce their annual Halloween event, entitled The Shadow of the Mad King. Nearly two weeks of holiday fun, including undead armies, decorations, Candy Corn, and visits from King Thorn, complete with his pumpkin head and all.

8. WildStar

Oct. 19 - Nov. 2

WildStar recently went free-to-play, which means now is the perfect time to get into the Halloween spirit in-game this year. Shade's Eve, the in-game event, is a celebration after a dreadful plague nearly wiped out life centuries ago. Daily quests, public events, and housing challenges will be available.

9. World of Warships

Oct. 20 - Nov. 2

This year, the Rise of the Phantom Fortress event will allow players to battle against ghostly enemy ships in random PvP to earn boxes of new items and goodies. A spirit Japanese destroyer, the Fujin, has been added to the Premium Shop for purchase.

10. World of Warcraft

Oct. 18 - Nov. 1

Every single year around this time, Hallow's End comes to the world of Azeroth to celebrate the Forsaken stepping away from the Scourge. Players can receive event-exclusive collectibles, go trick-or-treating for costumes and candy, bob for apples, and plenty more this season.

Will you be participating in any of these events? What else is going on for Halloween in your favorite games? Let me know in the comments!

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Daybreak Games announces tons of Halloween updates https://www.gameskinny.com/kkjd7/daybreak-games-announces-tons-of-halloween-updates https://www.gameskinny.com/kkjd7/daybreak-games-announces-tons-of-halloween-updates Thu, 22 Oct 2015 18:30:44 -0400 Jordan_Biazzo

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Landmark: Oct. 8 – Oct. 29
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Get ready for a Halloween Livestream Party! On October 29, the Landmark developers will host a special livestream to visit “Halloween Island”, the place that was created specifically for Halloween builds to celebrate all things spooky. Players can visit the island, see the builds, and hang out with other players as the event unfolds live. There will be giveaways for players during the event if they find the livestream hosts on Halloween Island.

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What do you think of these updates? Will you be taking advantage of any of them? Let me know in the comments!

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H1Z1: Oct. 27 – Nov. 12
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As if things weren’t scary enough, the zombies seem to be catching the Halloween spirit. Survivors can expect to come across zombies with pumpkin heads, which they can kill and loot for special treats. Battle Royale also offers players a chance to find a rare scarecrow mask from airdrops.

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PlanetSide 2: Sept. 23 – Nov. 12
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Do not beware the pumpkins; shoot them all! In this year’s Nanite of the Living Dead, players can collect pumpkin seeds from shooting pumpkins to purchase Halloween Helmets. All-new, menacing seasonal weapons can be added to players’ arsenals! So whether they are into slashing or shooting, there is an abundance of tricks and treats for everyone!

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EverQuest II: Oct. 8 – Nov. 2
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Marketplace Items: Oct. 1 – Nov. 2

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Nights of the Dead rises again! Frights and freaks are on the prowl in Norrath, but the festivities are bountiful! All the previous year’s items and events are back with a vengeance, including new Halloween-themed Player Studio Items, costumes, and weapons to make every Norrathian a little more frightening.

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EverQuest:  Oct. 28 – Nov. 11 
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Marketplace Items: Oct. 1 – Nov. 11

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Players can enjoy this year’s Nights of the Dead celebration with the return of their favorite holiday events! Both tricks and treats are plentiful as festive merchants return to starting cities just in time for the holiday festivities. Tricks and Treats abound for Norrathians, with the reappearance of 35 previous Halloween marketplace items, along with some new ones as well!

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DC Universe Online: Oct.1 – Nov. 2
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Gotham is a lot darker than it usually is, as the Witching Hour theme event returns with some new twists. Players have a chance to earn Spooky Bites every day during the event. Earn enough and you can pay a visit to Skeet’s Boo-tique to purchase creepy tricks, treats, and items for their base or guild hall.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/0/e/f0ea75fe34c5677273e0b645597ec860.jpeg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/0/e/tiny_f0ea75fe34c5677273e0b645597ec860.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"88639","description":"

The Halloween season is upon us, everyone! Fright Fest is on AMC, the weather is cooling down, and the games are nearly here! And on that note, Daybreak Games is kicking off its annual Halloween seasonal events and promotions for players across their multiple games.

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The Halloween event is starting now and will last until early November. During this time period, players will have a chance to participate in various in-game Halloween events, contests, and activities as well as gettig showered with promotional items. Here are all the details.

"}]]]>
Transparency: 8 features every MMO expansion needs https://www.gameskinny.com/4jjg0/transparency-8-features-every-mmo-expansion-needs https://www.gameskinny.com/4jjg0/transparency-8-features-every-mmo-expansion-needs Fri, 23 Oct 2015 04:28:29 -0400 Larry Everett

Expanding on existing content seems to be the name of the game this year for MMOs. We’ve already had several expansions come out, and the year isn’t over yet. The biggest ones coming up are Knights of the Fallen Empire for Star Wars: The Old Republic and Heart of Thorns for Guild Wars 2, but those are hardly the only expansion this year.

With all of these upcoming expansions, I can’t help but think about what I look for in an MMORPG expansion. And I came up with these eight things.

1. New zone

It should be obvious to anyone that an expansion in an MMO should have a new zone for people to play in, right? However, there have been some MMOs in the past that believe that a new zone isn’t necessary for an update to be considered an expansion. And I think it’s OK to have a new combat model and call it DLC or something like that, but to call it an expansion sets an expectation that will not be met.

I think the biggest example of this is the Star Wars: The Old Republic expansions. I don’t mean the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, I mean the couple that came after that: The Galactic Starfighter and Galactic Strongholds expansion. These updates were labelled expansions, but they clearly didn’t include a new zone or any new PvE content. Both had major mechanical additions to the game, but it wasn’t a new area.

2. New PvP map

MMOs used to be the type of game that would fulfill multiple gaming desires in one game. Of course, many MMOs have stepped away from some aspects of the game and focused on just a couple of major aspects. Some MMOs have a real hard time catering to all the types of players who are interested in MMOs.

