These days, going down the subscription route is a dangerous road to take when you’re a theme park style MMO. After all, it’s all about getting good mileage from your monthly investment. This means regular content updates, ensuring there is entertaining and challenging encounters, and avoiding a repetitive grind. This is on top of providing balanced class abilities and PvP matches, ensuring competitive play is fair and fun, and hosting it all in an interesting and engaging world. During its first few months, WildStar managed just that, which is why I gave it 9/10 in our review last year.
Its combat was fast paced and required skill, its lore rather deep (if you went with the Scientist path), and its world filled with colour & character. However, I ended my assessment on an important point – “Providing the same level of quality & regularity continues with its content updates, there will be more than enough reason to stay on Nexus.”The sad truth is that after its first content drop finally went live it became clear that something was up. Content updates were pushed back to focus on fixes and balance issues, and when the much-touted World Story instance did arrive much later than expected it felt incredibly shallow in comparison to what we were expecting.
By December it was clear that large numbers of players had given up, but that didn’t stop Carbine from issuing those fixes and slowly delivering new content for the faithful that stuck with it. Today has finally seen the long awaited Invasion: Nexus patch, adding an arkship-load of content and a huge number of changes (too many to list here, so head over to the official website for details.) However, the monthly subscription fee had ultimately been found wanting, and a year on from its launch it’s clear a change is needed for WildStar. With last month’s reports of retailers sending back their unsold copies of WildStar (and a number of digital retailers no longer selling keys) the winds of change appear to be in the air, so we’re going to look at some of the routes WildStar could take.Click here to read more...
This is purely one of them situations where I am giving you a head up, as Neverwinter was only released on Xbox One today I haven't even had chance to download it to the console yet.
If you're a fan of MMO's, Dungeons & Dragons and free, surely you're onto a winner? Check out the launch trailer and details below.Click here to read more...
The Elder Scrolls Online has finally ditched its subscription fees once and for all, becoming The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Once you buy a copy of the game, it's yours to play forever without having to pay monthly for the privilege.
And about time too. The Elder Scrolls Online made a weak case for its monthly subs and we're glad that Zenimax Online have seen sense.Click here to read more...
Need to book in 60 days of World of Warcraft action? Well, you'll want to take advantage of this brand new deal that has it flying off digital shelves for just £13.50. The next best deal we can find is at Game for £17.99. So you may as well stock up, especially as this offer went out of stock super quick last time we posted it.
Thanks to Bobbite.
Towards the end of 2014 I found myself playing Guild Wars 2 again. The break I had taken from Tyria was fairly substantial thanks other MMOs appearing on the scene, but I finally had to time to give it another go and get my engineer Harry McGarnagle back into action. While I had dipped in and out throughout the year I hadn’t really appreciated the amount of content that had been added during that time. The new zones on the edges of the Maguuma Jungle, along with the second season of the Living Story, has ensured the player base have had plenty to do. See, that is exactly why I loved Guild Wars 2 so much in the first place – there is always something to do, and people to share the experience with.
But the thing that truly got me excited to play again? Beating the revamped Tequatl encounter for the first time.
For those that don't know, Tequatl the Sunless is one of the open-world bosses found throughout the gigantic world of Tyria. The original encounter against that bloody huge dragon wasn't exactly the hardest thing ever, so ArenaNet went about revamping the experience, and then some. That improved fight has been in-game for a while now, but having only witnessed it once before on a practically empty overflow server all I had seen was a bloodbath. Undead plagued the battleground, what few players were there had been defeated, and a massive bone shield was protecting the dragon that towered above it. My first true attempt at defeating him wasn’t a success either. Too many of us didn’t know what to do, especially in regards to the turrets and protecting the megalazer, and the end result was Tequatl wiping out everything with wave of mass destruction. It was both terrifying and amazing in equal measure.Click here to read more...
Need to book in 60 days of World of Warcraft action? Well, you'll want to take advantage of this brand new deal that has it flying off digital shelves for just £13.50. The next best deal we can find is at Game for £17.99. So you may as well stock up!
Thanks to red_me765.
The MMO scene has been shifting over the last few years. Only the truly ambitious and different titles are able to brave an industry ready to scuttle those unable to stay afloat. It’s my view that without offering tried-and-tested gameplay, or something unique by playing to specific strengths, the old subscription-based theme park MMO has run its course. New and exciting experiences are what players want because static worlds with loot grinds at the end have not only been done before, but have been finely tuned. It's why I’ve been keeping a close eye on Everquest Next and Landmark (although recent events have me worried, but that’s another story) as it is attempting to do something new in terms of its Storybricks system.
