Monthly Archives: September 2012

Borderlands 2: First Impressions from a Platypus

Borderlands 2: First Impressions from a Platypus

By Thomas vonWolffradt (Platy), OnRPG Guest Writer
Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief



Back in the day Platy and I were not your typical FPS gamers. In fact I think the last fps we had played together at the time was Goldeneye for the N64 to give you an idea of how much we stay away from the genre. Yet the original Borderlands brought something new to the market: RPG Elements, humor, high production value and a unique art style that instantly grabs all the intentions in the room. Most people thought straying so far from the standard FPS was commercial suicide and so it seemed that way for the first 3 dismal months after launch. Thankfully word of mouth caught on and now in September of 2012 Platy and I find ourselves happily plugging away at its incredibly well made sequel Borderlands 2, with advertisements coinciding the launch of Pandaria on NFL matches. Innovation isn’t dead in gaming and Borderlands 2 continues to pave the way!



So immediately jumping into the game and especially if you play solo, you’re going to notice the difficulty of Borderlands 2 is far beyond the original title. And considering the mechanics haven’t changed much this means a lot coming from veterans of the original game. The enemies are tankier, smarter, and have a wider array of weapons at their disposal to ensure those trying to camp get a grenade up their ass and those trying to Rambo style will be dead before they get the first knife stuck into their target.


Even giant monsters prefer sniping with random objects they pick up over melee combat


I know I know… this sounds like a lot of marketing hyperbole. Let’s break it down with some examples. If you are hurting and try to climb a ladder to escape a massive firefight on the ground, your enemies will actually back up until they have a line of sight. If you crouch down (a very useful feature for making yourself a smaller target and reducing gun recoil on heavier weapons) to ensure there is no direct line of sight, they will begin lobbing a mass of grenades at your perch until you either blow up or are forced to run into their line of fire. I can say with certainty that I’ve played against humans in Blacklight Retribution that aren’t as skilled as the AI in Borderlands 2.



Interestingly enough, while melee tended to be the weapon of choice in the original, these new tankier smarter AI opponents have actually made sniping the weapon of choice, at least in the early game. Most of the opponents you face are specialized in a single type of weapon and if your weapon has greater accuracy and enough power to stop them before they can get into range, then you become invincible regardless of your class. If you’re going solo and you don’t pick up a strong reliable ranged weapon early on, you’re going to be as toast as a Pyscho in a Slag Factory.


A strong reliable accurate pistol trumps a diamond pony any day. And no I’m not just saying that cause I’m jealous.


But just as the AI has changed drastically, so to have the characters. While at first glance Axton, Salvador, and Maya look like rehashes of Roland, Brick, and Lilith, the only real similarity is their theme and a couple shared mechanics. Zero interestingly enough ends up being the most similar to a past character (Lilith), while taking Mordecai’s poor man’s assassin look to a very Japanese level.




Maya is a Siren, females born with innate elemental control that allows them to be the witches of the gunslinger outer-worlds. Though a certain man named Handsome Jack that we’ll talk about later is making a sport of removing their kind from existence. Playing Maya was quite a twist from her older counterpart, Lilith. No longer can you simply run through a group of bandits invincible doing passive lightning damage to dish a powerful final strike on the weakened badasses. Maya’s ability, phaselocking, adds an interesting dynamic to combat since one can either use it to temporarily disable the strongest opponent on the field or target trash to receive on-kill bonuses. Both approaches can be extremely effective, though your skill tree will dictate which is more ideal.


Sirens, keeping Nvidia Graphics Cards in demand since 2009


Maya isn’t entirely different from the Siren players are used to. Much like her fellow Siren, Maya has a gun damage/elemental skill tree, Cataclysm, which enables her to deal massive elemental damage. This is especially effective on her helpless phaselocked targets by increasing damage, fire rate and elemental chance. Although the cataclysm tree provides some of the biggest damage boosting potential, I find it hard to pass up the utility phaselock gains from the other trees: motion and harmony.


Personally, I’m playing a hybrid build between the motion and harmony trees with the intention of increasing my frequency of phaselock with skills like Suspension and Quicken, and its utility from Sweet Release and Elated.


Overall, Maya is a fun character to play so long as you treat her as the fragile ‘Mage’ she is and don’t pull a Brick right out of the starting gate.