But there aren’t just PvEers, crafters, and raiders in MMOs. PvPers play a major role in shaping an MMO, and many MMOs don’t know how to cater to them at all. RIFT might have its balance issues because it has so many different kinds of classes, but I have to give it props because it’s adding content for PvPers in the next update, Planetouched Wilds. And that’s not even labelled as an expansion, though with all the content that Trion’s releasing with it, I’d call it one.

3. New small group content

In order for a game to be an MMO, it can’t just have single-player content. I’m not saying that MMOs shouldn't have or add content that's meant to be played solo, but if that ends up being the focus or the only content addition in a expansion, it’s not a full MMO expansion.

I hate to bring up Star Wars: The Old Republic again, but its next expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, is supposed to have a very large single-player story attached to it. And zero other content. No new group content at all. Although the single-player content is said to be a lot of fun, can you call it an MMO expansion if that’s all you have to deliver?

4. New large group content

Along the same lines as the small group content, every expansion should build on the large group content, too. Most theme park style MMO players would call these raids, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It could be large group open-world dungeons or world bosses that require a large group of coordinated players to take down.

Although Final Fantasy XIV suffered from a spectacularly awful launch, it blew everyone’s minds when it relaunched as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Since then it's had one expansion, and people who cover the game on various news sites believe that Heavensward has just about everything that a player could want. I'm not a player of the game, but even I am impressed by the amount of good endgame content for large groups.

5. Crafting improvements

I really feel sorry for crafters in MMOs sometimes. Many MMOs treat crafting as a secondary form of gameplay. Then there are other games that focus so much on crafting that it kind of kills the rest of the game. Although I think that the base of any good economy in an MMO is the crafting system, there are some games where crafting is too deep, like Life Is Feudal.

Elder Scrolls Online actually does a wonderful job of capturing the balance. I know that some would disagree with that general statement, but as far as crafting and expanding on crafting is concerned, ZeniMax has captured that sweet spot where crafters have a nice additional suite of schematics to choose from.

6. New armor and weapons

I think that it goes without saying that an expansion needs to have additional armor and weapons. But I think that rewards in all areas need to expand. The biggest problem with weapons and armor expansion is power creep. You can’t just add bigger numbers to something and make everything better. There has to be another compelling reason to want the armor. Most of the time, interesting aesthetics alone are enough reason. Or in the case of DC Universe Online, nostalgia is a compelling reason for players to want certain types of armor.

7. Additional story

If there is not a drive forward with the storyline, then what purpose does expansion really have? It seems odd, but even a game like Guns of Icarus, which is barely an MMO, contains a story in its upcoming PvE expansion. As it should - it will help the playerbase wrap its collective head around why there needs to be an expansion in the game in the first place.

8. A change in meta

Lastly, there should be a change in the meta of the game. There needs to be new abilities or maybe stat changes that will alter the way, even if it’s slight, players play each class. Some games in the past have added brand new classes - the addition of the gunner class in Tera helped it climb straight to the top of the Steam charts. Even RIFT is adding a new class to its expansion content.

Those are my top eight. There clearly could be more things that every expansion needs, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

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John Smedley Starts New Company https://www.gameskinny.com/wsg28/john-smedley-starts-new-company https://www.gameskinny.com/wsg28/john-smedley-starts-new-company Sun, 23 Aug 2015 08:29:26 -0400 TheDeadlyMouse

It was reported the other day that John Smedley has officially left Daybreak Games and has started his own company.

In case you are thinking "Smedley who?" He was the president of SoE, which then became Daybreak Games after Sony sold it. In other words, they're the company behind EverQuest, EverQuest 2, PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online, just to name a few.

As of now all we know is what's posted on his official Facebook page. The post states that he started working as CEO at a new company and that more info is coming soon.

So that means there is no word as to what this new company's name is or what type it shall be. We're not sure if it will be an MMORPG only or if it will be a non-online gaming company - or both. They could focus on different options such as PC, console, or mobile gaming. Of course, it could turn out to be a mix of the three.

We all should know something in the coming weeks. Keep an eye open on here and on his Facebook and Twitter pages for more news on the matter.

Let us know what you think on all this in the comments.

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The 11 Best Batman Games of All Time https://www.gameskinny.com/v3u62/the-11-best-batman-games-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/v3u62/the-11-best-batman-games-of-all-time Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:30:01 -0400 Curtis Dillon

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So there you have it, the best Batman games of all-time.....according to us. There are a slew of Batman games out there, but not so many that were really great titles. Yet we managed to rack up 11 of the finest Bat outings.

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History has given us some respectable movie tie-ins, games that merely featuring the Detective, and even LEGO Batman, but it's undeniable that Rocksteady is the king of Batman games. Arkham Asylum changed not only our perceptions of what a Batman game could be, but what a superhero game could be. And for that, we salute you, Rocksteady!

\n

What were your favorite Batman games? Let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/9/7/297536ccc9a6cf48d79e7a861c2253ad.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/9/7/tiny_297536ccc9a6cf48d79e7a861c2253ad.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72179","description":"

Batman: Arkham Asylum

\n
(PS3, Xbox 360, Windows)
\n

And last but so very, very far from least, we have the literal game-changer, Arkham Asylum. This was Batman's triumphant return to video games, and his best ever fair in the medium.

\n

Before Asylum, we had gotten LEGO Batman and Batman Begins, two really good games. But neither was the huge, standalone Batman title that the character deserved. In stepped Rocksteady.

\n

Due to the lukewarm reception of many previous Batman games, few were excited about Asylum. Most of us were at least keeping expectations in check. So when the game released in 2009, it blew everyone away. It's easy to forget how monumental this game was, because every Batman game before it had been good at best, and awful at worst. But this wasn't just an exceptional Batman game, it was just a brilliant game full stop.

\n

So while Arkham City, and presumably Arkham Knight, improved upon the formula and rank higher in some lists, Arkham Asylum was the one that changed everything, gave Batman the game he had always deserved, and started something pretty special.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/e/7/2e7614e0d99c481b1e98e2af46feba11.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/e/7/tiny_2e7614e0d99c481b1e98e2af46feba11.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72188","description":"

Injustice: Gods Among Us

\n
(PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows)
\n

And in our penultimate chapter we have a fighting game from NetherRealm Studios, the madmen that brought you Mortal Kombat. Much like DC Universe Online, this technically isn't a standalone Batman game, but he's heavily featured in it and is awesome - what more do you need?!

