Taking a break from my continuing efforts to not suck at Guild Wars, i was lucky enough to snag a Closed Beta key for the upcoming MMO, APB. And whilst i would love to spill the beans and post endless streams of screenshots on Giant Bomb, part of the agreement for Beta access is a rather hefty NDA. The NDA forbids me from discussing gameplay, posting screenshots or posting videos anywhere but the games official forums.
But not wanting to leave Giant Bombers out of the loop, i can however simulate the APB experience via a series of specially commissioned artworks. I hope they give you a taste of what APB has to offer in the near future.
NDA Note: This image neither confirms nor denies the presence of guns, tattoos or hats within APB.
NDA Note: This image neither confirms nor denies the presence of women, cleavage, boobs, thighs or dresses in APB.
NDA Note: The above images neither confirm nor deny the presence of Police, Cars, shops, streets, business owners, the colour red, donuts or roads in APB.
NDA Note: The above image neither confirm nor denies the presence of cars, collisions, fire, explosions, purple, green or grey in APB.
Well i hope these images give you a taste of what's to come when APB hits the stores. Suffice to say the game is a lot of fun and worth checking out upon its release.
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Fresh on the heels of my frustration with Star Trek Online, i've decided to give Guild Wars another shot. I bought the game upon its release just over five years ago, and whilst it was okay it didnt grab my attention- at least not enough to break my then burgeoning WoW addiction. Since then it sat on my shelf gathering dust, until i moved house at which point the physical copy was given away to a charity shop - if anyone bought a copy from the Bebington branch of Oxfam, my apologies that the CD-key was already used.
So finding myself colossally bored this weekend, largely due to the apparent closure of my local Games Workshop (yes i am a geek), i've been fumbling around trying to find a game to peak my interest. I tried 'Lords of Ultima', EA's answer to 'Evony' sans the boob ads, and whilst initially entertaining, i quickly grew bored watching endless timers counting down. It was at this point an ad for Guild Wars caught my eye and i figured what the heck, i'll give it another try.
Day one of my re-entry into the world of Guild Wars consisted of downloading the latest version of the client followed by several hours of brainmelting frustration. You see in a bid to counter a wave of account stealing, NCSoft have added additional security to the game. This consists of the usual username and password with the new addition of entering the name of a character on your account. Now i have difficulty remembering what i've had for breakfast several hours later, so to say i was stumped is putting it mildly. I asked friends who i'd played with back when i first tried it to no avail, they couldn't remember either. I did internet searches, looking for old gamefaq posts i may have made. Finally just when i was about ready to smash my skull through my laptops screen i made a breakthrough. I remembered watching 'Crusade', the 'Babylon 5 spin-off, and liking the name of the captain, Gideon, so i was fairly sure that was part of it. A bit of trial and error and i was finally back in the game.
Day two was marginally more productive. Given i couldn't remember the names of my characters, let alone what quests i was doing and why, i decided to start again from scratch. I deleted all but one of my old characters, keeping all the fancy-pants birthday pets on that character, and ventured into the character creation screen. First choice was whether to go PvE or PvP. From what i could remember Guild Wars PvP is largely arena based. Given my old school noobness i figured it would be best to avoid that side of the game for now, there is only so many insults my fragile ego can take before i give up and go and cry myself to sleep. So PvE it was.
Next was a screen to choose which part of the game i'd be playing, which raised the question - when the feth did the original Guild Wars storyline get named Prophecies? Anyway that confusion aside it was now time to choose my class, and customise my avatar.
Guild Wars' character creation is somewhere between WoW and Cryptics standard. You get a bit of choice, but not a lot really. The warrior, my chosen class, is a fairly standard meatheaded looking guy, the only real choice is how cross-eyed he is and what skin tone.I settled on the handsome devil below The rest of Day two consisted of me running around the start area, trying not to be distracted by the various jumping, spinning new characters surrounding me, and cracking on with the story. Guild Wars boasts a rather in-depth story, closer to a single player RPG rather than the standard WoW influenced MMO fare. The graphics are also less nauseatingly cartoony than WoW and i must stay have held up well considering the massive gulf in time since i last played.
