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World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

Blizzard's sending a seriously cool gift to World of Warcraft's ten-year subscribers

A replica of its headquarters' statue
Jan 19
// Brett Makedonski
A decade is a decent stretch of time by any account, but it's an especially long time to routinely play an MMO. Blizzard wants to recognize the dedication of the select few players that have stuck by World of Warcraft si...
H1Z1 kerfuffle photo
H1Z1 kerfuffle

Sony Online offered H1Z1 refunds after pay-to-win complaints

'No questions asked'
Jan 19
// Steven Hansen
H1Z1, Sony Online Entertainment's bizarrely-named version of DayZ, was the center of a kerfuffle over the weekend that didn't even have to do with the game not working at its Early Access launch. Rather, the community le...
H1Z1 photo

H1Z1 community feels that the game is pay-to-win despite being told it wouldn't be

The developers refute the claims
Jan 16
// Brett Makedonski
H1Z1, Sony Online Entertainment's zombie apocalypse survival simulator, has recently come under fire from its own community. On the day of its Early Access launch, many who had eagerly tracked the game's development for month...
Neverwinter photo

Neverwinter Xbox One Closed Beta starts in February, sign up now!

Is Neverwinter about living in Los Angeles?
Jan 15
// Mike Cosimano
If you've got an Xbox One and have been hankering to play the Dungeons and Dragons MMO Neverwinter on a console, you might want to go ahead and register for the Xbox One closed beta. Registration begins today and the beta wil...
FFXIV photo
Maybe you should think about playing it now?
Final Fantasy XIV is gearing up for its new massive 2.5 update, called "Before the Fall." The patch will be broken up into two parts. The first of which will drop next week with extra main scenario quests, boss fights, ...

Weekly resets photo
Weekly resets

What do you think of 'weekly resets' in online games?

Tuesday is the best/worst day
Dec 25
// Chris Carter
Many, many MMOs and other such online games (Destiny) have weekly "reset" periods. They usually take place on a Tuesday, and allow you earn raid loot and weekly quest rewards again, as well as earn whatever tokens or currency...
Transformers Universe photo
Transformers Universe

Jagex and Hasbro terminate Transformers MMO

Turning attention to its own properties
Dec 16
// Brett Makedonski
We never got a chance to see if there was more than meets the eye with Transformers Universe; Jagex and Hasbro shut down the free-to-play MMO today while it was still in beta. The move isn't entirely unexpected, as it may hav...
Onigiri photo

MMORPG Onigiri coming to PS4, Xbox One in 2015

It's about oni slaying, not rice balls, by the way
Dec 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Onigiri is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One across North America and Europe in early 2015, developer CyberStep confirmed with Windows Central. The free-to-play MMORPG draws inspiration from Japanese mythology, t...
FXIV photo

Final Fantasy XIV deploys marriage patch this week

Same-sex marriage included
Dec 10
// Chris Carter
Want to get married in Final Fantasy XIV? Now is your time. The Ceremony of Eternal Bonding is now live, and to get married, all you have to do is submit an application on the Mog Station portal. Up to 80 guests can attend, ...
Black Desert photo
Black Desert

Korean MMO Black Desert releasing in North America and Europe next year

Dec 05
// Jordan Devore
Oh, good -- another chance to talk about Black Desert and reuse this Tom Cruisian image. The cool-looking MMORPG and its remarkable character creator will be available to North American and European audiences in 2015, develo...
FFXIV PS4 upgrade photo
FFXIV PS4 upgrade

That PS3 to PS4 upgrade program for FFXIV has been extended

Into 2015
Dec 03
// Chris Carter
In an effort to bring more people into the current era of consoles, Square Enix offered a special program that would allow players to upgrade their PS3 copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to the PS4. This process w...
Black Desert photo
Black Desert

That Korean MMORPG with the spectacular character creator has the best smiles

Oh my god, this is great
Dec 02
// Jordan Devore
Black Desert may never see a release in the West, but that's not going to stop me from geeking out over its extensive character creator, perhaps the best I've ever encountered. Actually, scratch that qualifier. Now that I've...
Project HON trailer photo
Project HON trailer

Project HON's mech combat trailer is amazing and confusing

Mecha got a booty like DAYAM
Nov 25
// Nic Rowen
I wish everyday started with over 20 minutes of gorgeous mech combat. Project HON's impressively long trailer includes everything you could ask for from a game inspired by mecha anime: senseless destruction, giant guns, metal fisticuffs, weaponized grappling hooks, and transforming robots. Best breakfast viewing ever.
Good looking trailer photo
Good looking trailer

Korean MMO seems to outdo recent JRPGs

JRPGs getting out-JRPG'd by KRPGs
Nov 20
// Steven Hansen
Just aesthetically, Peria Chronicles looks better than all these budget, tropefest JRPGs that fill time between Persona installments. And it's more impressive when you realize that this is a (Korean) MMO with ...
World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft back up to 10 million subs after expansion release

Go go Warlords of Draenor
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
I have been heartily enjoying the new Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft. It evokes feelings of the franchise that are more classic in nature, which is a great thing for those of you out there who didn't...
WoW photo

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is worth subscribing for again

Better than Mists
Nov 17
// Chris Carter
I've been playing World of Warcraft off and on since it launched in 2004, but the Burning Crusade expansion came at the perfect time in my life. Throughout the years I've been dabbling in the other expansions, ...

Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.4)

Nov 10 // Chris Carter
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer:  Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month, with a free PS3-to-PS4 license transfer) Released: August 27, 2013 (PC, PS3) / April 14, 2014 (PS4) Things have changed since my last review update with patch 2.4. Now, I'm not only a level 50 Ninja, I'm also item level 108. Before I get to how Ninja works in the current endgame meta, I'll talk a bit about the journey from Rogue to level 50. Simply put, I was surprised at how well Rogues and Ninjas function in the overall world of A Realm Reborn. The game's director noted how a "Thief" class wouldn't apply, and I can easily see that now after playing through the new class story. I enjoyed the whole pirate feel of the Rogue arc, and the complete turn with Ninja. The narrative is built in such a way to make you believe ninjas have been around this whole time, quietly watching everyone in Eorzea. After reaching level 30, you're on your way into this completely new world and are able to see the realm in a completely new way. It was probably the most enjoyable class questline I've played, and I have roughly half of the game's jobs at max level. So how was the process? Well, it was mixed. Like I said before, the queues for dungeons are horrendous. It's odd that Square Enix decided to release a dps class so early, without one tank or healer class to offset it. [embed]283551:56271:0[/embed] Yes, a Dark Knight tank job and presumably a healer will arrive in the expansion next year, but saving the ninja for later and adding a much-needed class now would have made queues better. Having said that, I've never had as much fun FATE grinding as I had leveling my Ninja. Everyone was friendly, and it's a riot to see 24+ Ninjas rip apart a FATE boss, running around the world using Mudra magic. FATEs are still a viable method of leveling, so while dungeon queues were a bummer, the worldwide comradery of leveling out in the world made me like the community that much more. Endgame content with the Ninja is a blast. Not only does it have a few perks like a teleport and an inherently faster move speed, but it also has a ton of full party buffs that make it worth taking up a coveted raid slot. The class can help restore the TP for one party member, it can constantly debuff enemies, and it can either stun or silence as needed on a swappable ability. The Ninja is absolutely worth playing and a ton of fun in my tests, but it presents one extra problem that hasn't quite been addressed yet. From what I've seen in many static groups, the Ninja meshes well with the Monk, and completely replaces the need for a Dragoon. As a Dragoon player who has multiple jobs over item level 100 I'm safe, but career Dragoons will likely not enjoy the current meta -- in fact, I've already seen a ton of them jump ship, and my static will likely prefer my Ninja going forward. Hopefully Square Enix will address this, but it's good news for prospective Ninjas. In terms of the other new changes, the new Poetics tome feels grindier as a whole than the grind in patch 2.3. Expert dungeon runs are currently the best way to earn Poetics, and Square Enix has taken away many of the other viable methods like Hunts. Hunts are abysmally slow, as only S rank hunts give a measly 10 Poetic tomes. I wish the company had added more ways to gain the new tome even if it was at a slower rate, because dungeon grinding is something I was glad to be rid of in 2.3. Thankfully, all three new dungeons are still fun to run. I love all the boss encounters (especially the Mummy King and the Yeti), and the actual aesthetics and new musical accompaniments are among my favorites. The other piece of the puzzle that I haven't covered yet is the Extreme version of the Shiva fight. After a full week my static and I have it on farm status. It's much more fun than Ramuh overall, and people seem to like doing the encounter more. There are more learning groups out there than there were for Ramuh, and the gear itself is a lot more valuable. This is a tank-centric fight that keeps everyone on their toes without requiring as much as Ramuh did; Shiva is how EX Primal fights should be going forward. From what I've seen of Final Coil so far it looks like a natural ramp-up from the first and second wings, which is great for players who are all about conquering endgame. I'll need much more time to give a full verdict, but all of the groups I play with seem to enjoy the challenge. Other changes include more housing wards, and a higher Atma drop rate. These two things alone should please long-term fans who had issues with those concepts. It's nice to see Square Enix fix multiple facets of the game, and not just go and add new content on top of problems. This is the major reason why I continue to play A Realm Reborn. While I would have preferred a tank or healing class instead of a dps addition this year, as well as a few more meaningful tweaks to the new tome system, the fact remains that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is still worth playing. Newcomers will have a ton of fun playing a new class alongside all of the new Ninjas, and hardcore fans have much to look forward to with a new Coil to conquer. Although 2.5 seems much more interesting in terms of variety, 2.4 is still enough to keep me interested.
FFXIV patch 2.4 review photo
Dreams of Ice
The prospect of playing as a Ninja again in Final Fantasy excited me. After working my way up to level 50 in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the class ended up having so much style and substance that it changed t...