\n

Injustice: Gods Among Us is an awesome fighting game that pits DC superheroes against one another in a Flashpoint-style story that features Big Blue as the bad guy! As always, Batman is a badass and a heck of a lot of fun to play. Whether you're thwacking Bane with Batarangs, hitting Raven with the Batmobile, or just kicking Joker in the face, it's always a blast to play as Bats.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/c/3/ec34890165d1b626cba59e7ba89066f6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/c/3/tiny_ec34890165d1b626cba59e7ba89066f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72184","description":"

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

\n
(3DS, PS Vita, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows)
\n

Here we have another ugly duckling from the Arkham franchise, which isn't all that ugly. Blackgate was a 3DS/PS Vita game that released alongside of Arkham Origins and put Batman in a Metroid-Vania perspective. Sounds awesome, and it almost was.

\n

Blackgate had all the makings of a really amazing 2.5D Batman game, but its frustrating level design and repetitiveness made it fall just short of glory. That being said, the game was still a ton of fun, had awesome comic book cut-scenes and condensed the Arkham series combat into 2.5D really nicely.

\n

You can also get this game on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it looks and plays best on the PS Vita. Sadly, mediocre reviews and sales denied us a sequel that was already in the works!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/2/e/a2e1a2373d7f6171fab1c6fd42aa8935.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/2/e/tiny_a2e1a2373d7f6171fab1c6fd42aa8935.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72185","description":"

Batman Forever

\n
(SNES, Sega Genesis)
\n

About the only good thing to come from Joel Schumacher's Batman movie was the game. OK, I'm being facetious - the movie is definitely watchable and charming in its own bizarre right, but this game was pretty great.

\n

Released on the SNES and Sega Genesis, Batman Forever was a side-scrolling beat 'em up that allowed you to play as Batman or Robin as you ploughed through levels of ridiculous enemies. A product of its time indeed.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/7/a/17a36e2028fe2cb7552902e8ccab0ad8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/7/a/tiny_17a36e2028fe2cb7552902e8ccab0ad8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72177","description":"

Batman: Arkham City

\n
(PS3, Xbox 360, Windows)
\n

And here we have the crown jewel of the Batman games. Arkham City followed up the much-beloved Arkham Asylum and expanded upon it in almost every way.

\n

Taking Batman from the confined setting of the iconic Asylum and dumping him in the middle of a city-turned-prison, Arkham City upped the stakes for The Dark Knight and pushed him to his limits in what is one of the best Batman vs. Joker stories ever told. Definitely one of the best games of its generation and the defining Batman game to date.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/a/d/2ada3314f51ff0fd6212ed58243612d7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/a/d/tiny_2ada3314f51ff0fd6212ed58243612d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72182","description":"

Batman: Vengeance

\n
(PS2, GameCube, Xbox, Windows)
\n

Based in the world of The Batman Animated Series, Batman: Vengeance takes place between that show and its successor, The New Batman Adventures. The game benefited from a cartoony art style and the show's iconic voice actors (who went on to voice the Arkham series).

\n

The gameplay was a little wonky, although as long as you still feel like Batman it gets a pass. But the story and cut-scenes are what made this a very memorable experience. To this day I can recall Joker swinging on a wrecking ball, trying to destroy Gotham Bridge, and taunting me. But I got him.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/c/6/0c6f6b188b2af55b0499ae5b8ccf57fd.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/c/6/tiny_0c6f6b188b2af55b0499ae5b8ccf57fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72189","description":"

DC Universe Online

\n
(PS3, PS4, Windows)
\n

AS I LIVE AND BREATHE! Here we have the very successful MMORPG with the best intro cut-scene of anything ever. Period.

\n

With over 18 millions players, DC Universe Online is the most successful free-to-play game to ever hit a PlayStation system, and rightfully so - the game is big, wacky and (most importantly) fun. Create your character, make him look like Batman but run like The Flash, fight gorillas in the streets, etc. DC Universe Online is a great Batman game that continues to expand with DLC.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/2/c72ddc9c85ca50c79182fd6f979fb9e2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/2/tiny_c72ddc9c85ca50c79182fd6f979fb9e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72183","description":"

Batman: Arkham Origins

\n
(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U)
\n

Ahh, here we have the ugly duckling. Every family has one. Yes, Arkham Origins is the red-headed stepchild of the Arkham series but it is often judged far too harshly.

\n

Following up two of the best games of a console generation was never going to be an easy feat, especially considering it had to be prequel, but Warner Bros. Games Montreal did a fine job. I mean, let's face it, we're spoiled now when it comes to Batman games, but had this game come out when Arkham Asylum did, we would have melted over its greatness.

\n

Arkham Origins isn't without its issues, but it is a freakin' fantastic Batman game with a huge open world, great boss fights and fun story. I believe IGN described it best in their review when they said:

\n
\n

"Batman games are like pizza: even when they’re not very good, they’re still pretty good."

\n
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/9/f/19f742b91b51bbb5f29958b41a0b72c7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/9/f/tiny_19f742b91b51bbb5f29958b41a0b72c7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72180","description":"

Batman Begins

\n
(PS2, GameCube, Xbox)
\n

Batman Begins, a forgotten tie-in to the Christopher Nolan films, completely redefined Batman to mainstream audiences. The game, however, was not that well-received, for reasons that still baffle me.

\n

Batman Begins was a great tie-in to the movie, featuring awesome combat, great stealth mechanics, Tumbler levels, and an incredibly cool fear system. This game introduced many cool features that make it a wonderful Batman game that was sadly overlooked.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/d/efd3a541b4f1ec014e2ea493e4362ed1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/d/tiny_efd3a541b4f1ec014e2ea493e4362ed1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72181","description":"

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

\n
(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, Mac, Windows)
\n

Rarely, if ever, has Batman ever looked as cute as he does in the LEGO games. But don't let the cuteness deceive you, the LEGO Batman series is a great one that any Bat-fan should play.

