Monthly Archives: July 2012

City of Steam Alpha Weekend Round 2

City of Steam Alpha Weekend Round 2

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist



Another wonderful weekend of City of Steam Alpha has come and gone. This was the weekend of the Elven Elite. Even though I could have rolled up another Human if I wanted to I decided to go for a Riven and I’m glad I did. Her entire look was completely out of place in the dirty starting zone that is the Refuge. Her wavy blonde hair made her easier to find for my partner in crime this weekend. This weekend I introduced my youngest brother to City of Steam, though we didn’t play as much as we would have liked to since he was playing on a laptop with no mouse, resulting in some tough controls to utilize. But he will be ready for next weekend and is already asking me how much longer he has to wait.



There are two Elven races, the Riven and the Draug. Both races scream money, prestige, and haughty views of the ‘lesser’ races in typical Elven fashion. Despite this though I will more than likely end up making a Riven when the game goes live. Why? I love beauty. And they are beautiful people. Almost the sort of put it behind glass so no one touches it kind of beauty.



At this point I’ve played 3 of the four classes. This weekend I was a Channeler and I think to date it is my least favorite. Not because it’s bad, but because it isn’t really my style. It looks great though. Admittedly I think I may be a bit biased because I found a class I really love. I’m not sure anything will compare now. I’m talking about the Gunner. Specifically the Gunner with a two handed weapon. Why is it my favorite? Well besides the fact that you look like a complete bad ass holding one, it is easy to use and powerful. During my sneak peak I got to play the Warder. I couldn’t really decide on one weapon type with my Warder and switched it around every other fight. But it was a lot of fun to play and you really felt like you were doing damage. So that leaves one more class to play. And lucky for me and you readers there is one weekend left to do it.



After noticing that most of the armor and weapons that were dropping were useless for me I decided to take a closer look at the marketplace. It was explained to me during the sneak peek that things would fall that you couldn’t use because they want to have a steady and widely used marketplace. And wow is it used! You can’t access it until level 4 but that is a pretty easy level to get to and it means when you do go use it the first time you have things you can sell. It works much like any other marketplace in any other game. Though if you plan on buying things make sure you have money. Things aren’t cheap. I could certainly see myself spending an hour or two every day playing around on the marketplace earning my fortunes though.



In City of Steam there are a few ways to get around. On the surface it looks like your choices are walk or take the train, and for the majority of your travel that is true. I’ve mentioned before the different ways to get around on foot. Wander aimlessly, use a sign to take you exactly where you want to go or use the quest tracker. You can also take the train which unlocks different zones as you gain levels. I use the train whenever I can because they went through the extra steps to make it feel real. You don’t just wander up and click on the train to use it. You talk to the ticket machine which will tell you what options are open for you. There are announcements on the platform. It feels like a real train station. There is also a short range teleportation device outside of the Refuge which admittedly I haven’t used yet because other than exploring, I haven’t ventured out of Refuge. Sometimes it’s good to restrain yourself in a new MMO as I don’t want to play the whole game in Alpha and not have anything left to do when the game comes out properly.



This week I only noticed a few changes. They all dealt with the tutorial and start up of the game. When you first start up City of Steam you get this beautiful fly over of the city. It has lovely music that plays during the whole thing. But as I discovered during my sneak peek if you’re trying to talk to someone on Skype at the same time you can’t hear anything but music. It was loud and there were no settings to turn it down or off even. Well that has changed. During the flyover there is now a setting bar letting you play around with video and audio settings. There were also some new instructions in the tutorial explaining how to do things which may not seem completely obvious.



Mechanist are really going all out with these alpha weekends. And with just one more weekend left I’m not sure how I’m going to find the time to try out everything. If you’re interested in giving City of Steam a try this weekend OnRPG, has teamed up with Mechanist to offer Alpha keys. Alternatively you can sign up for the City of Steam newsletter. This weekend coming up I’ll be wandering around on Leliah. So if you see me say hi! I don’t bite. Often.