FFXIV photo

Player-created Turks event in FFXIV: Just another reason why I love MMOs

Awesome idea
Nov 07
// Chris Carter
MMOs usually have official "events" that are designed to get players to log in and play after extended periods of disinterest. They tend to involve holiday festivities of some sort, or in the case of some games, they make up ...

Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.4)

Oct 29 // Chris Carter
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $39.99 ($12.99 per month, with a free PS3-to-PS4 license transfer) Released: August 27, 2013 (PC, PS3) / April 14, 2014 (PS4) Let's start with the new class -- Rogue, which eventually works its way into Ninja at level 30. Currently I'm level 25, hustling through the leveling process mostly solo, which won't be all that fun for a lot of people. As most of the playerbase expected, low-level dungeon queues for DPS are awful. As in, at least an hour, sometimes multiple hours long if you want to enter a dungeon as a Rogue/Ninja. I've only been able to go on a few dungeon runs in general, and though they yielded decent experience, you're quickly thrown back to the real world where FATE farming is once again the most effective way to level. I'm enjoying the process and the community mostly, but it's odd that Square Enix didn't already see the DPS queue problem currently and put out the Dark Knight tank class or new healing class now to ensure smooth queues. The prospect of a Ninja might be fun, but it also might take you a while before the storm calms. As for the class itself, Rogue is fun, but I haven't unlocked the Mudra abilities that come with Ninja yet or anything substantial. Funnily enough with a few cross-class abilities from Monk and Lancer attached, the rotation of the Rogue is damn close to every physical DPS in the game up to level 30. Mudras will severely mix things up with combination magic attacks, but right now, the "Mug" (extra chance to loot from enemies) and "Goad" (extra TP for one party member) powers aren't all that interesting. Stay tuned as I unlock Ninja and deliver a final verdict. A new patch also means a new storyline, and this time the entire narrative is focused on Shiva. You'll trek across familiar territory like Coerthas as you attempt to solve the mystery of a traitor in your ranks, and also do battle with the empire in your quest to unlock the new dungeon (Snowcloak), and the Shiva Hard Mode and Extreme encounters. Once again the extra expansion story is par for the course -- a means to an end, but well crafted and a fun way to do some world building. Strictly in terms of the Hard Mode side of things, I think Shiva is easily the best Primal in the game. It's an engaging fight atop a beautiful icy arena, and of course, she snaps her fingers for Diamond Dust, changing the theme song dynamically during the fight. The new theme is not only fitting, but it's probably one of my favorite tracks in the game so far. Shiva has a lot of personality and was a perfect choice for Final Fantasy XIV. Most of the playerbase will be hacking away at the Extreme mode (EX) long term, and I found that to be highly intuitive as well. My static group had roughly an hour to get a learning party together, and the new mechanics therein are much more manageable than Ramuh before it. Where Square Enix made a mistake is making Ramuh require so much coordination that the encounter begged for voice chat, or players familiar with one another and a specific method to clear it. Shiva EX can be done just by learning the ins and outs of the fight, and taking care of business on your end. It's a welcome EX that I think will outlast Ramuh by a longshot (it grants i110 weapons and i120 accessories). Three new dungeons also enter the mix -- Snowcloak, Satasha Hard Mode, and The Sunken Temple of Qarn Hard Mode (the latter of which is cleverly introduced by a quest called "The Wrath of Qarn"). Square Enix is getting better at dungeon design over time, and these three feel like the most streamlined yet. For the most part, all of them are smash-and-grab-the-loot affairs, with interesting boss fights peppered in. The highlights include a mummy king boss (my personal favorite), which forces players to dodge rows of angry mummy enemies running toward you, lest you get turned into a member of their ranks for a limited time. The Yeti in Snowcloak is another standout, which lets you use his ice breath against him to turn his minions into snowballs and smack them back at his face. You'll have to get used to dungeons too, because they're the fastest way to earn Poetics -- the new Tomestone currency used to buy item level 120 gear (which is upgraded in the new raid, Final Coil of Bahamut). While the dungeons are fun, I'm starting to feel that 2.2 grind again for Tomestones before hunts and other fun activities came along. Hunts no longer grant the highest level token, and thus Poetics must be earned the old-school way -- roulettes and dungeons. It's not the end of the world but I've seen hunts die out at nearly all hours of the day -- people will likely only group up for S ranks now. The Hildibrand storyline is back, and features fan favorites Ultros and Typon (Chupon). It's yet another short hour-long affair, and culminates in a duo boss battle with the two baddies in an arena. As expected it's comical in nature, and the fight is balanced so that casual players can complete it. It's also added to the new Trials roulette. Personally I thought it was a pretty cool nod to fans, even if it wasn't as exciting as the Gilgamesh battle. There's also the business of Final Coil, which I probably won't conquer anytime soon as I'm not in a world-first guild at the moment. Once I have a chance to experience it I'll likely provide some thoughts, post-review. So far I don't think I've enjoyed 2.4 as much as 2.2 and 2.3, but the core game is still intact and remains fantastic. The amount of support Final Fantasy XIV has received is staggering, and players will have even more to do once 2.4's mini-patches arrive. Stay tuned as I work on Shiva EX and unlock the Ninja before I give a full verdict.
FFXIV patch 2.4 review photo
Dreams of Ice
I still can't believe Square Enix salvaged the original Final Fantasy XIV. I mean, it had the guts to make the game a core entry, so I'm glad the studio reworked it into A Realm Reborn -- this whole saga is just really i...