\n

Chock-full of references to the Bat Universe and hilarious characters that remain true to their legacies and charming plots, all of the LEGO Batman games are great. That being said, I chose the second game in the series because it built upon the original in great ways and opened up the world, whereas the third was more of a Justice League game, and not as good anyway.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/c/4/dc4cd292b20549942caaf78a24627e74.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/c/4/tiny_dc4cd292b20549942caaf78a24627e74.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72190","description":"

Batman: The Video Game

\n
(NES, Sega Genesis, Gameboy)
\n

What better way to start the list than with one of the oldest Batman games! Batman: The Video Game was based on the mega-successful Tim Burton movie released in the same year. The game was loosely based on the movie and featured quite a few more obscure villains - KGBeast, Heat Wave, Shakedown, Firebug and Killer Moth.

\n

The game received positive reviews and still holds a respectful 78% on GameRankings. The most impressive feature of the game was the ability to wall-jump, a move only previously seen in Ninja Gaiden

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/b/edbec5e5668c3337459317b30bf6ac30.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/b/tiny_edbec5e5668c3337459317b30bf6ac30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"72191","description":"

This list was going to be "The 10:47 Best Batman games", but that isn't exactly a catchy title. Few would probably get the reference, anyway. But if you do get it, hurrah!

\n

Batman is kinda popular these days. Though he's been on our radar for decades, he really became a mainstream figure when Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins came out and changed the awful taste left in everyone's mouths by Batman Forever. Fast forward 10 years and The Dark Knight is more popular than ever.

\n

With the release of Rocksteady's final installment in the Arkham trilogy, Arkham Knight, not to mention a pretty big movie coming out next year, the Caped Crusader's popularity isn't fading anytime soon. So we thought: what better time to count down the best Batman games of all time? (Just a forewarning however, Arkham Knight is not in the list due to its very recent release.)

"}]]]>
DC:UO - Amazon Fury Part I Launched https://www.gameskinny.com/8495v/dcuo-amazon-fury-part-i-launched https://www.gameskinny.com/8495v/dcuo-amazon-fury-part-i-launched Tue, 06 May 2014 12:47:08 -0400 TheDeadlyMouse

DC Universe Online officially launched an all-new DLC Pack called Amazon Fury Part I. Early Access began last Tuesday for members. Everyone can now grab it starting today for $9.99 or pay the $14.99 SOE All Access monthly fee or if you wish, till May 11th you can grab a whole year for just $99.99.

All Access also gives you access to every single DC:UO DLC Pack, 100% access to all SOE games like EverQuest, EverQuest 2 and Planetside 2, and games like EverQuest Next Landmark and H1Z1, including in-game bonuses for all games. Bonuses include things such as...

  • 500 Station Cash per month
  • 10% off unlimited marketplace purchases
  • Unlimited Prometheum Lockbox Unlocks
  • 14 Additional character slots
  • Unlimited in-game currency

And many others, each game has its own bonuses.

Take up the defense of Gotham City and join the fighting in the Amazonian civil war. Play as Wonder Woman or as Circe in two new Iconic Visions, and see how events unfolded leading up to war. Then gather your allies and visit the new Gotham Under Siege war zone, and take the fight to Themyscira itself with two new duos and one new alert. Earn the new Marks of Fury and unlock of new gear, styles, and feats.

Amazon Fury Part is available now for US PC and EU PC, and will also be available on PlayStation when the PSN updates today (US) or tomorrow (EU).

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Are You Tired of Playing the Same Game Over and Over Yet? I Know I Am https://www.gameskinny.com/j7dth/are-you-tired-of-playing-the-same-game-over-and-over-yet-i-know-i-am https://www.gameskinny.com/j7dth/are-you-tired-of-playing-the-same-game-over-and-over-yet-i-know-i-am Tue, 12 Nov 2013 04:09:36 -0500 Chadtindale

When I was in High school, a new game came out that changed the world I lived in. It was called "Unreal" and life as I knew it had flipped on its head. Video games had a third dimension and games could actually include a variety of features that they couldn't before. It blew my mind... And it blew the mind of many of my classmates.

You live, you learn, you serve your community service and probation.

We wound up installing it on the computers at school to use their network to play each other. What fun! Turns out, though, that was seriously illegal, since that was government property.

Oh well. You live, you learn, you serve your community service and probation. 

 

 

 

 

It's like the gift that keeps on giving, even when you beg it to stop.

I think about those days a lot when playing games today. Mostly because I still play the same game. No... the servers are all down. And no one wants to play "Unreal Tournament" anymore...

But what about "Bioshock Infinite"? It may seem like a slightly different game, but it isn't. Not really.

Bioshock Infinite runs on the Unreal Engine that I played back in 1998 illegally on a school computer.

Sure the story has changed. There's been graphics upgrades and the weapons are different and Shyamalon wrote it a nice twist ending... but for the most part. I'm looking at a gun down the barrel towards things I shoot which for one reason or another are shooting back.

But why?

Yup... played this all through high school. Well over a decade ago.

Not much has changed in First Person Shooters.

That's true. But would you also believe that "Batman: Arkham City" ALSO used the Unreal Engine? So did "Mass Effect 3" and even "DC Universe Online". Why would so many games use the same engine? Especially games that are trying to be as different from each other as these are... (and yes, I know that they're slightly different versions of the unreal engine, but they're very similar).


Because it's cheaper than making something new.

And that's sadly true. Most games build innovation in other areas. Areas like story, graphics, and boobs. And I only really care about one of those.

Why would I settle for improvement in only some areas?

Imagine a third grader who is above average... then they grow up to be an eighth grader who is above average in Math Science and History. But he's still reading at a third grade level and eating paste. We wouldn't consider that a decent state of his mental development. We'd wonder why he was lacking. And probably also wonder why no one's checked on his development in the past years so we could've seen these problems arising.

"Most games build innovation in other areas. Areas like story, graphics, and boobs."

In films, we don't accept this level of stunted growth.

A movie with a great script that was shot on 15mm will still be viewed as flawed due to the availability of making better films. So why are video games immune to the pressure? And before you say we've come up with nothing better. I challenge you to look at some really creative engines made in the past decade.