When I first started up the original Borderlands I was really excited to try Mordecai. I decided to make a hybrid gun slinger/Rogue build since I loved being a crack-shot with the pistol and wanted function from my action. Eventually I couldn’t keep myself away from Lilith as her phasewalk and elemental focus simply drew me in. Zero seems to be illegitimate child between Mordecai and Lilith with some aspects of Brick.



Zero has an entire skill tree dedicated to sniping, a number of abilities to increase fire rate/damage, and abilities that buff his melee damage. This all comes together to fit a nice kit when you consider his action skill, Decepti0n, that functions not entirely differently from Lilith’s phasewalk.  Decepti0n differs from phasewalk in a couple ways: five second active time (base) and no invincibility. By its own merit, decepti0n can be quite powerful as it does more damage the longer Zero is invisible. Naturally, you’ll want to get off a melee strike before the invisibility fade for the 650% (base) damage bonus but the skill creates flexibility in a hairy situation. Instead of going for an ultimate melee strike, one can use the time to reposition or momentarily recover shield/health (if spec’d that way).


Zero is versatile character being able to specialize in all areas of combat from long range to close range. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if someone creates a hybrid build between the sniping and bloodshed tree, I would tend to lean towards only mixing sniping with cunning or cunning with bloodshed. Currently, I’m intending to hybrid between cunning and bloodshed. I’m going with cunning for the increased effectiveness of guns and bloodshed for increased effectiveness of melee combat.




While Platy was always about Mordecai and Lilith (he can’t resist those ginger girls) in the original, I took pride in my extreme knowledge of how to get the most from Roland and his deployable turrets. Of course when I saw Axton’s diverse turret capabilities at PAX Prime this year I was sold and went with him first. He really is a jack of all trades class so you hardly need to worry about specializing in any particular weapon.  Though my rule of thumb so far has been to go with assault rifles and shotguns with one long range pistol on the side for sticky situations when you need to get out and recover.


Those ginger girls…


This really is a co-op class if I’ve ever seen one. He acts as a sort of tank, with plenty of masteries to soak up damage and recover prior to the next battle, or hell even in mid-battle through kills. When you’ve taken all the damage you can, just throw your turret at your feet while running and let it cover for you while your teammates unleash unholy hell on the hapless foes scattering for cover from the turret.


I’m finding the survival tree offers the early game strength needed to survive the tougher enemies in this game, and will eventually dabble into the guerilla tree to gain further turret improvements once I obtain the survival tree’s Gemini ability to deploy 2 turrets at once. However this is mainly to make my character a distraction tank while Platy rocks out in melee range on Zero with near immunity.


Out of ammo? Your turret has plenty to spare!


Had I played solo I find the gunpowder tree is ideal for balancing your offensive and defensive capabilities to allow you to hold your own against multiple opponents. With a bit of dabbling in the guerilla tree you can really create a formidable combat commando that will live as long as there are enemies to continue killing.




Now when I first heard about Salvador I was instantly a bit put off. He doesn’t punch people for his ultimate? What nonsense is that?! Turns out his ability to duel wield weapons is a much more valuable tool in Borderlands 2 as, like we stated earlier, you’re going to get shot down in a barrage of bullets if you run in swinging your fists in a bandits’ hideout. So if melee is better left to Zero, what role does Salvador bring?


Brick goes where he pleases. Salvador takes a bit more finesse.


Well it all depends on his trees, which so far seem to have the most immediately noticeable impact on his performance. Those seeking to go it alone will likely find solace in the Brawn tree, offering massive defensive steroids, regeneration, and just all around synergy to let you walk into mid-range at a gun-fight and outlast any foes that take you on. However I feel this tree lacks some serious damage compared to some of the other options and isn’t ideal if you plan to play with friends.


The choice between gunlust and rampage really comes down to who your partner is, and how much faith you have in knowing when to pull out of a gun fight. If you know what you’re doing and your partner has your back, I highly suggest the rampage tree. You basically just point your weapon and hold the trigger and watch the bodies pile up (ideally with you not in the pile). This is the full offensive tree and offers very little in survivability though so use rampage with caution.