However, at the end of 2014 a new project emerged from the shadows, headed by industry veterans J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton. At the start of the year we found out its name – Crowfall – and over the last few months ArtCraft Entertainment have been slowly dropping bits of information, giving us a sense of what Crowfall is, and how it will do things differently. There is plenty of info to go through, but with its Kickstarter campaign now in full swing we have the whole picture in front of us for the first time. With that in mind, having gone through all of the available information, I’ve summarised what Crowfall is all about, and will be discussing exactly why you should be paying attention to it, regardless of whether you are tempted to back it or not.Click here to read more...
This is an insanely cheap PC deal for an enjoyable MMO, even if it does become stale after a while. £3.85 will buy you one hell of a month of exploring, gunning and mobile combat, though. Thanks Turkey!
If you've already purchased and registered FFXIV, but maybe got bored and wandered off, or otherwise deactivated your account, Square Enix are offering lapsed and wayward sons and daughters the chance to check out what's new in the recently released Patch 2.5.
The Free Login Weekend will take place from Friday 30th January (08:00 GMT) to Monday 2nd February (08:00 GMT) and will be eligible to "players who have previously purchased and registered Final Fantasy XIV and whose service account is set as inactive during the campaign period."
For fans of Guild Wars 2, last weekend was kind of a big deal. You see, it has been nearly two and a half years since the MMO sequel released, and despite some hiccups along the way it’s quite clear that their lateral approach to pretty much every genre convention has helped keep it enjoyable, eventful and, most importantly, relevant. It’s all in our colossal review from 2012. Since then, it has been one of the more regularly updated MMOs out there thanks to consistent content updates alongside the Living Story – the second season having demonstrated to its peers how to deliver an involving and interesting narrative.
That’s not too bad for an MMO that doesn’t have a subscription to keep the coffers full, but it was certainly time for something new to be thrown into the virtual world of Tyria. The rumour and speculation mill has been running rampant for weeks, with fellow writers theorising on what Heart of Thorns would be. The popular theory was an Expansion Pack, but because ArenaNet are not known for doing things traditionally it was clear that it wouldn’t be that simple. A new level cap? A new class? A new level of loot grind to chase after, thus leaving the old content in the dust?
As the reveal at PAX East showed, ArenaNet laugh in the face of linear thinking and once again provided a lateral approach to expansions with Heart of Thorns.Click here to read more...
There was something that bugged me about yesterday's press release and, having slept on it, I now think I know what it is. Reading through Zenimax Online's announcement that The Elder Scrolls Online would be dropping the subscription and going buy-to-play, it hit me that aside from the vague allusion in the first to TESO being an "award-winning multiplayer roleplaying game" at no point to the letters MMO pop up in sequence. The whole thing reads like Bethesda are desperately trying to frame the experience as the thing many of us wanted in the first place -- a game that's basically a bigger version of Skyrim with friends.
"For the first time in history, players will explore the legendary world of Tamriel with their friends on console," reads the official blurb. "In the latest and biggest Elder Scrolls game ever made, players will be able to adventure alone, quest with friends, or join an army of hundreds in epic player vs. player battles as they explore and discover the secrets of a persistent Tamriel."
Along with the constant reiteration of phrases like "one-time purchase" (even when describing the Premium subscription, which is still an option, the language used tells of a "single monthly charge" in an attempt to soften the blow) there's a clear drive to play down the MMO-ness of TESO for its console release.
The abdication of the cancerous subscription model has been a long time coming. We were already taking bets on how long it would take Zenimax to drop the creaking infrastructure after seeing monthly payments swiftly abandoned by pretty much every new MMO in the last few years, and now we have a date of March 17th.Click here to read more...
Well, there you have it folks. less than a year after launch, and it's been announced that The Elder Scrolls Online is dropping the subscription and going buy-to-play. A press release revealed that The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, will release worldwide on 9th June, 2015 for PS4 and Xbox One. Players "will no longer be required to pay a monthly game subscription for extended play. Players will make a one-time purchase of the game and can then enjoy hundreds of hours of content without the requirement of a monthly game subscription fee when The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited becomes available on console in June and beginning 17th March for PC/Mac players."
New players will "make a one-time purchase of the game and play, without restrictions, for as long as they like – without game subscription fees". However, it seems that Tamriel Unlimited will be supported with "special, optional downloadable content" and an "in-game Crown Store for convenience and customization items. Regular updates and new gameplay will be offered to all players to enjoy free of additional charges."
There'll also be a Premium subscription option called ESO Plus, "providing exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns to use in the store and access to all DLC game packs while a member."
Is this a good move? Does it make the console versions more attractive prospects? What the hell will ESO Plus mean for in-game balance? We stuck our heads together to chat about our impressions of this fairly monumental shift for TESO.Click here to read more...
With today's news that The Elder Scrolls Online will be dropping its subscription fee from March, those of you who have been sitting on the fence as whether to give it a go might be looking for a decent deal. A far few of the bigger retailers have sky-rocketed their price, but places such as SimplyCDKeys are still selling off copies for as little as £7. It's up to you whether you redeem the purchase now to give it a whirl, or wait to take advantage of the in-game shop come March, but I suspect that cheap copies of this will be snapped up fairly quickly.