There are some fun new Engines that prove creativity isn't dead.

No seriously, this is progress.

#1 Katamari Damacy

Remember rolling a ball and picking up stuff? Simple? Yes. But it was popular because we'd never seen anything like it. That and the fact that the soundtrack will never leave your head...

You're humming it now, aren't you?

#2 Guitar Hero

Seriously, not a complex system, But it was unique and as a result it sold very well. This one also filled in the niche of those of us who will never play live at a huge rock show to a huge audience but still like to pretend. I'm looking at you, Tom Cruise...

#3 Cryengine (Crysis)

But... this is... Oh come on. It's another FPS engine. Are you seriously unable to be even slightly creative when creating new things?

I take it back. Maybe creativity IS dead.

I miss playing new and unique things. If you ever played the Deception Series from Tecmo, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's a game that breaks new ground in Gameplay rather than just minor cosmetic upgrades. A game that puts you in a place where you're unable to fight your enemies directly. But must, instead, utilize individual room layouts to plan elaborate Rube Goldberg traps to launch, spring, pound, fling, and bounce enemies all over the environment. "Kagero: Deception 2" remains one of my favorite games of all time as a result (Just ahead of Harvest Moon).

It's about the time that you're dropping a rock on a guy's head that you realize that this truly is the pinnacle of gaming.

I wish there was a better answer. A way to tell developers that we want more than a reskin of a game released in 1998. (Though a reskin of "Redneck Rampage" might be kind of fun.) Games used to be diverse. Real Time Strategy, Turn Based Strategy... Now only the very best of those genres are alive today.

Whole genres are disappearing.

Games only want to be the biggest game out there. And so they all want to be Call of Duty. But I'm sick of "Call of Duty". I've been playing it since "Unreal" in 1998.

Why keep them around? Games only want to be the biggest game out there. And so they all want to be Call of Duty. But I'm sick of "Call of Duty". I've been playing it since "Unreal" in 1998. I want another "Final Fantasy Tactics"... Like "Vandal Hearts". I want another "Intelligent Qube". Or a new "Tetris"... But mostly, I want a new genre. Whole new ways of gaming. I want to play a game because there isn't anything else like it, not because I like the other games that are basically the same thing.

In the meantime, we can always go back to "Plants vs. Zombies" or "Angry Birds". Oh, look... the new Call of Duty has a Dog with pretty graphics. 

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MUD2MMO: Halloween - Costuming and MMOs https://www.gameskinny.com/og3kx/mud2mmo-halloween-costuming-and-mmos https://www.gameskinny.com/og3kx/mud2mmo-halloween-costuming-and-mmos Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:25:37 -0400 TygerWDR

With All Hallows Eve around the corner, this week's show asks why anyone would spend as much time as we do putting non-existent clothing on imaginary people.

Yes, I'm aware some of my links and images are older. Deal with it. I do.

Happy Halloween folks.

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MUD2MMO: The 'Suggestion' - Loopholes, Online Harassment, and the Law https://www.gameskinny.com/238cw/mud2mmo-the-suggestion-loopholes-online-harassment-and-the-law https://www.gameskinny.com/238cw/mud2mmo-the-suggestion-loopholes-online-harassment-and-the-law Fri, 11 Oct 2013 01:50:46 -0400 TygerWDR

A few weeks ago, while livestreaming, a player told me to kill myself. That got me thinking: legally speaking, what happened?

So this week, we talk about it.

First of all, my apologies for posting the video like this.  YouTube is being difficult this week, and won't let me embed the show as normal.  So I'm doing so through blip.tv 

The YouTube version is here if you prefer it this way:

 Sources:

Livestream source: http://www.twitch.tv/tyger_wdr/c/2863578

Justin Pillault article: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/352702/josh-pillault-original-justin-carter-charles-c-w-cooke

Justin Carter article: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/02/tech/social-media/facebook-threat-carter/index.html?iref=allsearch

League of Legends video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugXC7g3p0JU

Wisconsin Legislature 947.013: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/947/013

Minnesota Assisted Suicide laws: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.215

William Melchert-Dinkel sentenced for encouraging suicides: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8493861/Former-nurse-William-Melchert-Dinkel-sentenced-to-prison-for-encouraging-suicide-online.html

Man arrested for assaulting teen over CoD game: http://www.newsytype.com/12172-man-chokes-teen-call-of-duty/

World of Warcraft stabbing: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/world-of-warcraft-stabbing-jordan-osborne_n_1671234.html

Death Sentence for online gamer: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-06/08/content_449494.htm

James Swan chokes Mom over WoW: http://www.truecrimereport.com/2010/02/james_swan_chokes_mom_smashes.php

Plague of game dev harassment: http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups

"The Psychology of Cyberspace": http://users.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/psycyber.html

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MUD2MMO: Legally Live, Livestreaming and The Law https://www.gameskinny.com/sxe1w/mud2mmo-legally-live-livestreaming-and-the-law https://www.gameskinny.com/sxe1w/mud2mmo-legally-live-livestreaming-and-the-law Thu, 26 Sep 2013 19:08:23 -0400 TygerWDR

For many of you regular GS readers, this may seem familiar.  It is--this is taken from an article I wrote on this very website a little while ago.  I'm still sick, originality isn't on my agenda this week.

This show is just bringing up some of the potential problems that live streamers and game companies may run into in the very near future concerning privacy issues and live broadcasts.  Feedback is, as always, welcomed and encouraged.

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Sony Lays Off 70+ Employees https://www.gameskinny.com/s43kz/sony-lays-off-70-employees https://www.gameskinny.com/s43kz/sony-lays-off-70-employees Wed, 18 Sep 2013 12:05:26 -0400 Alexa Serrano

It may not be as bad as Zynga laying off over 500 employees, but Sony Online Entertainment has recently been reported laying off 70 employees from their San Diego game factory. Back in August, Sony already laid off an unspecified number of employees in their Austin studio, so who knows how many employees have been cut in total. 