The gunlust tree on the other hand turns Salvador into the surgeon of the battlefield. Just be aware that like most people living on Pandora, he isn’t actually a licensed doctor. Though the damage output is comparable to rampage, it takes a lot more skill and precision to accomplish. Though you can accomplish said damage output in shorter bursts, resulting in far fewer bullets to pull out of your torso between battles. If you have a melee Zero or tanky Axton by your side to keep the pressure off, this tree is definitely worth testing out. And if you don’t like it remember you can always reset your skills in town. Variety is the spice of life!


So we’ve downed a few hundred psychos, but we don’t feel experienced enough yet to offer our complete review of the game. Check back at OnRPG at a later date for part 2 of our Borderlands 2 coverage with a deeper focus on gameplay, story, and overall perception of the game!


Knight Age Reveals Order of Knights Guild Functions

Knight Age Reveals Details of Guild System



Joymax today revealed key features of its unique guild system for the recently launched free-to-play, fantasy MMORPG with unique riding action, Knight Age.  This in-depth look comes on the heel of Knight Age’s first major update since its recent successful launch.



The game also boasts a special feature; “Order of Knights.”  This is Knight Age’s guild system, but it’s not your ordinary guild system; the Order of Knights features guild level-ups, guild skills and even guild wars!  Players at level 10 can start the Order of Knights, but the battle is just beginning to become the best!



Here’s an in-depth look at the Order of Knights

Guild Level – Each Order of Knights is given a guild level where players can work on leveling up, and all Order of Knights are given the usual features and skills of shared guild storage or warp system (where guild members can warp to each other’s locations).  As the guild level grows, Order of Knights is given larger storage and an increased number of spots to recruit more guild members.  This is useful especially for gaining experience points, as every guild member playing online boosts the EXP buff that all guild members share.  But the most exciting skills are unlocked once a guild level rises to higher levels!


Guild Skill – As the Order of Knights level grows higher, players will find there are up to 50 different special guild skills to unlock.  These guild skills will affect every guild member and will range from higher EXP gain to higher gold drops. Ultimately, there is a skill for healing all of the guild members at once!  So, how does the Order of Knights level up?  The only means is by battling with other Order of Knights in a guild war!


So, on to Guild PVP – Guild PVP is the battle between two Orders of Knights and, aside from proving which Order of Knights is better, winning a PVP will earn points to level up your guild level!  Each guild PVP begins with a challenge letter to the opposing Order of Knights and the war begins once accepted.  Lasting from three to thirty days, the two Orders of Knights will be marked as an enemy to each other.  For every fallen opponent, points are stacked and ultimately the guild with the highest points wins the round!

AlphaBeta Soup 9/28

AlphaBeta Soup 9/28


Welcome back for another dish of AlphaBeta Soup. This week World of Warcraft’s expansion Mists of Pandaria has left the soup bowl to be devoured by the players. Replacing it we have Ascension: Arenas of War entering closed beta and Cyber Monster entering open beta. Both of which are highlighted in the article below. Dragon Nest EU will be joining the Closed beta pot soon, but sign ups are already taking place you can find it below. Keep an eye out for bolded games as they have changed since the previous week!


OnRPG Giveaways

These are all the beta giveaways currently running on OnRPG. There’s no guarantee that we won’t run out so grab them quick.


District 187

OnRPG Giveaway:

Jolly Grim

OnRPG Giveaway:



Dates Announced:

Below are the MMOs who have announced upcoming beta events that haven’t started yet.


City of Steam: Beta November

End of Nations: Closed Beta October 9th

RaiderZ : Open Beta October 24th (Founders Pack includes Neverwinter closed beta access)

Marvel Heroes: October 1st




These games are currently in Alpha. Signups are available via the link.


The Repopulation





Closed Beta:

MMOs which are in closed beta require application and often require approval before access can be gained.


Age of Wulin (EU, Asia)

Age of Wushu (US) Ends November 25, Second Round Begins December 20th

Ascension: Arenas of War

Black Prophecy Tactics: Nexus Conflict

Bounty Hounds Online

Dragon Crusade

Dragon Knights

Dragon Nest EU

Dust 514





Lime Odyssey

MechWarrior Online

Otherland (Currently between Closed Beta Phases)



PlanetSide 2



SmashMuck Champions


Starlight Story

The War Z

UFO Online

World of Warplanes


Open Beta:

Games in open beta require an application but often it is little more than signing up for an account.