SWTOR Going Free this Fall

SWTOR Going Free this Fall



Though not totally unexpected after recent reports, it now appears official that Star Wars The Old Republic will be adopting a new business model this coming fall. Subscribers prior to August 1st and especially Collector’s Edition purchasers will receive bonus rewards as thanks for their dedication to the game. New players will be able to play for free in the future as well as purchase extra goodies from what is being called the “Cartel Market.” Though information is still limited, you can check out the new free teaser page to catch a glimpse of some of the upcoming content being added, or head over to the FAQ to see exactly how this may impact you.

Faithless is He: Momentum

Faithless is He: Momentum

By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist




Today is the day! Today Issue 1: Unleashed is released for The Secret World.



Waiting for fans and fanatics is an update with bug fixes, new missions and new investigations all begging to be sampled and solved.



Today is also a very telling day for Funcom, Ragnar and the team who have all put in such hard work on The Secret World. Today is the first update, true. However there have been hints spread around by the developers and by Ragnar himself about what more is to come.



The most important part of that all is that it is coming. When, to my mind, is immaterial. Momentum is what we want nowadays.



Vibrant Worlds

It is safe to say that RIFT and Trion Worlds have something in common with The Secret World and Funcom. Sadly it isn’t the other worldly portals, but I will admit a part of me is terrified to think what would happen to Telara if Norwegians were unleashed upon it. Both games, both companies, both worlds have a sense of moving on and of actual time passing. Not merely the time marked by seasonal mini events dressed up so that they aren’t quite Christmas or Valentines, but a feeling that the world is moving around you.



It is that sensation of a constant vibrant world that we have missed for so long and that sensation is what I think will carry The Secret World and more into the future. You can rest assured, completely assured, in the knowledge that new content is only a month away. If they can keep the pace, and so far I have not heard anything that implies that they cannot, then you will forever be only a month away from something more. New missions, new stories, new outfits and weapons, and all the other items that make up the experience online are all surely on the way.



The feeling of the living world is its own special attraction. Look away and you might miss something. Stay in Agartha and your story only gets richer.



Picking up the Pacing

It’s not all going to be little instalments of course. Already Ragnar Tornquist has been laying hints here and there about Auxiliary Weapons and new areas. Piecemeal content by itself would hardly be enough to get excited about, but the confirmation that the game will continue being expanded in various ways is something worth perking up for.



It has been repeated many times by the team that they have a broad story laid out for us over the coming months and years.



There will always be people who speed through things. I wish them well and would never presume to tell them how to play. I know there are people listed on the Chronicle who have maximised their skill points and filled their skill wheel. That’s quite an achievement and makes me look rather slack in comparison. After all I have only just entered Egypt in The Secret World and still am slowly plodding away at my skills.



However you play though, we’ll all get more as time goes on. The steady drumbeat of monthly content is fantastic but it is the higher peaks that will catch people’s attention. New zones, new weapons and a skill wheel that seems made for expansion and modification.




This all sounds grand but some things need to be experienced by oneself to be truly appreciated. Previously we had a buddy code sitting encrypted at the end of an article here, this time around though there are no such hoops to jump through.



Do you want to play The Secret World? This weekend you can.



Head to the official site and sign up for the celebration on the right hand side of the page. Any previous beta testers will have their accounts re-enabled and any new and curious visitors can sign up for the free weekend and start downloading the game.



The generosity is quite simply part of the celebration. Here we are a month after launch, new content sitting in our laps and more to come in the next few weeks. Ragnar and team have promised more details on the new zones and weapons soon. There may well be something coming from Gamescom in two weeks time and of course will be there to find out everything for you.

OnRPG Shotgun News 7/31: E3, Maplestory, and Maestia

OnRPG Shotgun News 7/31: E3, Maplestory, and Maestia

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist



E3 to Stay in Los Angeles

The ESA has confirmed that Los Angeles will remain the hosts of E3 at least for the next three years. There was some speculation that E3 would move after rumors surfaced that the LA Convention Center where E3 is held would be demolished and replaced by a sports arena. This is of course great news here at OnRPG as we still hold the home court advantage on future coverage of the venue!



The Last Summer Update Comes To MapleStory


This has been a summer of updates for MapleStory. The most recent update “Fight for Azwan” is the final update for the summer. It introduces a new party and solo PvE mode where players are recapturing the city of Azwan. It has four levels of difficulty; Easy, Normal, Hard and Hell. In addition there are new timed game modes which reward experience and Azwan coins which can be traded for items in the new Azwan shop.