Final Fantasy XIV photo
Final Fantasy XIV

Celebrate Halloween in Final Fantasy XIV with 'All Saints' Wake'

Holiday rewards
Oct 20
// Chris Carter
Do you like witch hats? Well you're in luck if you play Final Fantasy XIV, as the "All Saints' Wake" event is starting today. From October 20 to November 3, you can start up a short questline to earn some extra costume items....
FFXIV photo

Final Fantasy XIV's new 'Heavensward' expansion looks really badass

Loving that new armor
Oct 18
// Chris Carter
Live at the Final Fantasy XIV Fanfest event in Las Vegas, Square Enix revealed the newest expansion for the game, titled Heavensward. It's due out in spring 2015, and a number of details have been given as to what to ex...
Shiva photo

Shiva does her thing in the debut trailer for Final Fantasy XIV's 'Dreams of Ice' update

Patch 2.4
Oct 17
// Chris Carter
Square Enix is gearing up for the release of Final Fantasy XIV's patch 2.4, titled "Dreams of Ice." As expected it will feature Shiva as the new badass Primal encounter, with the new storyline leading up to her rise. Th...
FFXIV photo

Square Enix releasing Final Fantasy XIV Game of the Year edition

Wow a game that actually won some Game of the Year awards
Oct 14
// Chris Carter
On November 14th, Square Enix will release a "Game of the Year" edition for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It comes with a lot of physical goodies, including a printed book and five art cards. On the digital side it ...
Old Republic Revan photo
Old Republic Revan

The Old Republic welcomes Darth Revan back by way of DLC

The expansion is $19.99
Oct 07
// Chris Carter
You remember Darth Revan? Well he's back! In DLC form! BioWare has announced that an upcoming DLC will feature the classic Revan character from KOTOR in The Old Republic. It'll arrive on December 9th, priced at $19....
Free Guild Wars 2 photo
Free Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is throwing a free trial week soon

September 25 - October 1
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
On Thursday, ArenaNet will kick off a week-long trial for Guild Wars 2. You'll be able to play the MMORPG for free from 12:00am Pacific on September 25 until 11:59pm Pacific on October 1. Trial accounts can be opened ahead of...
Blizzard cancels MMO photo
Blizzard cancels MMO

Blizzard kills off Titan seven years into development

'Blizzard's news tightens titan's noose' - Max Scoville
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
Blizzard's next massively multiplayer game, Titan, was never announced, but the company has spoken about the project off and on these past several years. Here's another update: the game has been canceled -- "it didn't come to...
FFXIV photo

Final Fantasy XIV's new TGS trailer features Shiva

Also, other new content
Sep 22
// Chris Carter
Later this year (hopefully in October), Final Fantasy XIV is getting a new major update. As patch 2.4, it's called "Dreams of Ice," and will feature Shiva as the core focus. Additional content includes three new dungeon...
Star Trek Online photo
Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online goes to the Delta Quadrant in October

To Boldly Go Where Captain Janeway Went Before
Sep 19
// Josh Tolentino
Get your replicator rations ready, folks, because Star Trek Online is about to get itself catapulted by weird aliens to the Delta Quadrant, which was last visited in the 1990's by the Star Trek: Voyager TV series. ...
In Real Life photo
In Real Life

Not-Review: In Real Life

A beautiful look at MMO psychology, relationships and economics
Sep 18
// Jonathan Holmes
First Second is quickly becoming one of the best small press comic publishers, especially for those who like videogames. Their Glorkian Warrior book and corresponding videogame are both delightful in their own right, though n...

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