Cyber Monster

Universal Monsters Online

Soul Captor

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Online (Russian)




These are the beta events for games which are already live. These are for new content which is going to be added to the game at a later date. Access is limited to the current playerbase and often requires special permissions to take part.


RIFT: Storm Legion (Launching November 13th)

Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan

Ghost Recon Online – The Open Beta Experience

Ghost Recon Online – The Open Beta Experience

Questions by Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist

Answers by Theo Sanders, Lead Producer Ubisoft Singapore



Now launching into open beta, Ghost Recon Online is set to bring a new winter-based expansion called the “Artic Pack” which includes new weapons, new equipment and a brand new map, all created with the community’s suggestions and assistance.



I got another chance to speak with the lead producer of GRO to get some insight on the game’s current status and the new Artic Pack update.



OnRPG: Hello again! This is Michael Sagoe, journalist for I’m sure you remember me from the last interview we had, but for those that are not aware: Could you introduce yourself for our readers?


Hi, I’m Theo Sanders, the lead producer of Ghost Recon Online at Ubisoft Singapore.



OnRPG: For those that haven’t played GRO yet or have never even played a Ghost Recon game before: Could you give a small summary of what the game and the series is all about?


Ghost Recon has always occupied a different part of the shooter space from the many run ‘n’ gun games out there. Tactical gameplay in a grim – but plausible – near-future has defined the series. Ghost Recon Online is the latest addition to this franchise, and takes it in a new direction, inviting players to participate in the community and directly influence the game’s evolution.



OnRPG: What is introduced in the new Arctic Pack?


The Arctic Pack is our first major patch, just a month after we launched Open Beta. Its highlight feature is a new, symmetrical map called Tomsk-9 set in a nuclear de-commissioning plant in the Russian arctic. We’ve launched 6 limited-edition Arctic weapon variants in addition to cold-weather armor for each class. The Arctic Pack addresses hundreds of balance tweaks, bugs, and improvements – most of which were driven by the community.



OnRPG: It’s mentioned that GRO development is completely community-driven. How exactly did your development team gather data from player feedback in order to create the new Tomsk- 9 map?


Primarily, we listen to what players say. Our GM and community teams interact with players daily and formally sit down with the development team weekly to review the topics players are talking about. As developers, we also spend a huge amount of time playing ourselves on the live service. Finally we also pay attention to what players do – using data to help us analyze things like map balance.



OnRPG: What other changes did GRO go through during its transition from closed beta to open beta based on player feedback?


There have been a ton of improvements, mainly driven by what we heard from players in the closed beta. For example, a common complaint on the Korolyov Towers map was that players dropping down to attack the A and B points were too vulnerable. We added an entirely new drop-down route at A, and several new covers to clear out any defenders below.



OnRPG: So one concern I had from my previous experience with GRO was with communication. The VOIP system and CrossCom UI feature works great, but for those that want to give orders to teammates without using microphone can only communicate using basic text messages.Are there any plans to introduce some kind of macro or quick chat function into GRO?


We have already put in place some things that help communication between teammates. For example, we noticed only very experienced players had a strong situational awareness of nearby teammates using their class devices. We’ve added a ton of feedback into the HUD and mini-map that makes it a lot clearer when they do. There’s been a noticeable difference with players, for example, advancing together with a teammates’ Aegis Shield. We’re still evaluating other features too, like the ones you describe.



OnRPG: Another personal concern that I had with GRO was regarding matchmaking/balance: If one play ends up leaving a match or (for the lack of a better term) “ragequits”, the match can end up a bit one-sided since the match making system does not seem replace dropped players or re-balance. Now it’s been awhile since I last played GRO, but has this issue been resolved or planning to be resolved?


There’s always been a hot-join feature that replaces players who drop out, but how quickly it can react is a function of how many players are actively searching for a match. With a bigger player population now in Open Beta, it works more quickly. That much said, we are planning to do more. The cost of quitting at the moment – not earning your RP and XP – is too subtle. We’re looking at other solutions like players spending some time in the “sin bin” before they can re-queue for a new match.