Maestia Officially Launches in the US

After a brief event filled beta test, Gravity Interactive has decided to push forward and fully launch Maestia stateside. To celebrate the launch of the cash shop, they have implemented a rare monster that will drop tickets redeemable for prizes, some of which are normally only obtained in the cash shop! The Summer Festival is now also in full swing so get to collecting tickets to redeem some sweet prizes.



But the biggest update of all is the introduction of hybrid PvPvE zones in which players can farm freely during the day, but take part in epic night battles ranging anywhere from 30 vs 30 to 80 vs 80!

The Secret World Issue #1: Unleashed is Now Live

The Secret World “Issue #1: Unleashed” Now Live


The Secret World


Today Funcom launched the first content update for The Secret World, bringing new experiences to the recently launched modern-day massively multiplayer online of myths, legends and conspiracies. The update, called Issue #1: Unleashed, is the first of many updates – or Issues – that are part of Funcom’s ambitious monthly update plan where the company will bring one major content update to the game once every month.



Issue #1: Unleashed introduces several new elements to the game, including several new investigation missions – Funcom’s unique and innovative take on MMO questing. Players will now also be able to use the marketplace, a brand new, cross-dimensional feature allowing players to sell, trade and ship items to other players, no matter what dimension they are playing on. For more information about Issue #1: Unleashed and what it contains, please see the information article on the official website.


The Secret World


New players play for FREE this weekend!

This weekend – from August 3rd at 4pm GMT until August 6th at 7am GMT – Funcom and all our players will be celebrating that The Secret World has been live for one whole month! During this time, ANYONE can register and try out The Secret World for FREE! Just register using the form found on the right-side of the official website’s front page, download the game and you’re off!



Have a beta account? Play for FREE this weekend!

This offer also extends to everyone with an inactive The Secret World account. Any player, who has an type of The Secret World account, may join the weekend celebration! Early Access, Inactive Accounts and Beta Accounts may all join in. Just log back into your account during the celebration weekend and play!



Fireworks and an exclusive challenge!

To fuel the celebrations this weekend, Funcom is also giving away in-game fireworks to everyone – up to 15 per character! And not only that, players will also be tasked with a special challenge this weekend: complete 30 in-game missions to help those in need and receive a special in-game t-shirt as well as 1200 bonus points that can be used in the in-game store! During the celebration weekend there will also be a special leaderboard showing the top 100 mission-solvers in the game!

C9 Review: Action-Based MMORPG

Continent of the Ninth Seal Review: Action Based MMORPG

By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist



Continent of the Ninth Seal or C9 for short is the latest MMO to be released by Webzen. C9 lets players play as the heroes of the Glenheim continent to fight against Nefer and hope to stop him from opening the gate of the other world to summon his followers. Monsters are beginning to come into the world because of the fracture in the gateway and players must help to prevent Nefer from destroying the seal protecting the gate.


Sporting my new cash shop set

The game plays like an action MMO similar to other action MMOs on the market such as Vindictus and Dragon Nest. The controls are very well done by being precise and allowing easy control of your character. Like other games, the dungeons for quests and grinding are all instanced. Everyone feels differently about instanced dungeons as they come with their own advantages and disadvantages. I personally do not like the idea of instanced dungeons in C9. While they do allow players to play without having to worry about areas being crowded, instanced dungeons and areas take away the feeling of working and playing with thousands of other people on the server.



You are still able to join instanced dungeons with a party but this feature limits the number of people you meet and encounter during your battles. It all depends on the player but I wish the dungeons were not instanced.



Apart from being instanced, these dungeons are not too bad. While they are generic and simple in design, they let the player experience fast-paced killing sprees that culminate in often challenging boss fights; they are fun, and that is what matters.


Wendigo Taskmaster is down!

The dungeons also feature an interesting invasion system which helps makes the majority of instanced content feel a bit more open. Players above level 25 can invade other players’ instances and receive rewards if they are successful in killing the players. The privilege to invade must be enabled by the instance hosts and provides additional EXP bonuses, with risk comes reward.



