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.
Long-time readers will know I have a soft spot for the Warcraft franchise, especially World of Warcraft. As a day-one player who has experienced everything the game has offered, including the Mists of Pandaria expansion, I’ve seen it go through a fair few changes. New races being added, enhanced weather and lighting systems being introduced, a new class thrown into the mix, talent points being redesigned, and a constant stream of rebalancing for everything involved, That said, some things have stayed the same in the face of change. New abilities would continue to crowd up toolbars, the rise of damage and health numbers for players and NPCs alike spiralling up exponentially, and the models for the playable races becoming more and more dated as the years went by. With the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor approaching, Blizzard saw it as an opportunity to fix these things, and so with patch 6.0.2 being unleashed last week I returned to the MMO behemoth for the first time in nine months. It was time to see if the game that sent the genre mainstream still had the ability to pull in new punters and veterans alike.
I’ll tell you one thing though – WildStar’s combat and traversal systems have spoiled me rotten compared to WoW's seemingly archaic mechanics, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
The inclusion of the Worgen, Goblin and Pandaren made it quite clear that the original race models needed an update. The blocky, expressionless and (in the case of humans) hairlipped choices on offer just didn’t blend with the rest of the updated visuals of the game. Thankfully, after years of waiting the update has arrived – except for Blood Elves, who will have to wait a little while longer to be made more beautiful. If I’m honest, I really shouldn’t be impressed by the new visuals and animations considering what the competition has produced elsewhere in the genre, but I really am.
Click here to read more...
If you're a fan of that WildStar game that I wouldn't shut up about for 3 years, you may have seen many opportunities for get hold of some exclusive in-game goodies that were handed out at this year's Gamescom. They were quite the dapper pieces of swag, providing a top hat and monocle costume piece, a rather executive looking table for your house, and a unique dye to give your avatar a special look. You may have thought that your last chance to grab one has past... but I think you'll find that's not true. You see, I managed to procure 10 EU codes to give away, and we're going to have a little fun in the process.
So, how do you go about getting one of these codes? Simple - amuse me!Click this link to find out how to win >>
Last episode, we found ourselves desperately searching for a nobleman's daughter -- Lydia Horacos. Now, with Tideborn on our tails, and dangerous foes on all sides, Mechdusa and Bob clear out the Research Centre, and infiltrate the Eldan Tower where Lydia is being held. Will Corrigan Doon make himself useful? Can our heroes defeat Cortex Prime? What's the meaning of life?
All this and more in today's episode of WildStar: The Evil Noob.
After chasing down some illicit fraternising in the last episode, today's jaunt down to Nexus is all about a search and rescue. And killing giant birds.
Some rich noble's daughter has gone missing, and the adventurer sent to find her has gone missing too, presumed drunk. And the henchmen sent to give the drunkard a kick up the backside have also gone missing too. So it's up to us to venture into the local pub, siober up the sozzled mercenary, and try and find the daughter ourselves.
Developer: Carbine Studios
Here we are – finally at end of the review that just wouldn’t stop coming (blame Carbine accordingly for their gigantic game, I say.) There’s still a lot to get through before the verdict, but here’s a helpful hub if you’ve missed my previous instalments or want a refresher on my previous musings on WildStar.
We begin this instalment by taking a look at the Limited Action Sets and the AMP system, which acts as the skills and talent tree for WildStar respectively. As long as players are out of combat, the flexibility and user friendly nature of the LAS is one of my favourite aspects of Carbine’s efforts. Being able to swap out abilities at a moment’s notice ensures players can try new tactics and combos, along with the option of powering up equipped abilities with Tier Points to unlock bonus effects. On top of this, being able to buy new abilities from the menu without having to travel to a trainer is a godsend, as it means players no longer have to make their way back to the nearest one upon levelling up (something a lot of MMOs still do, annoyingly.)
Click here to read more...
Developer: Carbine Studios
Our in-depth and ever-growing review continues for WildStar - because if you're going to do something, you may as well drag it out for several weeks. Or do it properly considering the size of the game. Yes - let's go with that one. If you're a latecomer to the party that is my review, or if you're a swine who has been all like "MMOs? Nah," then I suggest you SHUT THE HELL UP and check out the convenient hub I've provided below for you to click on.
One of the biggest complaints about MMOs in general is the crafting and economy elements. Cries of “it’s too complicated!” or “it’s too boring!” can be heard from across the interwebs, as a large percentage of those that try it will simply go “nah, it’s not for me” before becoming a hoarder of all the crafting materials they can find, vendoring away at the earliest opportunity. Thankfully, Carbine have created mechanics that are not only varied in nature, but far more hands-on than first glance, providing a multiple levels of depth depending on the comfort zone of the player.
I won’t go all FAQ here with the details (if you want that you can find my rather in-depth article on it here) so I’ll give a quick overview - It’s the usual affair of selecting two professions out of the bunch that are available, some of which are better paired than others, while everyone has the ability to cook (labelled as a ‘hobby’ activity.) The strong theme with these crafting elements is that of player choice, providing players with the ability to customise items with stats needed for specific roles (or, if things are being made to order, with a specific balance of stats for maximum class build efficiency.)Click here to read more...
We're still in the process of our on-going review for WildStar, but Carbine Studios are still busy at work and yesterday let us have a look at the content that will be making its way onto Nexus in the very near future. The Strain Ultra Drop will bring new zones, new enemies, new mechanics, and plenty of disgusting things to swim through if what we got to see is any indication. Carl provides commentary in this sneek-peek video that gives you a taster of what is to come when the content patch hits.