Archive for the ‘Wildstar’ Category

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Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me

January 8, 2014

4 bday

Holy crap, as of yesterday this blog is four years old! Time really flies, doesn’t it? It feels more like three, though that might be because I completely forgot my blogiversary last year. Would have forgotten this year too, truth be told, if Rowan (who will be celebrating his own blogiversary very soon as well) hadn’t reminded me. I am just bad with birthdays.

Anyway, since my blog’s anniversary is in January, technically this post could also serve as a look back at 2013. Once again, this blog didn’t see as much activity in the last year as I would have liked. In my defense though, it was a busy year in terms of real life, and quite honestly, it was a pretty tame one for MMOs. Tame…but definitely not lame.

I only participated in the launches of mainly two games — Defiance and Neverwinter — and both released during the first part of the year (though in the latter’s case, an um, open-beta-that-really-wasn’t-a-beta).

nw

Instead, I spent the last year revisiting a lot of old favorites. World of Warcraft, of course, is as ever the dependable standby. I would play a couple months, take another couple months off, then do it all over again. I know I can always count on it being there whenever I feel like a romp through Azeroth.

panda

Star Trek Online saw some play too because of their new expansion. I rolled a Romulan, got to have some fun with the duty officer mini-game, and got roped into doing dailies for their summer event. This was the year I truly came to develop an appreciation for a free-to-play STO.

romulan

A few months ago, I also surprised myself by resubbing to Star Wars: The Old Republic. This was thanks to the revitalization of our guild, which included a faction change to refocus our efforts on the Empire side. SWTOR saw an expansion too, and I’m still hopping in now and then getting in my Galactic Starfighter battles. They’re a lot more fun once you get a hang of the controls and start upgrading your ship.

ops

And finally, there’s The Secret World. TSW Mondays are still going strong, and in terms of social events, it’s probably Mercy Gaming’s greatest success. I don’t think anyone would have believed it a year and a half ago, but it’s true that our weekly group has steadily grown since Secret Mondays first started. To the usual gang, thanks for making this such a great year in TSW.

headstand

Other highlights of the year that aren’t really related to gaming (and in fact, they actually took away from my gaming time, but I wouldn’t change that for the world!) include some of my new hobbies:

1) Pathfinder! I have reason to look forward to Sunday nights now that my friends and I hold weekly games over Fantasy Grounds 2 and Teamspeak.

2) Miniature painting! I’ve always wanted to get into this, and this year I finally took the plunge!

3) Podcasting! Recording Battle Bards with my co-hosts Syp and Syl has been such fun this year.

4) Book blogging! I’ve always read voraciously, and this year I went one step further and started a book blog with a couple of my friends. It has been amazing.

And of course, nothing beats spending time with my family. My little girl is almost two now, and every day she fills my life with surprises and delight. My husband and I don’t get to play video games as much anymore, spending a couple hours a night in our MMOs only after we’ve put the baby to bed. When she’s awake, we don’t want to miss a moment with her!

Finally, to my readers, I want to thank you for another fantastic year. 2014 looks to be another great one with a couple big MMOs on the horizon. I haven’t mentioned these games a lot on my blog the past year, mostly because I’ve resolved to keep my excitement in check going forward, but I’d like to go on record to say that I am very much looking forward to BOTH Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online.

wildstar

ESO

I have no doubt I’ll be gracing this blog with my thoughts on both sometime in the future. And perhaps more! Thanks again, and I’m definitely looking forward to another year of blogging. Ciao!

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Before You Think Subscriptions Are Back In Style…

August 21, 2013

ESO

With the news of payment models for Wildstar and Elder Scrolls Online coming out this week, I see a lot of people have been weighing in with stunned reactions.

But I can’t say I understand the surprise. I’ve made mention before that the “Launching with a subscription and then transition to free-to-play a few months down the road” seems to be emerging as an efficient business model in itself. Make all the big money up front, and as your player population inevitably dwindles after a while when the shiny has worn off, flip the switch to F2P. On top of that, you also get the benefit of having two “launches” to maximize your publicity as well as the “second rush” that comes with the sub-free players.

Call me overly-suspicious, but as fantastic as these two games look, I don’t think either Carbine or Zenimax (or, at least, their business departments) are under any delusions of grandeur thinking they will break the mold, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they already have their contingency F2P plans in place as a fallback. From a business standpoint, that’s actually quite a very clever route to go, the cousin to the familiar “early adopters pay more to experience everything first” concept. They have no idea if their game will have lasting appeal, but they do know it’s attractive enough that a significant number of gamers will want to jump on board to see what it has to offer — and more importantly, they know this particular audience won’t mind forking out the money to do so right away.

