WildStar developer details massive Free-to-Play update

Last month, the Sci-Fi MMO, WildStar announced that it was converting to a free-to-play business model. With most MMO’s being free to play these days, it’s not hard to see why, even though the game is little more than a year old. This new business model is a part of a new multi-step direction with a focus on “quality of life”, to make the game more appealing to potential new players.

Apart from removing subscription fees, WildStar will feature an overhauled Tutorial Mode, designed to be more customizable for the player. Players will be able to pick tutorials best suited to them, based upon prior knowledge from playing other MMO’s. Additionally, items and statistics are being completely reworked to be more intuitive, particularly in naming conventions. Improved customization is also a focus through a redesign of secondary statistics and gear.

Dungeons are also being reworked to provide a more consistent challenge and will be re-scaled to be “suitable for players in five level increments.” Two new areas were also teased, the narratively driven, Alpha Sanctum, that will bring players into the Nexus world story earlier in the game, and the PVP Arena, Cryo-Plex, a winter-focused, multi-layered battlefield.

NCSOFT and Carbine Studios haven’t forgotten about players who have already invested money in the game over the last year either. Anybody who has committed financially to the game in the past, can expect “a number of very cool rewards waiting for them.” No specifics on what exactly those rewards will be, but WildStar players can stay tuned for more details.

WildStar will officially transition to the Free-to-Play model this fall, though no concrete date has been given. The game scored a solid 82 overall rating on Metacritic, so if you have been hesitant to get into it for financial reasons, that barrier will soon be gone.

World of Warcraft: Why do I keep going back?

Last year World of Warcraft turned 10 years old. That’s a huge milestone for any game that relies on paid subscriptions to fuel its growth. I joined up about 8 years ago, so I’m by now one of the Vanilla crew but I know my way around the game and I’ve invested a great deal of time into it as well as a huge amount of money. I was thinking about the vast expense that World of Warcraft has caused me that led me to the question: why do I still keep paying for it?

Monthly subscriptions for games are dying out. Plain and simple. The payment model just doesn’t suit the modern gamer, let alone the modern gaming market. There are constantly new IP’s being released as well as countless re-masters and sequels to already popular titles. With so much choice and variation of game out there the modern gamer doesn’t want to be tied into having to pay a fee each month just to log in even after shelling out for the game in the first place.

So my first thought was “am I just clinging to the past?” Well, yes and no. Whilst I do still recount tales of my first adventures in Warcraft I don’t completely rely on them to justify the subscription. It’s an ever evolving game set in an ever expanded world. Blizzard, despite what you may read on various forums and message boards, always tries to innovate and explore new ground when it comes to presenting content in the game. Take a look at how the story element to The Burning Crusade was presented and compare it to that of Cataclysm, look at the way questing was dealt with in Mists of Pandaria and compare it to Warlords of Draenor. So in terms of clinging to the past, I don’t think that’s the case as the game remains relevant to me today.

I think it all comes down to the world itself. I’m a sucker for stories in games and in World of Warcraft there are so many stories. There’s the huge over arching story that’s taking place throughout each expansion but then there are thousands of little stories in the many many quest lines and beyond that there are stories you make yourself, adventures with people and situations you find yourself in and while you can say “yeah but all MMO’s have that”, the fact is I’ve seen all of these stories, I’ve been a part of them and I’m ready to be part of the next ones. I think the reason I keep playing World of Warcraft is because I’ve been in it for so long now. There are elements of story telling that are better in The Old Republic, there are PvP elements like world versus world that Guild Wars 2 really gets right and there are visuals that The Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV have that are gorgeous. But none of them are home to me. The time I’ve invested and the experiences I’ve got out of it are worth the subscription for me and while that may not fit with the opinion of many of my fellow Warcraft players it’s enough for me.

 

Fan gives World of Warcraft’s visuals an Unreal Engine 4 makeover

World of Warcraft has a unique visual style-colourful, chunky, but not what you’d call a ‘looker’-that’s dictated in part by the fact that the game is more than ten years old. But have you ever wondered what it would look like if it was made in, say, 2014 instead of 2004? Wonder no more, friend, because YouTube user Daniel Luchau has recreated the Elwynn Forest area using the Unreal Engine 4, and the results are impressive, as you can see.

In the video, which was picked up on by Business Insider, Luchau says that this is still an early build, and he’s working on a number of elements including proper LOD for trees and shadows for the entire scene, reflections, addressing pop-ins, improving wood textures, and reducing light intensity to help with both over and under-exposure. Beyond that, he hopes to complete the rest of zone, and in the “far future” would like to do Duskwood and Westfall as well, and release them all for VR platforms.

When it comes to MMOs, I don’t think visual fidelity is a make-or-break feature (the long-term success of World of Warcraft in its aged format is proof of that), but a little extra pretty doesn’t hurt, either. Do you dream of exploring an Azeroth that looks like this?