Day Three, today's adventures, continued my efforts to evolve beyond being a noob and to advance my character a tad. I figured i'd best join a guild too, since the games name kinda gives away their importance.
Thankfully a nice fellow named Defasco took pity on my and invited me to [TUFF], a fairly large guild with an alliance with several others. Guild Wars seems to still boast a sizable, active population which is surprising really given the length of time it's been around. Perhaps i am just pessimistic after the dismal spattering of players that Star Trek Online boasted. Either way [TUFF] have made me quite welcome, which i rather appreciate. So thus ends my Guild Wars-ing so far, i'm endeavouring to battle my way through the original storyline before investing in one of the expansions. If anyone feels like joining me, just look for a warrior named Absalom Stern running into mid-sized rock piles as i forget yet again that you can't jump in GW. 25 Comments
For the last couple of month's i've given Star Trek Online a spin. As a former trekkie the idea of a Star Trek MMORPG was rather enticing so i promptly nipped out to buy a copy upon release.
For those who are unaware, Star Trek Online was created by Cryptic and published by Atari after a couple of years in development. Prior to STO i hadn't had much experience with Cryptic products beyond a 14-day trial of their old superhero MMO, City of Heroes.
So my initial impressions of STO were fairly favourable. The game has a decent space combat system, but its rather shallow and the ground combat is rather appalling. The advertised Klingon faction was little more than a placeholder. But i thought hey, give it time and i'm sure Cryptic is working on getting things just right. Sadly i was wrong.
Cryptic announced a Season 1 update that would remedy some of the content issues. Unfortunately this is apparently marketing speak for "going to add a bunch of micro-transaction fluff and 1 (thats 1) new mission". Naturally this was somewhat of a disappointment. And then came the announcement that not only was Season 1 comprised largely of microtransaction junk, Lifetime Subscribers would be receiving their own unique location within the game as well as several other rewarding bits of fluff.
Now my first reaction was "what the ****?" The game is in desperate need of content and the dev's waste time making areas accessible by less than 5% of their playerbase. So i did a little searching, a little arguing on the forums if i'm honest and found an interesting little tid-bit. It would appear that Cryptic will receive a substantial bonus if they bring in enough cash within the first few months after release. Suddenly it became clear exactly what Cryptic was up to with their "gift" for Lifetimers. They have no intention of rewarding them for their faith, they instead want to entice more people to waste 300 bucks on a Lifetime account so they can reach this sales goal and get their nice juicy bonus. Monthly subscribers in the meantime would be left out in the cold.
If this were not enough, Cryptic then chose to patronise anyone who complained with a nice little story about cupcakes and lawn-mowing. Which naturally got my goat up. So i headed over to the account button and cancelled. I did however have a couple of weeks left on my account time so i've stuck around on the forums and managed to witness yet another cock up by Cryptic.
In a rather astounding move, Cryptic have gone against the opinion of the majority of their playerbase and introduced a player council of sorts. Rather than have said representatives elected they instead appointed several individuals as Councillors. Whilst not the best idea in my opinion, its their game so why not. But then in an incredible display of incompetence it became apparent that Cryptic had chosen to link the personal blog of one of the councillors to the Front Page of the STO website, a personal blog filled to bursting with obscenity upon obscenity (and with absolutely no warning that the site was unsuitable for minors, who are likely to visit the site given the games 12+ rating).
The forums naturally erupted into flames, complaint after complaint about how inappropriate this site was and what the feth it was doing appearing on the Front Page of the website. Not only that but after the fact it has emerged that Cryptic didnt even ask the poor individuals permission prior to posting the link. So this poor person who curses like a sailor, but did nothing except ask to help Cryptic has been on the receiving end of a heap of abuse, the forums have been filled with outrage and yet Cryptic has done nothing. They only removed the link after the owner themselves requested it be taken down. And this is what will kill STO in the end. The game has the potential to be great, i honestly believe it does. But the incompetence of Cryptic will be its downfall. Less than 10 seconds on that bloggers site would have revealed how utterly inappropriate it was, yet it is apparent they could not be bothered. And with this level of laziness i would not trust them with my money, and dear none existent readers neither should you.