Sony Online Entertainment, the company behind the EverQuest Franchise, DC Universe Online, and PlanetSide 2, among other titles, says they made these layoffs as part of a move to reduce costs and streamline their workforce. 

At a release they claimed it was not an easy decision saying,

"We had to make the difficult decision to eliminate positions to help reduce costs, streamline our employee base and strategically align resources towards our current portfolio of games and upcoming slate of MMOs, including EverQuest Next Landmark and EverQuest Next."

Artists, Designers, Directors, Oh My!

Michele Cagle, senior director of global communications, says that the layoff will not have any impact on the development of upcoming games. Yea, it might not have any impact on the games, but it does impact the lives of the employees they laid off...

Sony let go of artists, game designers, programmers, project managers, and a creative director, among many others in administrative positions, which include employees in human resources, payroll and community relations.

My hope is that these now ex-employees of Sony are able to find and transition into new jobs soon. 

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MUD2MMO : Guilded Cages (bi-weekly video show about gaming) https://www.gameskinny.com/zbfq5/mud2mmo-guilded-cages-bi-weekly-video-show-about-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/zbfq5/mud2mmo-guilded-cages-bi-weekly-video-show-about-gaming Wed, 11 Sep 2013 21:37:14 -0400 TygerWDR

I'm going to try something sort of different this time by including the script to this episode below.  If you guys want to see more of this kind of thing, lemme know in the comments and I'll keep doing it (or stop, whichever works...)  Keep in mind that what I say in the video isn't always what's scripted.  Mainly because my brain is swiss cheesed due to being pelted in the face and head with blunt objects for "fun" for many years.  Memory and I don't always get along...

Feedback is, as always, welcomed and encouraged.

Transcript From Episode: Guilded Cages

That... wasn't fair. I apologize. Not for leaving that as a cliffhanger because this deserves it's own full show. No, the anger card. I know there's a lot of internet talking heads who play it up "RAR IM SO ANGRY RAR REVIEWER SMASH!" but they hide behind a character and they do it because rage means hits. I don't do characters and I don't play the anger card for ratings. So it wasn't fair of me to walk off angry. But to be honest, guilds in MMO's are one of the things that genuinely piss me off, enough that it was one of the factors of why I left World of Warcraft.

A quick primer before we dive in. Guilds are the overarching term I'm going to use but every game likes to put their own stamp on the idea. Leagues, teams, platoons, clans, whatever. It's the same idea. Essentially, think of a guild as a friends list. It's a group of players who form a team within the game. The reasons vary from overwhelming a PvP battleground to running end content to just existing as a social club.

In theory, it's nothing more than a friends list. It's an easy way to get back in touch with people who you've played with before. Keep in mind that in an MMO, just running into someone several times is noteworthy. You may not realize it but in the real world you don't see the same people as often as you think unless it's in a store or a specific gathering place like a school or restaurant. So having a pool of like-minded players who also like what you're into is, in theory, good. It should let you find a group quickly and get into content you want to play.

Should.  I'm about to preach to the choir here because if you've played MMO's for any amount of time you already know what I'm about to say. The reality is that guilds... fail at the whole social thing.

Firstly, there are several kinds of guilds. World of Warcraft guild spam was common in trade chat and you'd get a few standards. The social guilds who get mad at you for not talking enough and adventuring, the leveling guilds who get mad at you for not adventuring enough and sometimes talking, raiding guilds who have 10 "core" raiders so there's never room to break in as a new member, PvP guilds who put emphasis on arena play as if it were a way to get sponsorship or something, "mature" guilds which means they think swearing is cool, and my sarcastic favorite the "we exist to get the benefits of having a guild but other than that we don't do anything" guilds.

I call this last one the "poke-guild" effect. These guilds will recruit the hardest, try to get the most people, and as players just DO things in world the players in the guild get rewarded if they actually play or not. Everything from faster hearth regeneration time to faster mount speed to access to buffs you can't get any other way. The mechanic doesn't reward teamwork, it merely awards being a warm body in the guild. So the system rewards people for collecting the most toons. Which is why I call them "poke-guilds."

Pokeguilds are easy to ignore and identify. Any guild which invites you for the grand feat of standing in an auction house? Pokeguild. No, the real problem is the overall guild culture. It's not about what YOU want, it's about what THEY want. Or on a more realistic level, what the guild master wants.

I looked at a list of instances and raids in World of Warcraft for this show. Before they had the "looking for group" feature, it was up to you to find people to do these instances with. As a result, for the first year and a half playing WoW, I played almost no dungeons. It wasn't for a lack of players, it was for a lack of players willing to do "old content" or anything other than the "newest thing out there."

When LFG came about, it blew open the doors and actually allowed me to see more content the game had to offer. But even then, while looking at this list, I've only done a fraction of the content the game had to provide and only what the LFR feature would let me access. I never got to run Lich King raid content until years later, and I've never run most of the Burning Crusade nor Cataclysm content.

The reason was, frankly, guilds. For the most part, guilds do not want to run old content. Progression and raiding guilds don't want to waste the time on them as they have more important gear to get than the old pieces that might drop. So the guy or gal running the guild won't even bother entertaining the notion to help organize something that won't give them better numbers. Interestingly enough, some guilds would go after old content for guild achievements, and if you were lucky you might get invited to an "old raid" for guild achieves.

The point I'm dancing around is that I've been excluded from content I pay for based on social pressure for better numbers. Not for a lack of skill, nor for a lack of decent gear, but because the only means that exists to form groups to run these simply won't do "ancient content." It's seen as a waste of time. It's like paying to watch a movie, but fast-forwarding to the last 10 minutes to watch that over and over again.

As always, there are exceptions. I was in a guild that did run old content, once in a blue moon. It's actually how I got to see the ending of the Lich King storyline. That, however, didn't last long. It came to a point when I ran half of an instance with them one night, and the next night they conveniently didn't hear me in vent chat and invited others to complete the mission with the so-called "core" players.

This actually leads me to an unfortunate side effect of guild culture. For the most part, it's high school. I don't mean this in a flattering rose colored good old days way. I mean it's the ugliest part of the high school social scene. It's who you hang out with, what parties you go to, what clothes you wear, what clique you're in, who you use to get what you want. The only difference is you don't stuff n00bs in a locker as a show of jock dominance.

