Tag Archives: Browser Game

The 10/10 Project: Everquest (Day 2)

10 10 project everquestEverquest is the second game for Syp’s 10/10 project. This will not be a long post, however. As you can probably guess from this, I did not play it long.

But let me tell you a bit more about what I did. The installation was easy enough thanks to Steam. I don’t know if ProSiebenSat1 has already taken over Everquest as well or not, but I logged on with my SOE-account and had no issues doing so. I also don’t follow that whole deal closely enough, so I’m not sure if we have to use P7S1 or not or if we can just stay with SOE. During the last few months, I’ve read several different information and it seemed to change faster than the weather. ;)

Either way, SOE it was. I rolled dice when it came to deciding for a race and class. 16 races and 16 classes – that’s a lot! The results gave me a gnome necromancer. Having played a little bit of Everquest 2, I guess I’ve set my “anchor” at EQ2 as basis for the graphics. The characters looked so similar to EQ2, that I was constantly reminded of EQ2 and the graphics just look much better in that game. So, compared to that, EQ just looked bland and boring.

Yeah, I didn't get much further than that...

Yeah, I didn’t get much further than that…

The main problem was that I felt I really needed to read all the tutorials. You need to type an answer to an NPC in order to advance in a quest. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing the fact that you need to do it. I actually like the idea. But that does not make it easy to get settled into the game and start playing. The tutorials come as quests with lots of quest text. I worked through a few, but then realized that I would have to spend the gaming hours I had set aside for Everquest reading through the tutorials only. At that point, I decided to give up and left the game.

Poor Everquest. I’m sure it was great – and maybe even still is, this is not for me to judge – but I couldn’t get into it. I’ll leave the game to those that have or still do enjoy it and will instead rather listen to them when they share the great stories about their adventures. But if I ever feel the “Everquest itch” again, I will log into Everquest 2 instead.

Everquest is one of three “classic MMOs” on my list, by the way. I’m curious what the other two will be like, but they’re not the next ones on my list. ;)

The 10/10 Project: The Missing Ink (Day 1)

10 10 project_missing inkThe first of the 10 MMOs that I’ll be playing for the 10/10 project was “The Missing Ink”.

All in all, I had 30 games on my list and went through them to see what they’re all about. Some were removed immediately, others immediately went to my “to play”-list. My first impression after seeing this game’s website was to delete the game from my list. I don’t want to dismiss a game just because I think the graphics are “too weird”. So I decided to have a look at their Kickstarter page. I like getting the gist of what a game is about in a relatively short text or an introduction video and usually, Kickstarter pages are great for that. Unfortunately, that video made me want to delete the game from my list even more. Those paper-cThe Missing Ink_02ut avatars aren’t the game’s strongest suit if you ask me. But the word “sandbox” had still caught my attention and the word “ridiculous” (at 0:39) made me continue watching the video… and then I saw the build-mode. Now it wasn’t just on my list, it moved to no. 1 because I was really curious and wanted to see what that game was about. It’s currently in open beta for PC and Mac which means that you just sign up and you’re ready to play. Literally, as it’s browser-based (a bit like Glitch in more than just this aspect).

The background idea is charming and weird at the same time: All stories (fairy tales, etc.) are real, but they got corrupted somehow. So you will be working at the Ministry of Defending Stories in order to set the stories right again.

The Missing Ink_41When I first got into the game, I probably got lost somehow. Maybe I should have clicked on the left button instead of “enter your blurb”, but I found myself in the building mode and the book that popped up with all the tutorial information didn’t help at all. It told me to click on my hero icon but that one was grayed out, etc. I finally found my way to the MODs headquarters (kind of like a city hub, maybe?) where I got tutorial quests. I could also customize my avatar a little bit. The game then told me how to move, how to fight, how to use teleports, etc.

