Let’s go back in time nearly a decade and we’ll find that the majority of high school aged kids at the time were playing a game called Runescape. Runescape is a 3D isometric RPG that focused largely on the sandbox nature of roleplaying games. This meant that players were encouraged to pursue whatever avenue of gameplay that they enjoyed, from cooking to question to slaying demons in dungeons across the playing ‘scape. In 2017, Runescape is still going as strong as ever though the game would look mighty different than it did back int he early ’00s. In order to celebrate Halloween, the creators at Jagex decided to script in some fun celebratory events.
The scripted events brought forth by Jagex all fit under the title of ‘Ghost Stories of Gielinor’. These scripted events all start with players meeting an NPC mysteriously named Closure. CLosure leads players forward on a string of spooky inspired quests that allow players to unlock a brand new cosmetic item which takes inspiration from Sleepy Hollow lore, the headless horseman. This event is available on the new Runescape servers but that does not mean that Runescape has been ignoring their old version of the game, Old School Runescape.
Old School Runescape, largely left alone in terms of bigger updates, saw a Halloween event of their own. Jonas, a murderer who wears a hockey mask, appeared on Friday the 13th. Now players have to survive his hunt in a special game and if they do, they’ll be rewarded with the cosmetic item that is his horrifying mask. While this is less involved than the updated Runescape version’s Halloween event, it is still a welcome distraction from the norm for old school players.
Runescape is a free-to-play game and will continue to operate in that capacity. It is one of the longest-running MMORPGs on the internet and it has set several records due to the nature of how it was coded for gamers to utilize.
It is very rare that you get to see Goblins become the heroes of their own stories, at least in most modern representations of the character types. We blame J.R.R. Tolkien and his legendary ‘Lord of the Rings’ stories. Still, the team at Lost Goblin aren’t letting that get in the way of their new city-builder title ‘Goblins of Elderstone’. Lost Goblin is a studio out of New Zealand that is making their debut onto Steam early access after running a successful Kickstart campaign last year in 2016.
Goblins of Elderstone looks to bring people into the minds of the goblin character type as they are charged with building up villages in order to defend their territory from invading forces. You get to play as special character roles like sham, chief,warrior or the worker who is ordered to grab resources. The game blends strategy with city building while adding in a neat little bribery system. While Goblins of Elderstone doesn’t seek to change your mind on the goblin archetype, it does make you emphasize with how they are played. In Goblins of Elderstone you’ll be forced to bribe, threaten and try diplomacy with other small tribes in order to stop them from revolting violenty and attacking your establishments.
Even though the game is largely about goblins, there are more than just goblins running around in this city-sim game. Your forces will have to interact with orcs as well as humans. There are different elements of responsibility in the game — good, bad and neutral and you’ll also have the option to specialize in aspects outside of just fighting such as trading or spreading religion. It’s important to approach the game with the idea that you can win in a variety of different ways. You can use gifts, diplomacy or violence to push your way toward dominting the map. Ultimately Goblins of Elderstone is a game made by fans of the genre for fans by the genre and funded by those same fans.
It seems like every year is going to be a big year for the Star Wars franchise thanks to the Disney acquisition of the IP. Well, while the cinemas will be flooded with Star Wars titles about every little charaacter to ever grace the lore, video game players will have the same opportunity. Star Wars Battlefield 2, developed by the team at DICE, is getting more and more press as the November 17th release date is quickly rounding the corner. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is one of the most anticipated titles for both PC and console gamers alike this year so let us see if it lives up to the billing!
DICE is seeking to cash in on the excitement that has slowly been building around ‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’, due for release this December, by releasing Battlefront 2 ahead of schedule in November. Fans of the title can already anticipate that there will be cross-over material between the games and the film franchise. We already know that there will be both Rey and Kylo Ren skins available for ownload if you go ahead and slap down the pre-order charge. We also know that if you are a subscriber to Origin Access, and let’s face it many of us are, you’ll get the game all the way on November 9th — a whole week early.
One of the strongest aspects of the Star Wars franchise is the far-reaching and always enjoyable landscapes you get to experience firsthand. Battlefront 2 will bring gamers to all of the most famous locations in the lore. We’ll get to see Yavin IV, Hoth and Tatooine as well as Hosnia Prime, Scarif an even Jedha. THere are a slew of maps that have yet to be announced but we can’t wait to try them out. THe multiplayer in Battlefront 2 will obviously be the big pull and having all of the character types from the main IP, along with the new characters introduced in the Abrams-verse, means that we’ll be getting something special this time around.
The long-awaited destiny is here for the PC Gamers; it is time for the opal Xur. Just recently, Activision launched Destiny 2 for your desktop. The series had skipped the platform in its first time, but in this time, it is part of the project from the creator of Call of Duty and other huge hits. Destiny 2 is not available on steam; it is on Blizzard’s Battle.
