Runes of Magic – A Free MMO

runes-of-magic

Yesterday I was home sick and bored. I had heard about this game Runes of Magic on this week’s TRS and figured now would be a good time to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. The graphics are pretty solid, and the gameplay is very similar to WoW in many respects. I played for awhile yesterday and got to level 8. One thing thats really nice is that you can learn all of the professions so if you want to can collect any resources you want and use it to make whatever you like. Its always bothered me in games like WoW that like if you’re able to skin things and mine stuff your guy cannot figure out how to pick some plants.

The game has 6 main classes (warrior, ranger, cleric, knight, mage or rogue). I started out as a rogue, but I’ll probably add either Knight or Scout when I get the chance. I haven’t had a chance to do any PVP yet but that is part of the game as well.

There are opportunities to spend money in the game, though they are not necessary. You buy “diamonds” from the website which are pretty reasonably priced (100 for $4.99), then you trade them for in game items or services, like costumes, special mounts, etc… I dont know that i’ll necessarily be buying things in game but we’ll see. If I end up playing this enough perhaps I will.

Overall, I’m having a lot of fun with the game and with no monthly fee there is no reason not to play, really. Check it out.

A sad day for gamers

1up_is_dead

According to a post on GAF 1up has been sold to UGO/Hearst. As a result, EGM will be discontinued, all of the 1up podcasts ceased, and the 1up show cancelled. So much for the best, brightest, and most trusted gaming news on the internet (and a good 5 hours of listening material per week).

In addition 40 1up/EGM employees were sacked in this buyout.

FUCK.

Developers Blogs/Podcasts

A lot of video game developers have been trying to be more open with fans. Being someone that is extremely interested in the goings on behind the scenes at developers, I’d love to see more. Some really good podcasts/blogs include Criterion Games [podcast], Insomniac Games [podcast], and until recently the Kojima Productions Report [podcast – now discontinued?]. Listening/Reading these, you can really tell that they care about not only marketing their game, but also the video game landscape in general. Insomniac Games Full Moon Show is fantastic. In addition to talking about Ratchet and Clank and now Resistance 2, they interview other developers and talk about the roles of various members of the team. They also talk about other games that they’ve been playing and are interested in. It’s great to see openness and honesty like that. In the end, it works as a marketing tool as well. I wasnt really interested in Resistance 2, but after hearing them talk about it, and how excited they are it made me at least want to see it in action and give it a shot.

It upsets me when you can tell that a developer starts a blog or podcast soley to push their wares. In some recent entries like the Team Fortress 2 blog, it seems like they are just hopping on the wagon in a kind of “us too” marketing effort to extend their game’s life. I mean, I love TF2, but they havent really posted anything for the past few days since the day of their blog’s release and it makes the blog seem kind of stupid and pointless. If you’re going to do a press release every 3 months Kotaku and Joystiq will cover it. You dont need a blog for that.

MGO Character Creator

We may not get the Beta till Friday, but that doesn’t mean we cant mentally put our characters together. This video shows the Metal Gear Online character creation in all its glory. It looks pretty awesome. Friday can’t come soon enough.

MGO Beta Delayed for US and EU

Well, Konami officially fucked up the MGO beta. Apparently the worldwide nature of the thing has caused their servers to collapse and as a result they are postponing the US and EU Beta till a date TBA. There should be an announcement tomorrow, concerning that. As a resuly the end date of the beta will be extended till May 11th.

We would like to thank all players for their keen interest in taking part in the beta test. However, we regret to inform you that due to extraordinary levels of traffic from all around the globe, we have been unable to run the service to the level we expected. As a temporary measure, we will be deferring the start of the US public beta test until we are able to stabilize our server. We would like to apologize for all inconveniences as well as confusion caused.”

Metal Gear Online – Where are you?

http://www.konami.jp/mgo/us/ is saying that the servers are up at midnight. Doesn’t specify if its talking about ET or PT, so I guess its just open speculation till it goes up. Ugh.

Meet the Scout

I love Team Fortress 2. FACT. I actually just stopped playing like 5  minutes ago. It was pretty awesome to see that there was a new “Meet the” video.  This time its the scout! Enjoy!

GT5:Prologue Interface Design

As a designer, when I play games I try to notice design elements that stand out as either overwhelmingly good or bad. On last week’s Full Moon Show, they had Jake Stones, the UI Designer from Insomniac Games (Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, etc…). He was talking about various things that go into interface design for modern videogames and it was all pretty interesting.

Yesterday I got GT5 and one of the first things that I noticed was how fantastic the interface is. From animation to ease of use, everything is wonderful. Even the use of descriptive icons is spot on. I know that a lot of UI designers feel like their work goes un-noticed, but man… GT5’s is real slick.

Metal Gear Online β Download Now Live

Metal Gear Online Beta

Thats right ladies and gents, the MGO Beta is now available for download. Its not just sitting on the store, though. To get it go to Account Management > Transaction Management > Redeem Playstation Card/Promotion Code. After this type in your beta key (It is case sensitive, so use caps where applicable).

The beta doesnt start till the 21st, so dont get your panties in a twist about downloading it right away. You have some time.

I put some more screens of the download screen after the jump.

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Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm

kakashi vs sasuke - Ultimate Ninja Storm

I’ve played a few Naruto games. Most of them are pretty bad. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm has at least the graphics going for it. From what I can glean from the trailer on Gametrailers.com the gameplay seems pretty cool as well, but this is an anime based videogame so that must be taken with a grain of salt.

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MGS4 Headset Real?

MGS Headset Math

A few days ago Kotaku posted a picture of a MGS4 themed headset. The renders of it didn’t look very real but a new post this morning suggests otherwise. The headset will be released on June 12th along with the game and retail for $60 USD. It comes with a carrying case, 8 hour talk time, auto shut-off, and a sweet MKII style design.

I’m still skeptical.

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Shawn Elliott Griefing Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qJ2e_ED56U

If you’ve ever listened to the GFW podcast one of the highlights is often Shawn Elliott and his stories about griefing people in online games. On Gaf today there was a link to some YouTube videos that hes posted up. This one was my favorite that I saw so far. Its in Team Fortress two and he is messing with some guys and trying to get a girl to talk to him. Pretty funny stuff. If you play TF2 and have 10 minutes check it out.

Note: There is an age verification thing on the youtube cause there is some swearing. Kiddies beware.