Man, that’s a title I didn’t think I’d be writing six months ago. Despite my positive assessment of WildStar and the entertainment it gave me in its first few months, the momentum dissipated by the end of the year. While the latest content drop helped to keep the existing fanbase content for a spell, the problem was that it wasn’t enticing those who had tried the game and left, or those who had yet to even pick up a copy. As this was happening, old behemoths were proving they were still relevant with new expansions, a suckerpunch to what was meant to be a new home for disillusioned former WoW players. Meanwhile, titles like The Secret World and especially Guild Wars 2 were demonstrating how to do an ongoing storyline with style, putting the much-touted World Story instance to shame.
It was heart-breaking to see it happen, but it was ultimately understandable. Something needed to change, and fast. So with that said, this afternoon Product Director Mike Donatelli issued a statement over on the official website detailing the battleplan for WildStar. The summary of it was that Carbine Studios know "there are important areas where we can, and must, do better in 2015 — and we are.” As such, it seems to be a good time to take look at what Carbine have in store with both the announced and unannounced content and features, reflect on the issues from the last few months, and see if WildStar can restore some of that lost excitement from last summer's launch.Click here to read more...
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn only £1.95 on PS3 at TGC. Click here to buy! >>
Square Enix somehow managed to turn the worst MMO on the internet into a genuinely excellent one. You can get it along with your first month of subs for only £1.95 on PS3. You can then upgrade it to the PS4 version using this procedure, which will run until the end of March this year contrary to the on-site description. Thanks BuzzDuraband!
Oh my. Amazon have just lowered the price for WildStar even further, making it cheaper to buy than its monthly subscription. It's the lowest price we've seen and includes 30 days of game time as well. While the game is currently facing an uphill struggle to keep its fan-base happy, there's no denying that WildStar is a fun MMO throughout its leveling process. In short, for a fiver it's more than worth a look at what will almost certainly be one of the last theme-park-based MMOs to release for a while. Thanks to Gazimoff for the tip!
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Despite its less-then-favourable reception when it launched earlier in the year, The Elder Scrolls Online is still going strong and can be yours for the cheapest price we've seen for a copy. Admittedly the saving isn't huge over the next best offer, and a subscription is still required to play past the first free month, but it's important to note that Zenimax Online has made sure the game is one of the few MMOs to stick to its content release schedule. There have also be a host of improvements on top of the additional content, so it really is an ideal time if you are feeling a bit curious.
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NCsoft are still running their 50% sale on WildStar and Guild Wars 2 through Cyber Monday, but GAME actually have the former for under a tenner if you're interested in jumping into Nexus.
Do be aware, however, that the GAME listing comes with a little warning regarding timely deliveries due to "high demand".
Not to be outdone by Blizzard's earlier zinga of a deal, NCSOFT have unleashed their own set of deals by halving the current price of their flagship MMOs. The offer sees both Guild Wars 2 and WildStar fall below the £20 mark, making it an excellent opportunity to investigate two highly enjoyable online experiences.
A few bits of housekeeping - Guild Wars 2 is subscription free but contains optional microtransactions for mainly cosmetic items, although they have recently started charging for access to previous episodes of its ongoing Living Story (which, from what I hear, is worth the investment.) Meanwhile, WildStar does have a subscription of £8.99 per month, but a purchase comes with 30 days of game time, so you'll have plenty of time to decide if life on Nexus is for you. If you need more details, before to check out our review for Guild Wars 2 and WildStar for the full lowdown.
I like WildStar. I've made no secret of that fact for some time now, but it's hard to deny that, after a launch period that was filled with hope for a long and enjoyable lifespan, the enthusiasm has waned for many players who invested their time and money. There are many reasons for this - RNG nightmares for gear stats, PVP balance becoming a hot mess, and top level characters not having much to do unless they were working towards raid content. Population issues also hampered the fun, and then in-game Christmas was cancelled. Oh, and there were redundancies. Basically, there was good reason to be worried.
However, the troops are re-mobilising over at Carbine, and with the megaserver merge now live and (kind of) fixed the population situation, the long awaited third content drop is almost ready to roll. With a stronger focus on the narrative this time around, The Mystery of the Genesis Prime will tie up many of the stories that have been going on since launch, while setting up the next chapter for WildStar. Of course, that's on top of the additional group content that will be found throughout the new zone of the Defile, and I was invited by Carbine Studios to get hands-on with The Black Focus - an area that will deliver 5-player group content. It's all in our latest video preview, as I give my impressions on what I was shown, what I'm looking forward to, and if this content drop will do enough to entice disillusioned players to return to WildStar.