Activision is planning to set up its store for Pc games like EA and Ubisoft. If this idea becomes successful, it could prompt the publisher to ditch Steam and the other online retailers and opt for a storefront which it controls.
Though it seems that it is a bit too late to cut off the Steam’s monopoly as the PC game store, and with publishers setting up their storefronts and it looks like a significant difficulty in competition with Valve’s juggernaut. In fact, there is an indication that some people might see this as an inconvenience since they will have to surf through three or four apps to have their preferred games running.
With the anticipated holidays in the offing, the Valve company’s launched the new digital gift cards to add to those readily available at retailers like BestBuy and Gamestop. This will allow the users to send money to the other’s Steam Wallet. Users can send a digital gift card via PayPal and Bitcoin.
The destiny series has now made that step in to the world of PC gaming. Due to the cheaters associated with the game, the studio is trying to avoid that by blacklisting such players, though some people claim that they were banned from the game for no apparent reason.
These banned players have said that they only used harmless software like the Discord Communications service or the OBS recording software. These are just additional programs that provide a code into games to promote the use of unique features.
An announcement was made on July 18 that the General Manager of video game developer Bioware, Aaryn Flynn, will be stepping down to pursue other career options. According to the report, he will be replaced by former “Mass Effect” project manager Casey Hudson, who left Bioware two years ago to work on an unnamed project at Microsoft that has yet to see the light of day.
Many in the industry are speculating about what is going on behind the scenes with this management shift. The harsh judgment by fans and critics of “Mass Effect: Andromeda”, the company’s most recent release, may be one of the sparks that lit this fire. Hudson had a large role in the first three “Mass Effect” volumes, and while the first two received almost exclusively praise, the third edition was criticized for its “tacked on” ending. Hudson himself took some blame for that at the time, and many fans forgave him once some more explanatory DLC came out, as well as an extended end sequence.
The problems with “Andromeda” seem to run deeper. While some have praised its action sequences and game play, initial reviews were extremely bothered by the weirdness of some of the facial animations. For many others, the thin characters, weak plot, and contrived romances, once the pride of Bioware releases, were the greater problem with Andromeda.
Also, Bioware has been trying to make its games more “open world”, which often makes tight story lines much more difficult to maintain, taking away from the heart of most Bioware titles. Their attempt at “open world” seems to have failed as well, with many fans complaining of repetitive, pointless quests and vast, empty spaces.
We will find out soon if this has any effect on the cancellation of “Andromeda” DLC. Likely not, as all of Bioware’s focus right now seems to be on their next project, “Anthem”.
Virtual reality gaming is the future of video games but people just don’t realize it quite yet. Virtual reality gaming aims to bring about THE final note in immersive gaming as it will allow people to literally enter the games in every way that matters. The Oculus Rift has been the leading console for virtual reality gamers but that hasn’t been quite enough to really bust them to the next level of social acceptance and popularity. One of the big problems with VR gaming is a lack of popular, big name properties. This problem is looking like it will be solved as Marvel recently announced an Oculus-exclusive title.
Marvel is, of course, one of the largest entertainment companies in the world right now. Marvel is dominating the box office thanks to their partnership with Disney and they’ve got millions of fans following their every move. Bringing that kind of following to a fledgling enterprise like the Oculus Rift can literally be a game changing decision. Virtual reality gaming consoles have long lacked a go-to game to show casual players that it is a serious platform. Having Marvel come on board could change the entire genre.
Marvel’s Oculus-only title will be called ‘Marvel Powers united VR’. The game was displayed at the Disney D23 event this past week. Marvel Powers United VR lets players step into the cape and costume of their favorite Marvel characters to fight off waves of bad guys in a 3D, virtual reality environment. Right now there are 12 primary characters announced including The Hulk, Captain Marvel, and Rocket Raccoon. The game is being developed by the team at Sanzaru Games (Ripcoil, VR Sports Challenge). The Oculus needs a true game changer in order to keep up the frenetic and fast moving world of gaming and this could be it.
Competitive League of Legends is at the pinnacle of eSports. In ESPN’s latest edition of their power rankings, the standings turned as Samsung Galaxy took the number 1 spot. They overtook SK Telecom T1, the widely regarded best team in the world. SKT recently took a tumble with losses to multiple teams in the LCK, and analysts are questioning whether this is a permanent of temporary slump. Meanwhile, the top teams from the NALCS and EULCS round out the top 20. Unicorns of Love, Fnatic, and G2 are the top teams from Europe. TSM, Immortals, and Counter Logic Gaming are among North America’s top teams. Following a recent NA win at Rift Rivals, experts are project the NALCS to be top contenders for the world championships in a few months. The world championships will be a fantastic event held in the Bird’s Nest in China. For now, the power ranking are all we have to go by. Many questions remain, such as whether middle of the pack teams such as Cloud 9 can surge to the top. At the same time, G2 and SKT are looking vulnerable at the top. In the coming months, fans will witness the rise and fall of these rankings, which will largely determine seeding at worlds. While seeding is not the end of the world, it plays a massive factor as to who gets out of the group stages. League of Legends is a game of numbers, and statistics do not lie. The teams at the top of these power rankings have continuously displayed their dominance on the rift and through practice scrims. It is up to them to take this momentum and bring home regional championships.