World Of Warcraft Patch 6.2’s Shipyards Will Let You Own Submarines

World of Warcraft Patch 6.2 gives players the ability to construct shipyards in their garrisons. A new preview from Blizzard explains how these new buildings will work.

“The Shipyard is a new building available to all Garrison commanders who have reached level 100 and improved their Garrison to level 3—and after you travel to the Iron Docks and discover just how dire the naval situation is, you’ll want to make your Shipyard a top priority,” Blizzard said. “As soon as you return to your Garrison, you’ll be able to raise a level 1 Shipyard and begin construction on your first ocean vessel immediately.”

Ships, like garrison followers, can be sent out on missions. Each ship has a different kind of abilities to utilize. For example, Unsinkable prevents ships from being hit by a fatal shot. You can also outfit these vessels with different equipment and crew to change their bonuses. You can opt for a human crew to up your success rate or a tauren crew to boost the experience they gain. A ship with a Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizer can withstand whirlpools.

Sending ships on missions and upgrading your Shipyard doesn’t require Garrison Resources. Instead, you’ll need to stockpile a new supply: Oil. You can gather these resource out in the field on your own. Most of the Oil on Draenor is found in Tanaan Jungle, the new high-level zone being introduced with Patch 6.2.

This big new addition to player’s garrisons, it’s far from the largest addition in 6.2. The update also brings new daily quests, the Hellfire Citadel raid, and an end to the Legendary ring quest line. Warlords of Draenor dungeons will be upgraded with a new Mythic difficulty setting while older dungeons will be brought back with higher-level enemies and gear.

Maybe the biggest feature of Patch 6.2, though, will be the reintroduction of flight. Flying mounts will be unlocked shortly after 6.2’s release but once the patch arrives, players can start working on the meta-Achievement they’ll need to earn to fly once again.

World of Warcraft: Patch 6.2 Preview-To the Shipyard

In World of Warcraft Patch 6.2, you’ll oversee your Garrison’s first new major construction project-and take command of your forces in a whole new theater of war. In order to push back against the twisted remnants of the Iron Horde, you’ll need to expand your operations to the shore and set your sights on the seas between you and the mysterious Tanaan Jungle. To do that, you’ll need a Shipyard.

The Shipyard is a new building available to all Garrison commanders who have reached level 100 and improved their Garrison to level 3-and after you travel to the Iron Docks and discover just how dire the naval situation is, you’ll want to make your Shipyard a top priority. As soon as you return to your Garrison, you’ll be able to raise a level 1 Shipyard and begin construction on your first ocean vessel immediately.

n war, you need soldiers to fight on the front lines-with that in mind, your first ship will be the mighty Troop Transport, a vessel designed to help you tackle a variety of seafaring threats. This stalwart ship will help you initiate combat, and will serve as the backbone of your fleet as you’re getting your feet wet.

Ships are managed much like Garrison Followers. You’ll send your ships on naval missions, and each naval mission will present a new set of challenges for you to counter with your ships’ abilities. Some of the new abilities include Salty Crew (improves success chance by 10%), Unsinkable (shields the ship from a fatal shot), and Trained Shark Tank-because navigating through mine-studded waters is no problem when you have trained sharks on your side.

Just as your Followers need Garrison Resources to operate, your ships will require Oil. Collect enough Oil to send your ships on many naval missions, and you’ll unlock the level 2 and level 3 Shipyard, allowing you to maintain more ships and take on more naval missions.

Your ships also come with equipment, and how you use it will play a key role in your success on the high seas. For example, a ship with a Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizer can deal with Chaotic Whirlpools by staying upright and stable. A ship with a Food Storage Bay has additional space for stashing extra supplies, and is therefore better at taking on longer naval missions.

Your ships can be manned by a specific crew, and the composition of the crew helps determine your results and rewards. For example, a goblin crew increases the gold gained from the mission; a night elf crew reduces mission time; and a human crew increases your success chance.

World Of Warcraft Patch 6.2 Preview Reveals New Raid

Blizzard Entertainment has released a preview of patch 6.2 for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. The patch will introduce a new raid called Hellfire Citadel and even includes details of the bosses that players will encounter.

WoW fans will have their hands full battling through the Iron Forge fortress that is Hellfire Citadel. The World of Warcraft patch 6.2 preview released by Blizzard describes the mighty tower as a massive stronghold at the heart of Tanaan Jungle. The citadel was created by Grommash at Garrosh’s request, to serve as a staging ground for the assault of Azeroth.

For players, it means a new challenge and a new area to raid which enables them to earn items ranging in power from level 675-685 in Raid Finder and up to level 735 in Mythic difficulty. There’s also a chance for players to add a new Rare quality companion, the Corrupted Nest Guardian, to their pet collection.

All gamers will start the raid at the Iron Bulwark, where waves of Iron Horde forces are waiting to begin their Hellfire Assault. Similar to the Spoils of Pandaria in Siege of Orgrimmar, this is a raid “boss” that players must withstand in order to breach the gates of the Citadel. Once in, players will have several challenges and Hellfire Citadel bosses to defeat such as the Iron Reaver, Kormrok, Gorefiend and many others.