OnRPG: Has there been any issues from players regarding the balance of RP (Requisition Points) and GC (Ghost Coins) for purchasing items in GRO? How is GRO able to sustain itself by offering several permanent items with RP (in comparison to other F2P shooters that usually offer timed times and/or permanent items that can only be bought with real money?)


We’re very happy with how the in-game economy has worked out, and frequently get great feedback from the community that GRO has “done it right.” I think that reflects on a basic design belief we hold to that a players’ time invested in the game needs to be respected. It’s why we have permanent items, give players the opportunity to earn any item in the game just by playing, and don’t allow other players to “cheapen” time invested by skipping the need to progress by paying. I feel strongly that a respectful business model and a great user experience are very good foundations for a sustainable business.



OnRPG: Where does the future lie ahead for GRO?


We’re in this for the long haul, and plan to keep supporting GRO for years. There are some key features we’re working on in the near-term, like support for clans, but how the game continues to grow, improve, and evolve in the future  is going to be a combination of cool ideas the development team has and where GRO players want to see the game go.



OnRPG: Any other comments?


Hopefully I’ll see some of you online (just go to to sign up). Feel free to look me up in GRO so we can group for a fireteam. I’m Temasek on the North American server and Squirk on the European server (I play on both).



OnRPG: Thank you for your time!



Snail Games USA Announces Launch And Beta Timing For Age Of Wushu

Snail Games USA Announces Launch And Beta Timing For Age Of Wushu


Age of Wushu


Snail Games USA is proud to announce that its martial arts inspired, massively multiplayer online role playing game, Age of Wushu, will make its North American debut February 1, 2013. Already the #1 game in China with over 10 million registered players worldwide, Age of Wushu features realistic combat, replicating the fighting styles made popular by blockbuster Chinese martial arts films. Additionally, Snail Games USA will offer players premium access to closed betas as well as exclusive content through select pre-order packages.



Age of Wushu is easily one of the most innovative and wholly unique titles I have had the pleasure of working on,” says David Baker, Director of Game Operations and 15-year industry veteran. “I am truly thrilled to be part of the team bringing this digital representation of Chinese culture and lore to western audiences.”



Players can now purchase – for a limited time only – the Elite Pre-Sale Package for $9.99. This package comes with a full version of the game, exclusive in-game items to this bundle, and grants access to Age of Wushu‘s initial beta launch in November. These early purchasers will be among the first North Americans to play, explore and experience Age of Wushu.


Age of Wushu


After the first beta ends Nov. 25, players can purchase one of three Age of Wushu Limited Edition Gift Sets (Deluxe, Premium and Collector’s edition). These bundles come packed with unique and robust content, both in-game and real world items, and grant access to the game’s second beta launch, which starts Dec. 20 of this year. Each Gift Set also has a unique code, which gives players early access into the game’s “Exclusive Access Period” at the Feb. 1 launch. Players that have the “Exclusive Access Period” code will have 90 days to play Age of Wushu before the title’s Free-To-Play launch, May 3rd, 2013.



Age of Wushu has been in development for over five years and offers stunning 3D graphics, unique gameplay mechanics and tons of customization. With no classes or levels, players are given tons of freedom unparalleled in modern MMORPGs. The game features eight different martial art options to choose from, dazzling aerial duels and a sophisticated system of combos and counters.

OnRPG Shotgun News 9/28: TSW, Valve, End of Nations, and Much More!

OnRPG Shotgun News 9/28: TSW, Valve, End of Nations, and Much More!

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist


The Secret World on Sale This Weekend

The Secret World is on sale this weekend on the official website. For this weekend only you can purchase the game which comes with 30 days of game time for 50% off.



World of Warcraft Offering Free Server Transfers

For a short time WoW is offering free server transfers to help deal with some of the long queues that have surfaced after the release of Mists of Pandaria. You don’t get to pick which one you can transfer to but they have tried to match up similar types of servers. Once the server you can transfer to fills you will be unable to transfer there.



Get EVE for $5 This Weekend

CCP has teamed up with Amazon to offer EVE for $5 this weekend. This includes all of the expansions and even the limited edition of Inferno. The code you receive for your purchase is only good for new or trial accounts and includes 30 days of game time.