Identity theft is becoming increasingly prevalent in online gaming. In League of Legends, a new wave of scams has hit users who unknowingly try to purchase free RP with a credit card. This method of payment has not been authorized by Riot Games, and it is not a valid purchase by any means. Even though the user is logged in to his or her account, the site is not safe from fraud. People will pose as Riot employees and try to extract important information. As players, it is crucial that you refuse to disclose your username and password. After the incident, make sure to report them via the report system. With enough attention, their accounts will be closed and the company can eradicate these imposters.
The support team of Riot Games is working around the clock to address this problem. Most of the frauds use pre level 30 accounts to send messages and trade champions. Therefore, Riot is targeting these low level accounts in the near future. A two step authentication process could help them determine which ones are fake and which ones are real. Because false positives are tragic for desktop games, they need to make sure that their system has no flaws. Champions, runes, and masteries all cost valuable RP that gamers purchase with credit and debit cards. While some MOBAs can get away with little security, LoL does not have this liberty. It is constantly under fire from the North American and East Asian communities. Tracking these hackers must be done on a region by region basis.
March’s PAX East saw Wizards of the Coast announce a new digital tool for fans of “Dungeons & Dragons” in “D&D Beyond.” Described as a digital toolset co-created by Twitch-affiliate Curse, D&D Beyond will offer a searchable rules database, mechanisms for character and monster generation and easy inventory-tracking for players’ treasure. Adam Bradford, Curse’s lead producer, commented that while many players already use several home-made digital components in their gaming activities, D&D Beyond is a fully integrated digital product containing the entire 5th Edition library of Dungeons & Dragons.
Tabletop gaming has gone through several incarnations since D&D’s introduction in 1974. The proliferation of console and PC gaming fractured tabletop gaming into a variety of sub-genres, forcing WotC to respond by updating its core RPG, introducing the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons; an edition notable for how much it seemed designed to court players of MMORPGs. Compared to 4th Edition, 5th Edition was better received by players, encouraging a focus on gameplay over mechanical familiarity.
Bradford commented that D&D Beyond is the end result of extensive playtesting on the part of WotC; the initial playtest consisted of 160,000 individuals. The product’s Beta release will be free product and consists of the Basic Rules, a “Standard Reference Document” and the “Elemental Evil Player’s Companion.” Players interested in other material will have to pay. Digital sourcebooks will be priced at $29.99 and digital adventures will be priced at $24.99. Bradford noted that the core trinity of texts: “Player’s Handbook,” “Dungeon Master’s Guide” and “Monster Manual,” will be discounted at $19.99.
Regarding subscriptions, D&D Beyond will offer two tiers. “Hero” removes advertisements, allows unlimited character creation and access to home-brewed material. “Master” includes all Hero Tier content but also allows Dungeon Masters to share their purchased content with players within their campaign.
Disney has invested into Team Liquid, a gaming organization that has stakes in League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. In particular, LoL is one of their primary games that has taken off in recent years. Armed with a strong lineup of Lourlo, Reignover, Goldenglue, Piglet, and Matt, this team is looking to prove themselves in the NALCS. Disney has elaborate plans to help them. They will provide funding toward a gaming house equipped with bedrooms, practice areas, and rooms for analysis. With the right infrastructure, Team Liquid can get back on its feet and dominate the competitive scene. Disney is also providing mousepads and gaming chairs that will boost performance instantly. With the world championships approaching, Team Liquid is looking for any way to secure a berth for North America. Disney does not have a huge history in eSports, but they have the membership and money to back themselves up. This partnership has many implications for the future. Team Liquid is planning to use a 10 man roster once again, and this funding will go a long way to pay for players’ salaries. Disney has franchises across the nation, which means the team will have a home for whatever tournaments pop up. Riot Games frequently hosts championships in the Midwest and on the East Coast, so Disney resorts will be prime training grounds when the team travels abroad. In addition, eSports in not only limited to LoL. Disney is working closely with other games to provide the best experience for viewers and fans. The players will receive many benefits including an experienced coaching staff. Armed with the strongest weapons, Team Liquid has a promising few months ahead with Disney.