In these dungeons a lot of time will be spent finishing quests by any of the four classes: fighter, hunter, shaman and witchblade. Being a player that prefers to take out enemies from afar, I personally like to play the hunter, but these four classes offer enough choice for all kinds of play styles. For information on all the classes feel free to check out Webzen’s guide.



From my own personal experience, I have found the questing system to be nothing special. It is just like the average MMO and gives you simple quests such as clearing dungeons, talking to NPCs and killing specific enemies. There is even a built-in route guiding system which allows players to easily locate where they must go to complete the quests. I am normally against this system as it takes away from the immersion experience but I find it to be reasonable in C9 as the game is already instanced and this system helps to find your way around town.



The skills in the game are nicely designed and animated alongside a decent skilling system. It is much like other MMOs where skills have level requirements and require points to be trained but the interface to learn them is quite neat. This window is accessed by talking to your personal class trainer and features a very handy preview window. This feature is very simple but at the same time it is a nice addition which allows users to preview skills before training them either through video or NPC demonstrations. I feel like this feature should be present in all MMOs to allow players to know what they are training without having to actually try it out. If you do feel that you have trained your skills inefficiently, you can purchase a skill reset from the Cash Shop to start over.


Looking into my future skills

Talking about the cash shop, it has always been one of the main factors for deciding on which free to play MMO to play. I have asked around amongst my higher level friends about the state of the cash shop and have received positive responses. The items from the cash shop do give stats but my friends seem to think they are not imbalanced.



The feature that I love and look for in all MMOs is player versus player combat and C9 does not disappoint. Being an action based MMORPG, the PvP relies on player skill instead of simply determining the outcome of fights based on time invested into player gear.



There are many types of PvP matches available in the C9 arena including Ranked PvP, Relay Matches, Deathmatches, Team Match and PvP Training. All of these modes are won by players killing each other but I hope future updates will include PvP matches offering additional objectives alongside the typical player killing.


Running a high level dungeon

Ever since the beta of the foreign version of C9 I have seen screenshots of C9 in our massive screenshot thread over at our forums. I was always impressed by the graphics for a F2P MMO but was disappointed when I loaded up the game. It might have just been the smaller size of images in the screenshot thread but when the game is player full screen at 1920×1080 it does not amaze me.



Don’t get me wrong, the graphics are nice for a F2P MMO but I was disappointed as I had expected much higher quality after seeing the screenshots. The graphics do not meet today’s standards when it comes to games but are passable. In terms of character customization, though you’re locked into general templates for each class, you can do your fair share of adjustments and tweaks to make each character look entirely different from others of your same class.



The user interface is a very important feature in all games and Webzen has done a decent job incorporating their UI into the game. All required information is easily accessible and even new players are not overwhelmed by the designs as all icons are quickly distinguishable. Options to change size would be nice but are not necessary.



To conclude, I enjoyed my time playing Continent of the Ninth Seal and would definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for an action based MMORPG. At first I did not enjoy playing the game but after changing classes I came to love running dungeons. I could definitely see myself playing this game if I had more time on my hands. Be sure to check out C9!



Graphics – 5/5

Controls – 5/5

Features – 3/5

Customization – 4/5

Community – 4/5

Update 1.9.0 Launches in APB Reloaded

Update 1.9.0 Launches in APB Reloaded


APB Reloaded


Reloaded Productions, the wholly-owned creative development studio for GamersFirst, announced the live release of version 1.9.0 for the Free2Play® online action game APB Reloaded. Following the blockbuster success of 1.8.0 , update 1.9.0 introduces new Joker Tickets that gives players new ways to earn items without spending money, unlockable titles and improvements to the Fight Club Challenges.



Key Features of the Update Include:

1.     Joker Tickets – A brand new way to earn Armas items, without spending a dime. Players earn these valuable tickets through Fight Club challenges and redeem them for invaluable loot, including Armas weapons, outfits, vehicle and brand new titles.

2.     Unlockable Titles – Players can show off their street cred with new, unlockable Titles. These preset titles appear under the character’s name and are based on ranks, roles and achievements.

3.     Fight Club Challenge and Social District Enhancements – Tons of gameplay, challenge and security optimizations and enhancements. New to the Social District is the Joker distribution where players can use their Joker tickets and buy items from new NPCs, Ophelia and Wilde.