There’s also a Hellfire High Council that needs defeating which features mighty warrior Gurtogg who previously fought in the Burning Crusade, Dia Darkwhisper who is a mage cast out of the Shadowmoon clan and several champions of the various orc clans in the Iron Horde.

Some of the WoW villains are also making a comeback such as Mannoroth whose blood, after being cut down by Grommash, was used by Gul’dan to corrupt the orcs and their allies. Players will challenge Mannoroth while the character is in the process of being reanimated by Gul’dan’s minions.

The other villain and final boss is Archimonde the Defiler, who commands the military might of the Burning Legion. Hellfire Citadel raid designers have revealed that this villain has learned a “number of nasty new tricks” since Mount Hyjal. But their description of this character ominously states that: “Although you have the greatest heroes of Azeroth and Draenor standing beside you in this battle, even they cannot aid you within the Twisting Nether itself.”

Exciting things are going to happen with the upcoming Hellfire Citadel raid. Gamers are definitely watching out for the World of Warcraft patch 6.2 release.

World of Warcraft inducted into World Video Game Hall of Fame

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has inducted its first six honorees, highlighting some of the most significant early games that brought gaming from the arcade into the home, as well as a couple of games that revolutionized PC gaming.

The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, has announced that Super Mario Bros., Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, World of Warcraft, and Doom have become the first titles entered into the Hall of Fame. The list was culled from 15 finalists, with games like Oregon Trail, The Legend of Zelda, and Minecraft not being voted in—yet.

The oldest inductee is Pong, first released in 1972, followed by Pac-Man in 1980. (To play both at once, try out the free online game Pacapong.) Both arcade titles, the games would also see releases, and rereleases, on home consoles, though that market dramatically picked up with the release of the NES and the original Super Mario Bros. in 1985.

Tetris, released in 1984, has seen any number of different releases and variations made, but the original game is still as fun to play as it was when it first released. Doom, released in 1993, is one of the most influential first-person shooters ever released, and while the series has remained long dormant, a proper sequel/reboot is well on its way, with it expected to be shown off at E3 later this month.

And last but certainly not least is World of Warcraft, the still incredibly popular massively multiplayer online game that has remained running since its launch in 2004, seeing new expansions, new players, and even a South Park episode dedicated to it. For more on WoW’s expansive legacy, read EW’s lookback at the game 10 years into its life.

‘World Of Warcraft’ Players Can Celebrate Summer With This Month’s In-Game Events

Nearly every month, there is an annual event for World of Warcraft players to celebrate. The revelry this month takes form in the Midsummer Fire Festival; a celebration of the hottest time of year. The monthly return of the Darkmoon Faire is also coming up so Blizzard Entertainment developers put together a nice preview of what’s to come in the month of June.

The Darkmoon Faire is the first in-game event to note in June. Starting on June 7, and ending on June 14, players can head to Thunder Bluff if they are Horde or Elwynn Forest if they are Alliance to travel through the portal found at the Darkmoon Faire Staging Area.

Once World of Warcraft players set foot on the Darkmoon Island, they will be greeted with carnival-like games, races, and an opportunity to receive Darkmoon Prize Tickets. Completing games, races, and other quests reward the player with these tickets. Darkmoon Prize Tickets are used to purchase items like heirloom gear and other, exclusive items that only come from the faire. Players will need to save up a number of tickets, most likely over several appearances of the faire, in order to get some of more expensive rewards. A plethora of mounts, battle pets, and toys can all be collected from World of Warcraft‘s Darkmoon Faire.

Later in the month, and extending into July, players can enjoy the annual Midsummer Fire Festival. By participating in this event, players can earn two special battle pets; the Frigid Frostling and the Spirit of Summer. The Frigid Frostling has a chance of being contained in a special loot satchel that is only distributed during the event. World of Warcraft players must use the Dungeon Finder tool to queue for and defeat Ahune. This satchel could also contain a nice staff, high-level cloak, or many other items.

The Spirit of Summer battle pet, on the other hand, can be purchased with the event’s Burning Blossoms currency. Players will need to complete Midsummer Fire Festival daily quests and travel to bonfires, some in enemy territory, to earn enough Burning Blossoms to buy the battle pet. Not to mention, Burning Blossoms can also be used to purchase a few toys, costumes, and consumables during the event.

With both the Darkmoon Faire and the Midsummer Fire Festival coming up, World of Warcraft players have plenty to anticipate in the month of June. The next major patch, although it currently does not have a release date, is still on the way as well. As the Inquisitr reported, patch 6.2 will change the way loot is granted to players using personal loot, and the patch will increase the item level of gear dropped from bosses found later in raids.

What’s the first thing you want to collect from the faire or the event this month in World of Warcraft?