Proof? Most are stories or things I've seen happen but I have no video of it happening. One of my friends was demoted from the "A-squad" of a guild for choosing reality over the game. Another friend was "picked up" by the top rated guild on his server and told he had to completely respec his toon top to bottom, clearing out his personal in-game resources to do so. They dropped him two weeks later when the guy they really wanted became available.

This isn't even going into the guild horror stories I could rattle off. I've had so many bad guild experiences that it's actually turned me off of joining guilds in any game I play. Between the false promises, the selfish attitudes of the guild leaders, the enforced guild pride and pressure to recruit "more people" for the guild...

Hell, I'm making it sound like a cult. Actually, a lot of them get like that. Some worse than others, like guilds run by internet game reviewers who really don't play MMO's but have thousands of subscribers who follow them. These guys get their friends to moderate the guild and it turns into who can suck up the hardest to the officers so they can be virtually near a guy they fanboy. Not that I'm angry.

Let me go back to the beginning. I said that guilds were one of the factors as to why I left World of Warcraft and that's not an exaggeration. I got tired of the pushy attitude not only from guilds but from Blizzard. It was clear through the guild reward system that the game was pressuring players to get into a guild. If you're not in a guild, you are punished for it. Oh, sure, they spin it a little and call them "guild rewards," but let's call it what it is. You want to lone wolf your way through the game, you're going to suffer for your decision. You jump in with a guild, the game designers will make the game easier for you.

Its important here to ask a question that will be uncomfortable. Why should guilds be rewarded or even exist? You can form a team, or run instances or socialize with people through a friends list, so why make guilds part of it? Honestly, because the game developers NEED us to guild up.

I've talked about this before, but MMO's are unique in terms of how they make money in the gaming industry. They need a sustainable revenue to run the servers. And seeing as they can't update with content regularly, they have to rely on several tricks to keep people playing. Skinner box techniques, slowing player progress, and even peer pressure.

Social pressure is a very strong influence on your life. As has been observed by many others, why do some people play World of Warcraft even if they hate it? The individual player usually will say "all my friends play it, so I wanna hang out with them." Social influence. The irony being that most of these players will also swear up and down that they're non-conformist individualists who also use cookie-cutter builds for their class they got from a website of "best builds."

I'll let that sink in a moment. ... Ok, back in.

In return, the guild will form a fake social bond within itself to create an illusion of friendship among the participants. In reality, you really don't know most of these people. It's what makes you disposable to them, you're just a warm body that's a means to their own selfish ends. I realize that some guilds are different and each and every one of you are the exceptions but I have a very negative outlook on this kind of thing for a reason.

The point being that even the illusion of friendship is enough to keep some people in a game they otherwise don't like. It's another part of human psychology that we like to feel like we're part of something larger than ourselves. We need to feel like we're part of a community so much that we're willing to put up with a LOT of stuff we don't enjoy just to get that. And frankly, games like WoW rely on that peer pressure to keep you plunking $15 a month into their pockets.

whenever I do shows like this the comments are filled with exceptions to the rule. People will tell me that they're in a great guild full of players who they all know personally and get along with and do anything for each other, that's great. Other people will tell me I need to just keep searching 'till I find my perfect fit. Look, I wanna play a game, not make the game my girlfriend. Nor boyfriend for that matter. My take is that a virtual guildie is not a substitute for a true friend. You know, a friend will help ya move, a good friend will help you move a body? A true friend will help you plan the transition to "body" status. … Some of you will get that joke later.

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Why I play DC Universe Online https://www.gameskinny.com/s99ol/why-i-play-dc-universe-online https://www.gameskinny.com/s99ol/why-i-play-dc-universe-online Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:34:08 -0400 TygerWDR

I know I come across as negative in my articles. The reason is that I don't like to tell people what they want to hear, I tell people that there are problems that need fixing. People don't like this, so when I point out flaws people think I'm being a curmudgeon.

The thing is, I write articles to complain because, frankly, I care enough to want to see these problems fixed. There are many games that I played in the past that have been thrown unceremoniously into the trash can (Recycle bin, damn computer hippies) of my hard drive after 1-2 hours of play. There's more than a few MMO's that I've dropped after years of tolerating glaring problems and I don't even bother mentioning them outside of past experiences.

So with that in mind, I thought I'd tell you why I play, and pay for, the free to play game "DC Universe Online".

Why do I spend hours in the game? Why have I spent hours making a comic book piece based on a comic book MMO? Why do I spend 5-8 hours at a time livestreaming the game? Please, allow me to tell you.

The DCUO Community is Awesome

This is how we roll.

I know, this comes as a shocker to people who read my stuff about kicking players, but let me tell you other stories as well. One night, at around 1 AM, I was in a party that was beating its head into a wall trying to defeat a major boss in an 8-player raid. I was livestreaming at the time, and I was trying to talk through the problem on air to myself to get a solution with what we had.

(Shut up, you do it too.)

One person tuned into my livestream, watched for a minute, and said

"Oh, you need a tank! Lemme jump in world and invite me."

He did, I did, and we blew the boss out of the water once we had the correct guy in place. This isn't an isolated incident either. There has been dozens of times where someone watching the livestream will see what's going on, and say "Oh, you need a (whatever)? Invite me!" or "Hey, I know this fight, you need to get the tank to do *this* and you got it."

When I livestreamed World of Warcraft, that never happened. Ever. When I livestream other games, that never happens.There is something about the DC community players that they'll just "jump in", and it may be inherent to superhero MMO players as it reminds me somewhat of "City of Heroes" community - everyone was in it together.

There is something about the DC community players that they'll just "jump in", and it may be inherent to superhero MMO players as it reminds me somewhat of "City of Heroes" community - everyone was in it together.

It might be that via mechanics, the game encourage community play. If a player goes down, anyone can pick them back up to "rally" them back into the fight. You don't need to be a healer, you just need the guts to run in there and do it. Even if they're not grouped with you, as long as they're on the same side of villain or hero, you can pick them up. Same goes for loot, if you hit the bad thing, you get credit for the kill and the resources it has. So there's no reason to not jump in and help fellow players, even if you're not in the same group.  So we all just "jump in" and help people, even if we're just flying overhead and see they need an assist.