Save CoH Movement Gets 20k Signatures and Starts Charity Event

The Save City of Heroes movement has received 20,000 signatures on it’s online petition to save the game. In addition today they announced a new unity event in which they will be taking part in the yearly Extra Life event to raise money for children’s hospitals. The announcement was made by Co-leader Maressa on the Titan Network forums and the official City of Heroes forums.



Valve Not Being Sold

During an interview at Eurogamer Expo Chet Faliszek from Valve killed the rumor that NCSoft and Nexon were in talks with Valve to purchase the company. The rumor started a few days ago when a South Korean newspaper ran the story saying that the companies had met in Hawaii.



End of Nations Coming to Russia

Trion has announced that its free to play military strategy game End of Nations will be fully localized in Russian. End of Nations Executive Producer David Luehmann had this to say about it, “The tremendous interest we have seen from the Russian End of Nations community during Beta testing has demonstrated that there’s a huge passion for massive scale military strategy gaming in Eastern Europe.”



Pockie Pirates Gets Stylish Updgrades

NGames has introduced new character designs battle effects and more in today’s latest version of Pockie Pirates. Each gender has been recreated based on the appearance of One Piece characters. The UI has been given a few updates as well to make it more user friendly.

Black Gold Online

Black Gold Online is Snail Games’ attempt to break the mold of standard fantasy MMORPGs by combining all the major elements that people love in an MMORPG. Dwarves, giants, vampires, mechas, steampunk, fantasy… yup it’s all here in abundance with a rich graphical presentation.




Massive Customization: With 6 races split between 2 alignments, 8 primary class trees and 24 sub-branches of those classes, players won’t be lacking in the ability to differentiate themselves from others. Will you join with the Kingdom of Isenhorst’s humans, dwarves, and vampires, or the Union of Erlandir’s humans, kosh, and brutes?


Different Alignment, Different Class Options: Just because humans are on both sides of the war doesn’t mean they are identical. With the influence of their local region, each race has expanded in different directions with magic and technology to offer completely different class trees to choose from.


Branching Story: There is more than one way to the level 60 cap in Dark Gold Online. Depending on which assignments you accept, you may end up taking a very different approach to the final destination each time you start a new character.


Plate Armor System: Specialize as a Mechanical Knight and choose from one of three style of Mechs to wreck your opponent’s day. Customize your mech to build a unique style all to your own.


Spell Customization: Have you mastered the elements of fire and air? Why not combine them to unlock even more powerful combinations. Players will be able to craft their own spells through combining basic spells.

Final Eden Online

Final Eden is an MMORTS set in a post-apocalyptic future. The survivors of the event set out to rebuild civilization. You must build a base that can be defended against marauders, using turrets to protect the perimeter. You can also build a variety of vehicles to take the fight to your opponents. Alliances are helpful, and will give you a boost of support necessary to survive.





Base Building 101: Defend your fort from bandits! Utilize turrets that vary in range and power to best keep the pesky marauders from destroying your hard work.


Various units and vehicles: Build powerful vehicles, such as assault bikes and heavily armored vehicles. Send them out against opponents to wipe them from the world.


Strategic combat: Deploy your units strategically and let them go across the battlefield with maximum efficiency.


Alliances: Join with other players to better protect each other, and take over the entire world.

Blazing Throne

Blazing Throne is an MMORPG set in a war-torn land. Players must choose between the forces light and dark. The forces of light consist of humans and elves, while dark is made up of orcs and forsaken. There are seven classes in total in Blazing Throne: Warlock, Paladin, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Warrior, and Hunter. Each class has their own selection of skills and quests to accomplish. The game also features a castle system for guilds, and instances featuring challenging bosses and amazing loot.





Seven unique classes: Each class in Blazing Throne has their own strengths and weaknesses. Each has their own set of skills, and quests specific to that class.


Challenging instances: Dungeons are where only the brave will tread! Face off against challenging monsters, and face-off against bosses who will test your skills. Wonderful gear awaits the victorious!


Upgrade systems: Repair and upgrade your loot, and enhance it with a variety of gems. Focus on your strengths, or cover up your weaknesses!


Comprehensive guild system: Guild members can contribute to the overall strength of the guild castle through construction and completing tasks. Castles also offer a nice benefit to anyone in the guild!