The Missing Ink_35The combat is – not very challenging at the moment. Some weapons come with skills that then automatically appear in your hotbar. I got a wand that gives me two spells, for example.You right-click a mob, auto-attack it and use spells or special attacks whenever they’re ready. At least, that’s what I did with the combat dummies in the tutorial quest. ;) I returned to my blurb as soon as possible. I don’t know what the blurb is about. When you first enter your own blurb, it’s just a huge empty space. I started construction mode (or “constructifying”, I should say) and added a ground (it was plain white at first which wasn’t too pretty) and a simple house. I couldn’t get the roof right, so it’s without one for now. Hey, at least there’s a bed, chairs and a table. That should be enough for now. I guess you can get really creative with that blurb, especially as you can The Missing Ink_34buy more stuff for it with the in game’s currency – and probably with real currency, too, I assume. There is a shop and it looks like it’ll primarily be about buying stuff to make your avatar stand out from the crowd, buying additional inventory slots or teleport tokens. I have no idea if you can’t teleport without those tokens. That would be awkward as the movement speed is relatively slow. The blurb can also be used for the Evil Genius Competition at the moment: Design your own raid zone. This is actually quite cool.

The Missing Ink_43Speaking of “raid”: I did not do much fighting, but from what I saw, it felt very much like a regular MMO. You decide if that’s a good thing or not. ;) For me, it was distracting to see those paper-cut characters with fitting animations when I’m used to playing games like Guild Wars 2.

I also saw a tab for “crafting”, but it’s not in the game yet. Other than that, everything seemed to be working and, most importantly, I did not encounter any bugs or issues.

The Missing Ink_25My conclusion: I could imagine that Glitch fans may like it – depending on how the combat turns out and if you like combat. But the fighting seems ok and easy enough, I guess. ^^ Other than that, the “raid zone” seems to suggest that the game is not just intended for light-hearted casual “I’ll play once every other week” gameplay, but I did not investigate that further. The building mode was the most interesting thing for me personally, but it did not manage to draw me in enough to keep playing. Still, it doesn’t get a bad review from me, because me not liking the style does not mean the game is bad. It just means “not for me”. :)

Star Corsairs – f2p browser-based space MMO (a first impression review)

Star Corsairs is still a rather new game having been released on October 17 (according to the developer’s blog entry). I added Dave Toulouse on Google+ some time ago. The first time I heard about him was on Massively (his game Golemizer was mentioned there). Anyway, I’d read about Star Corsairs and saw him writing about the release of the game a week ago or so. I’m always curious about indie developers and their games. They may not be as epic as, for example, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be. But they often do have a certain charm and they’re more daring and go for fascinating niches (Minecraft is a good example for showing us that a game can be successful even if it doesn’t have the best graphics). I’ve only reached level 4 in Star Corsairs so far, so this here really just qualifies as a “first impression review” and nothing more.

When I first started the game, I was greeted by a wall of text. Think “Star Wars”. ;) It flows through the screen… unfortunately, I’d just come home from work where I’d been reading all day long and I didn’t really feel like reading more. Especially not at a predefined pace. I only caught half of the text (English isn’t my native tongue and while I usually don’t realise that much of a difference in my reading speed, I do realise it a lot more when I’m tired and have trouble concentrating) and I can imagine that it’s even worse for people whose English isn’t that great. But that was just the introduction into the game world. Still, I missed it, so that was a bit disappointing. ;) On the other hand, I don’t think I missed that much because the game doesn’t have quests or any other things that really give you an overarching story.

There I was, a newbie in a game I’d not read much about (in fact, I only knew what you can read in the subject line here… f2p, browser-based, space setting). You get a starter spaceship and are put next to your space dock. The tutorial (text windows with tips on it that you can click through – and either enable or disable in the settings) was pretty good, though, and told me about the most important things (movement, how to attack, how to gather resources from asteroids etc.). You have enough time to read all the text here! ;) And then it told me how to join a mission. I wanted to test that immediately and an error message appeared telling me that the destination is too far away. This happened for both missions that I could have started. That was too bad. So far, I haven’t been able to do any missions. But that was also the only gripe/problem I’ve had with the tutorial. All in all, it’s nice. It’s not as annoying as some facebook tutorials with their pop-up windows that don’t let you even see the game and demand that you do what the pop-up says right now or else you’ll never get to see anything of the actual game. ;)