“The APB juggernaut keeps on rolling and we are really excited to see so many new players join San Paro every day.” said Myra Widodo, producer for APB Reloaded. “As a special thank you we’re giving away 1 day of free Premium and 400 Joker tickets to all players who want to check it out! The free Premium code can be found in the Armas Marketplace: Simply login, redeem and enjoy 1.9.0! Just make sure to enjoy the free Premium before it expires on July 31st 2012 at 11:59pm (PDT).”

OnRPG Shotgun News 7/30: Planetside 2, Dawn of Fantasy, and Illyria

OnRPG Shotgun News 7/30: Planetside 2, Dawn of Fantasy, and Illyria

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist



ProSiebenSat.1 Takes Over European SOE Games


Sony Online Entertainment has teamed up with ProSiebenSat.1 to provide localization and customer service to European players. This partnership takes immediate effect and will be seen in DCUO, Everquest 2, and even the upcoming PlanetSide 2. Players will still be able to play on any server they choose. Europeans will also be required to use a new launcher.



Dawn of Fantasy Celebrates

Reverie World Studios is proud to announce a sale in celebration of their independence from 505 Games as well as their 40th update to MMORTS Dawn of Fantasy.



Crafting Comes to Illyria

In the largest single update to come to Illyria the game’s economy is seeing massive changes. Previously there were 17 resources, now there are hundreds which range from grapes to magical ingredients. There are also 72 new weapons, 19 new mounts and a mountain of other things to play with.


MEAD: RIFT’s Clericgeddon

MEAD: RIFT’s Clericgeddon

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist



The idea was simple. A five man static team, all clerics, all souls covered. We had every variety of Cleric you could imagine. We named ourselves Clericgeddon. We were easy mode. In every MMO I’ve played after Everquest I have had at least one static team. The idea of them has just always appealed to me. It actually took me a surprisingly long time to suggest a static group in RIFT. I was happy on my main, who happens to be a Cleric.



The idea came to me after I had seen a bunch of people talking about how unfocused and useless clerics are, except as healers. As someone who has loved Clerics from the start I knew this just wasn’t true. So I came up with a way to prove it. After our fifth person backed out we were left with just four of us. But that actually worked out in our favor. This way we were able to each pick two souls that complimented each other that the others didn’t have. Then our third soul was one that someone else already had. But it was set up in such a way that a soul wasn’t present in the team more than twice. This ended up working really well for weapons too.



We had our tanky Cleric using a two handed hammer and getting himself right in the fight. He also got himself into trouble more often than not unless the rest of us were there with him. I was more ranged attacks and preferred the book and sword route. There was another two handed hammer user. Then there was my partner in crime who could never decide between staff and mace/shield.



So you might be wondering, how well did it work? Happily I can say fantastically, if everyone was on the same page. Because we had varying ranges and melee people have minds of their own it was pretty easy for us to get split up. And when that happened we died fast. But if we were all together, all focused on one fight. Well that fight never lasted long. We were beasts.



We even had crafting set up so between all of us we could craft anything while having plenty of supplies as well. Everyone had at least one crafting ability and one gathering ability.



Our one and only dungeon attempt went a bit poorly sadly. Our tank had somehow managed to get behind us in levels. We think this was due to him not taking a few quests but to this day we aren’t sure. Anyway, we couldn’t heal him fast enough. And when he got into trouble it was deep. So we just called it a wash. We declared we would go back someday and be as awesome there as we were in the rest of the world.



Sadly that day never came. And the static team suffered from what every static team I’ve ever been in does, real life. Sure, real life is unavoidable. And sometimes you just don’t see the bad stuff coming your way. All it took was for one of the four of us to not be available as often and things started falling apart. Two of us wanted to play more, one of us who lived on the other side of the world just didn’t have the time or energy to dedicate to it anymore. And so we collapsed. We hadn’t even made it through Freemarch. But what a beautiful idea it was while it lasted. Will this experience make me shy away from static teams in the future? No way! I’d love to do another static team in RIFT. Another gimmick of sorts. All I need is an idea and some people to do it with me.