The players also blow me away constantly with creativity.

When you're running around the world, you'll see a lot of characters based on Marvel and DC characters (so much so it's a drinking game on my livestream) but then you see a lot of people making some very cool characters. For a game which doesn't allow you to build much of anything, players still show flairs of creativity that keep me on my toes. 

Still a better love story than Twilight.

Most of the players are also hard-nosed fighters. We've fought all the way down an instance before, knowing we couldn't beat the clock but damned if we weren't going to try. It was actually a really cool thing, only because we weren't going to quit 'till the server threw us out. Most of the players are like this. It's a vocal minority that stick out as "abusive" or just "bad people", and need to have their toys put away.

The overall storyline is enjoyable.

I play MMORPG's for the story. I'll make lowbie characters to try new mechanics or ideas, and I don't mind playing the opening instances again because the story is actually pretty good. Then again, DCUO has a solid foundation for not only a world, but also characters to interact with. Everyone knows Superman. Everyone. If you're not familiar with the overarching storyline, here's the opening cinematic.

 

If it's tl/dr, I'll summarize: Random people are given superpowers in order to fight a global threat that will hit them in a future time. It's up to the established heroes and villains to train them, and prepare them for the fight to come. The storyline then goes from there, and it's one that actually works for me. In later DLC the story tangents off into other sub stories that are introduced in the opening levels.

The story is also presented in a comic book style, which I've always enjoyed. Voice acting gets hit or miss, but for the most part since they got a lot of the voice talent from the animated series, it works. This is why I throw my hat into the 8-player raids, the storyline continues into them, and I like to see story conclusions and not just hear about them.

Now for comparison to WoW again, this is why I left Azeroth. The storyline took a turn that, to use the vernacular, sucked. Panderia had an overarcing storyline that I couldn't buy into, let alone enjoy. For most of Cataclysm’s story line I was blowing plot holes through as well, so I couldn't really enjoy that either. Story first, game second. That's why it's an MMORPG. Not a coin-op video game.

The game itself is excellent.

 

All the storyline in the world won't save you if the game is unplayable. DC actually allows for a lot of flexibility in how you can play. Yes, there are elitist snobs who look at my screen and chastise me for having the "wrong loadout" or "wrong weapon", but I seem to be able to hold my own and thrive.  You wanna be a pistol toting fire breathing flower or a plasma blasting gadget building holiday elf? COOL!  Make one!  It'll be awesome!

But just in hardware, I play with an x-box controller plugged into my PC. Any game in which I can use a game controller is already leaps and bounds ahead in my book. I've blown out my wrist playing "Champions Online" trying to contort my wrist into the default button configuration for hours. And seeing as in my livestream, anything that clocks in barely at the 2 hour mark is considered a "quickie", anything to make it more comfortable is better.

The combat flows very comfortably from target to target. Weapons are almost as powerful as most superpowers in terms of damage. The combos get a little confusing, but even there it's not anything unheard of. If you can play street fighter and get a "hadouken", you can do this too.

As a free-to-play game there is a lot of available content you don't pay a cent to see. The restrictions aren't overbearing either, unlike Star Wars the Old Republic. There's also never a feeling of "pay to win" like I got from Need for Speed World (related note, EA can suck a bag of fail-sauce with a side of fries, thank you large) If you want XP boosters or more bag space, it's there. But you don't need to spend the money if you don't want to, I know MANY people who don't and still run endgame content with me.

Exhibit A, my friend "Aqua", a free to play player, playing end content with me.  Note the sweet "OMAC Batman" headpiece obtained from an 8-man instance run previous to this one.  Oh, and Storm.  She was cool.

I also like the aesthetic. It's not hyper-realistic, but it gives a nice comic-book narrative and look. The cut scenes can be annoying sometimes when you're in the middle of a fight, but it's negligible. Mostly. We have a joke about "death by cut scene", when someone goes down just before a cinematic and the timer doesn't stop.

And yes, there are some problems. Ive had fun with the targeting system sometimes, but the devs actually respond to them. Which brings me to the last part...

The dev team is pretty awesome.

I'll post a question on Twitter to "@DCUO", and get a response from a member of the dev team.

 

Let me repeat that. I'll post a message on Twitter to the game dev team, and they'll actually respond. Not with an automated message, but someone typing a response. Blizzard does not do that. I'd be hard pressed to find many other big MMO's that would and if they do its noteworthy. I've had twitter conversations with these people about game issues, and gotten replies. Hell, "DCUniverseOnline" has popped into my livestream before to watch.

Just for that alone I'll stick to DC for the foreseeable future. They actually talk to their customers on a social level. There are some things I'd love to talk to them about, but I get why they don't.

They also run livecasts themselves, a lot of times I razz them for how they do it but they do share content with the players on the betas. But the fact that they don't dwell in ivory towers and actually TALK to us players makes a world of difference. I also know they read articles like this one, and take them to heart. So to them, I say it's appreciated, thank you.

Before people think I'm painting this as nirvana, I'll tell you the game has flaws. I'm going to maintain that "Disband Group" is the worst idea they've ever rolled out and needs to get chucked out the window. I also think that the 8 player raids need to be adjusted (raise the bridge, lower the water, whatever works guys) because FoS is seriously a quagmire of failure since the "DG" era started. But there's a reason I pay money to play a free-to-play title.

I enjoy it. I enjoy it enough to want to fix what I see are problems within the game. As I said at the beginning, there are dozens of games that I've played and tossed out without a word because I didn't enjoy it at all. But this one, it has issues like every other game but I see them as fixable. Fixable enough to spend time to work out possible solutions and want to discuss them.

 ^^^  Thats not me.

So I'm not just being a curmudgeon. If I were I'd be saying a lot more "I told you so." I speak curmudgeon. I'm doing what I can to make improvements by voicing my opinion in an open and public forum to get discussions going, and get something that I know the development team will read some time down the road.

So see you all in Metropolis.

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