Thursday, February 25, 2010

TERA - Open PvP or Not

Back when I first heard about TERA a year ago, their comments on how PvP would be handled was really vague. Now that they've found a publisher to bring this Korean product to the West, and seeing that it will actually be a subscription-based model, I took a look over at the site to see if there was further detail.

But looks like that aspect is still undecided. They have a poll in their forums asking players if they would still play TERA if PvP was highly limited. Based on the current poll numbers, about 50% would not play without open PvP and the other 50% either don't want PvP at all or prefer PvP in a battleground/arena environment. But if you read the posts that follow it, you would think 90% of the posters prefer open PvP. PvE types tend not to post as we don't want to be ganked in the forums any more than in our MMO's.

My guess is they will go with some form of forced PvP. It may not come till later levels, it may be through content restrictions, or through some other mechanisms. And that would be a shame, as the majority of the Western audience won't play it. They may try it. They may enjoy a few levels of it. And then they move on.

The world graphics are pretty from what I've seen, and the character models are pretty spiffy too, including the obligatory cute player critter. It's still a year away from release, so maybe there's still hope yet for me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Comings and Goings

Over a year ago I posted about an upcoming steampunk mmo called Gatheryn. They went into open beta the end of last summer but I doubt few really noticed. It was a huge disappointment and the few times I logged in, it was rare to see another player. The last official posting came last October and the game suddenly went offline with no further posts as to why or the status. So I guess this one is done. It was to be the first released mmo using the new HeroEngine, but I guess that honor will now go to SW:TOR.

I'm not losing hope yet for a steampunk mmo. Though still in very early, rough stages, I continue to follow AIR and also found out about Clockwork Symphony. At least there's still official activity there anyway.

Also way back when, I was in the Gods and Heroes beta--another one which went kablooie. Looks like it may see the light of day yet. Heatwave Interactive has obtained the rights and launched a new website. No information yet, but my beta experiences were pleasant enough that I will watch the progress of this one.

I also recently gave City of Eternals a try. If you have a Facebook account, you can just log right in. It's a vampire-themed game and nothing particularly fancy, but hey it's free.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Alganon Going Free to Play?

Even though I am mostly playing STO, I still log into Alganon to keep my studies updated and just generally tinker around a bit. Yesterday I noticed a new icon on my screen placed next to my total money display. A few discussed it in general chat coming up with some theories and a GM responded we will found out quite soon.

Today a dev posted to explain this was part of a new Tribute system as part of "the new subscription-free pricing model that Alganon is adopting, as seen elsewhere on the site." Unfortunately, there is no mention of free to play elsewhere on the site at this point, but I guess it's coming.

I was one of those idiots supportive people who purchased a one-year subscription in hopes of bigger things coming. I have yet to enjoy any free to play model I've tried to date, particularly the communities it attracts. But I'll have to wait and see how it actually evolves.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blowing Stuff Up and Putting Out Fires

Having spent much of the last ten MMO years stabbing bugs and woodland creatures for various farmers and citizens, there's been a lot of satisfaction in blowing up ships and vaporizing Klingons. One quest has you removing a fire extinguisher from the wall and putting out the fires in your way. Oddly, even spraying that extinguisher is heck of a lot of fun and I wished I could keep it once the quest was over.

I haven't been focused on leveling at all and am just enjoying the quests and story line. But by the end of the head start weekend, I did receive my first promotion which granted me my new ship. I went with a science vessel and first order of business was to customize my vessel, including my bridge.

Along with a ship upgrade, I gained an additional officer. I did have concerns about being overwhelmed managing so many officers or "pets", but even this aspect of the game has been fun. You can name them and play dress up, but I opted for a matched team in Next Generation garb.

The weekend wasn't without a few glitches. The server came down a few times both Friday and Saturday for emergency maintenance. But by Sunday it seemed they worked out some kinks and things ran fairly smoothly. Today is the official launch date. We'll likely be seeing even more subscribers come in to strain the server further, so we'll see how it goes.