This picture shows pretty much everything that I’ve encountered so far. My own ship is in the middle (more or less). Then there’s the enemy ship above me. Note the buttons at the bottom of the screen. The left one’s for your weapon. It shows a little radar which is where the enemy ship has to be in in order for you to fire off your weapon. I found the movement a bit confusing. But I’m slowly getting the hang of it. On the left of the enemy ship, you can see a little cube. You can analyse them and get a random reward (or nothing). So far, I found credits and several pieces of alien data. Once you’re at your space station, you can use those alien data pieces to make power ups. E.g. a 10% damage reduction that lasts for 5 minutes. On the top right, you can see an asteroid which you can use to gather materials. There are 14 different types and each asteroid has two of them. One of the 14 types is “raw illium” which you can trade in for XP. A very nice way of levelling without having to fight if you don’t want to! On the very top of the screen, you can see the federation alert informing you of a new mission (I think… as I said, I haven’t done any of those yet ;) ).

Currently, I’m trying to avoid combat because I’m not good at it (by the way, you can turn PvP on in your space station if you like that kind of gameplay and excitement). In the picture on the right, you can see the space station interface. This is where you trade with other players, repair your ship or craft a new ship, turn on PvP, etc. When you level up, you get another window that lets you choose some “bonus”. A buff to your ship’s speed or your ship’s shield and several other things.

And if you’re lost or want to know how something works, there’s even a wiki. I really love wikis and their structured way of giving information about a game, so I was very happy to see it. I haven’t used it much yet, though. As I said, I’m only level 4 and got there mainly by gathering resources (my ship can carry two types of resources at a time and I usually choose one plus raw illium for the XP). Then I’m trying to sell the resources and hopefully, I’ll be able to get a bigger ship soon!

The one big negative part of the game is that it doesn’t have many players yet. I personally don’t actually mind it that much but I’m sure others do. ;) I like being on my own and knowing that somewhere in this virtual world, there are other players around (and I don’t think I’ve ever had the server only to myself ^^). So far, I’ve managed to sell all the resources that I put up for sale. So I’m rather happy. But I’ve mainly used the game for gathering resources and thus, haven’t really had a need for direct contact with others yet. I’d imagine PvP to be rather boring without others, though. ;) All in all, I’m curious what’s going to happen with the game and if it will attract more players. I certainly think it’s good enough to get a more active and larger playerbase. It’s probably just a matter of time and word-of-mouth to reach others. The chat window that you can see on the bottom left appears to be server-wide, by the way. So you can chat with everybody who’s online and I saw it kind of active earlier today.

To sum it up: I’ve found Star Corsairs to be a nice little game that so far works flawlessly (we always expect that but how often does a game launch without major bugs etc.? ;) ). I’ve not spent any money in the game yet and I haven’t felt pressured to do so this far, which is always good because I first want to make sure that I actually want to spend more time in a game before I spend money on it. It does come with a cash shop and an optional monthly fee. But it’s not unplayable if you choose not to pay for it (though I don’t know if that changes when you want to do PvP). Most of all, it needs more players. And if you only like games that give you quests and tell you what to do, then this is probably not for you. Also, you don’t have an avatar and can’t walk around on planets.

RPC Köln 2011

This weekend, we had the roleplay convention in Cologne. Bookahnerk and I went there. Originally, to hear Martin Kerstein (German community manager of ArenaNet) talk about Guild Wars 2 – but we didn’t actually stay that long, so we missed it. There were no demo stations and he apparently mainly talked about things we already know about the game, so we probably didn’t miss much. And by the time he held his 30 minute presentation, I was already so tired and my leg hurt, so we left.

Anyway. This convention is about all things roleplaying. This includes LARP (live action roleplay), board games, pen & paper roleplay, PC games etc. Lots of people were in costumes which was great to look at. I especially squealed at the few women not dressed as elves but as trolls or goblins instead.