So if one banks on the fact that a good fraction will be willing to pay a subscription for even the first month or two, then why in the world wouldn’t you launch with a sub, especially if you can have F2P all set up as a plan B? It’s not brave, it’s shrewd. You can only win, especially if the heightened number of subscribers hold out for longer than you’d hoped.

Of course, I could be wrong. And I’m also aware the theory borders on cynical (or giving companies too much credit). Still, it was what went through my head as I read these news releases, with not a trace of shock at all. And as to how Wildstar and ESO having a subscription impacts my level of interest and enthusiasm in these games? Probably not at all. As ever, my pattern is to “go all out” when I play an MMO. Which means, in the time span of a single month, I prefer to focus on no more than two games, and I’m definitely not the type to sample 4-5 different ones in a week. Believe me, I’ve tried that, and I just can’t keep up.

So subbing — even for a free game, if the option’s available — has just always felt like the easiest and most obstacle-free route to fit my style. Wildstar and ESO? Yeah, I think I’ll play the hell out of both games when they first come out; I have no doubt I’ll play enough to make whatever box or subscription price worth it in the first couple months. After that, I can always cancel. In other words, business as usual!

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Battle Bards Episode 6: WILDSTAR! With Special Guest Jeff Kurtenacker

June 25, 2013

Battle Bards

Hey everyone, Episode 6 of Battle Bards is now up! You have no idea how excited I’ve been about announcing this, because today we bring you a very special episode — the brave Bards venture into the future to cover music from our first MMO that hasn’t even been released yet! That’s right, this week Syp, Syl and I are talking about the soundtrack to the upcoming WildStar!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably have heard about this science fiction MMORPG estimated to come out later this year. I’ve been maintaining a pretty high level of interest in the game but at the same time trying not to let the hype gain control, but it wasn’t until I heard some of the songs that my excitement really got away from me and soared to new heights. Funny how music can do that to you, eh?

So as you can imagine, being able to feature Wildstar on the Battle Bards was a treat unto itself, but that’s not all; composer Jeff Kurtenacker joins us as our special guest, and even has a couple of exclusive tracks to share with us. Hear them here first on the Battle Bards, and be sure to check out Jeff’s website too!

LISTEN NOW!

Wildstar

Episode 6 show notes

Introduction to WildStar′s score and Jeff Kurtenacker (feat. The Cold Science of Supremacy, Enemy Battle, and Spanish Armada from Pirates of the Burning Sea)
Character Creation
Systematic Domination
Justice Doesn’t Always Wear A Badge
Saving the Universe
A Story of Hope and Healing (Battle Bards exclusive)
War Will Come (Battle Bards exclusive)
Website and blog plugs

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Video Day: SWTOR, Wildstar, TSW, GW2

August 19, 2011

Here’s a very cool Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer of “Huttball”, a PvP warzone that has been making waves for the last couple of days. But it’s also today’s Friday update if you haven’t been following GamesCom.

Several things to highlight that may pique the interest of even non-PvPers — being able to prove your worth in a warzone against members of your own faction which should make for some interesting dynamic, and playing in an arena that’s essentially one giant death trap where “name-calling and cheating are all encouraged”. You’re on Nar Shaddaa, after all.

I totally want to be called a Rotworm. Those Hutts have a strange sense of humor.

Also making its debut at GamesCom, the debut trailer for Wildstar which looks like a…wild ride. Still, maybe it’s the style of the graphics, the quirky humor, or the funky music — all of which I really liked from the video, don’t get me wrong…the thing is, it makes me not want this to be an MMO.

I can see myself enjoying the crap out of this even if it was a single-player RPG…or the next animated  film by Dreamworks. Hey, it’s not like this trailer would be out of place shown before a feature presentation at the cinema. Doing some poking around made me think Carbine can bring a lot of potential to this title, though. Enough to sign up for beta.

This trailer from a few days ago also took my breath away, albeit in a completely different way.

The Secret World now has a release window, which hopefully means more information in the coming months and more to talk about, because there’s a void in my life that can only be filled by a good horror-themed MMO. As always, packed with creepy and a healthy dose of tentacles, their CGI trailers give me the shivers.

Commence countdown to April 2012.

Wrapping up with this awesome Guild Wars 2 trailer, which Huntersinsight has already thoroughly commented on, so I encourage you to visit his site. All I have to add to the discourse is simply “GIMME MOAR ASURA!!!”

I’m normally prone to choose the more “feminine” and “elfish” races to play, but there’s something about being a cute little Asura hacking away at something fifty times her size that greatly appeals to me.

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