Rather annoying was the fact that we’d only been there for a few minutes and had already collected what felt like a ton of flyers.

That actually looks like less that we’ve collected. Most annoying was that a lot of firms hired women in tight and short pants with even less of a shirt. -.- Only a tiny minority was wearing some fantasy costumes. I don’t really get it. Why not have somebody wear an appropriate costume? That makes them stand out more than “that hot chick in hot pants”. Every one of them was a chick in hot pants that a lot of people probably would call “hot”. ;)

Five of the flyers were about online games, though. And I decided to have a look at them.

The first is one for an Ultime Online freeshard “Old World”. It was strange when we passed those little PCs (Shuttle XPCs – my first PC that I’d bought from my own money was a Shuttle, so I squealed a little when I saw those and others probably thought I’m weird – but I’m used to that impression by now) and I saw the Ultima Online client open on them. Bookahnerk was looking at something else and didn’t hear me at first but then he saw it, too. We passed, we went a few steps further and we turned around because he wanted to know what that was about. We couldn’t really believe to see some people advertise their freeshard on that convention. Ultima Online is still running (Bioware Mythic is responsible for it now) and they’re actually charging a regular MMO monthly fee for the game. But there they were. A freeshard advertising on the RPC. Well, why not? ;) When looking at their website, it was no surprise they advertised. They have about 1 or 2 people online at a time. Rather sad. But they’re a shard that has roleplay on 100% of the time and while I love roleplay theoretically, I don’t actually do roleplay that much. So it wouldn’t be for me anyway.

The second one was a picture of what looked like a Charr and some humans at first. Sadly, it’s not a Charr. What it is, we don’t know. Sphira.com is printed on the back of it. The webpage itself doesn’t offer much information. It’s coming in Autumn 2011 – but WHAT is coming? MMORPG? Browser game? F2P? P2P? PvP or PvE? Wtf? ;) A look at their Facebook page shows that it’s a “free to play Action-MMORPG” – but I have to say: Why print a website on the back of a flyer if that website doesn’t give the viewer at least the most basic information about what it is they’re looking at? (Oh, their trailer does give a tiny bit more information but I use Firefox + Noscript and didn’t realise there’s a trailer in the middle… – still, it doesn’t say it’s an MMORPG or that it’s f2p)

No. 3 on the list: Star Trek – Infinite Space. We actually heard a bit of their presentation. We continued walking when they mentioned the holy trilogy (tank, healer, damage dealer). Been there, done that. ;) But… as space ships? I do hope I just didn’t understand them correctly. I don’t want to be a healing space ship. It will be a few browser game, though, that will essentially be an MMORPG just that you won’t have to download a client. You can sign up for the beta here.

The fourth one is for Drakensang Online. Drakensang was originally part of “Das Schwarze Auge” (The Dark Eye), but when the licence ran out, they continued on their own without staying in that RP world. They are also accepting sign ups for their beta. They’re probably best described as “a game like Diablo” and people who are fans of “The Dark Eye” will probably not be too happy. But eh, it’s not in their world anymore, so they’re not butchering it, at least. ;) I am not in the beta, so I can’t say much about it other than I like the screenshots! It looks pretty.

Lat but not least, we have Black Prophecy. They didn’t just give us a flyer. They gave us a little magazine with the most important information about the game including an installation guide, a short text about the story, keyboard settings, etc. Also included is a DVD with the client. Now THAT’s nice advertising. It’s also f2p and well, set in a science fiction setting. The second question in their FAQ is “Is Black Prophecy comparable to Eve Online?” which they answer with “Black Prophecy is an MMO Space Shooter with roleplay elements. Its focus is on fast and exciting space combat in real-time. Fast and easy fun is what’s important, not developing your character for months.” It was released on March 21, 2011, so it’s brand-new. The first add-on for 2012 was already announced which will introduce walking on the ground etc.

I haven’t played or tested any of those games, so I can’t say whether they’re good or not. I just wanted to summarise which MMORPGs we “met” (or rather which ones were thrown at us ;) ) during our visit.