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World of Warcraft Classic – For Love of the Game

Review by, William Griston, For Love of the Game – Gigamax Games Contributor

World of Warcraft: Classic launch is about a month away as of the time of this writing, and I haven’t been this excited for a game to release since Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced. The hype is, in fact, real. It makes me think about where I was in my life when Vanilla WoW first released. I first played WoW New Years Eve/Day of 2004, I didn’t get my own copy of it until April or May of 2005, just after Maraudon was added. WoW was in its’ infancy. There were no Battlegrounds, no arena, no Honor System. Nobody knew anything. If you wanted to PVP, you went and found it and it felt more visceral for it. 

First Time With an MMORPG

At the behest of one of my friends I started playing on a PVP server, I hadn’t played an MMORPG(not including betas or alphas) since the first Asheron’s call, which I’d only played for a month. I was still relatively new to the whole “pc gaming” thing, never having a powerful PC, or at least one powerful enough to run the games that I wanted to play. I played Vanilla WoW on a  PIII 800 with 384MB of RAM. Beastly, my rig was not, it struggled to reach 15 FPS in the cities, it was in short a piece of shit and I was lucky to see 40 FPS in the middle of somewhere suitably empty like Arathi Highlands. 

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I rolled a Dwarf Priest, even though I had really wanted to play a Warrior and play as the Horde. Real-life friends sometimes choose games/factions for you, plus my friend was already preparing to do raids and I was told I could probably have a spot if I played as a Dwarf priest. In that era each priest’s racial spell was affected by race, so only dwarf priests could learn Fear Ward making them slightly more valuable for a specific raid boss, which meant absolutely nothing to me. I just wanted to play the game. Being a complete noob, as well as bull-headedly against both my friend’s and my guild’s suggestion that I level with shadow, I said: “I’m gonna be Holy at 60, I should learn how to play it.”.

35 horrific levels later, I switched to Shadow and got so mad that I had wasted so much time struggling to do much of anything as Holy. At the time Holy was the worst of the three talent trees for priests, Disc/Holy was the build used for dungeons/raiding. I want to say it was because of mana-regeneration, but I can’t say for sure. I eventually relented and switched to Shadow and it was so much easier/faster to kill things that I got so mad that I switched to leveling another warrior on a different server and quit the priest for a good six months. 

Early Issues and Discoveries

At this point I had managed to anger the self-proclaimed “Best EverQuest 2 guild in the world” declaring that my server “belonged to them” and that “anyone who dared kill one of their guild members would be camped until they stopped playing that character.”, so I posted a screenshot of me killing one of their members in Stranglethorn Vale(we were both level 28-34ish.). I was immediately hunted down, and ganked by one of their similarly leveled characters a rogue. KIlled him pretty much every time he tried to jump me, sometimes the mob I was fighting would get me, sometimes it wouldn’t. Eventually, he called in one of his higher level guildmates and he managed to kill me, they got about 20 people to sit around my corpse while I sat there in spirit form waiting for a chance to make a break for Grom’Gol, my heart was pounding. I had gotten away, I posted a really shity AVI of the whole thing set to some really shitty metal. They ended up getting so so mad that they made a second account just to talk shit to me(and track my location), which was hilarious at the time. After a week or so, I bitched out and went to the GMs and asked them for a name change.

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They left me alone after that, but it killed the fun for me on that server. I guess they held true on their threat, even though I stopped playing the character after the camping had already stopped. 

With the release of World of Warcraft Classic looming over the gaming world,  I sincerely hope that many people are able to make memories like that which I’m dubious about due to the sizes of the realms that were used then, compared to now. They said they weren’t going to have phasing, but there is going to be “layers” or something to stop an area from being overpopulated. Which you know, was part of the experience. In that era, there was more of a sense of community than there is in modern WoW, especially in early Vanilla when there was only one city that had an auction house per faction, which put a sizable part of the server in the same place at the same time. In this era of the game, once you got known you didn’t get away with anything. If you were an asshat in trade chat, people noticed and blacklisted you. If you were a ninja, you got blacklisted. Guild jumper? Blacklisted. I think that was a big part of the appeal to me back in the day.

What We Want from Blizzard

I really hope Blizzard doesn’t fuck it up and I’m hoping that the popularity of classic causes them to release expansions on-top of it, taking the story in a completely different direction. Think about that for a second. Two different chains of WoW going, one with Modern’s gameplay and one modeled after Classic with entirely different storylines. Thoughts like that excite me to my core, but I know it’s just my imagination carrying me away. At best, we’ll see Burning Crusade: Classic with an option for a paid transfer from Vanilla to Burning Crusade.

The sad part is that the era of WoW is dead. We’re in the era of Twitch*, Memes**, and eSports***, we’ll see servers of popular streamers get flooded with hordes of fans. Maybe the Twitch community will all choose the same servers and leave the rest alone, unimpeded. 

All in all, I guess I’m pretty excited about the launch/release of Classic WoW, but a part of me doubts that they’re going to manage to rekindle that magic. It’s been almost 15 years since the release of the game and modern MMOs are a different breed of game than Classic is going to be. I expect a lot of the younger crowd that wasn’t around before Blizzard changed everything will like the game as much as we did, or as much as most of us will when it goes live at the end of August.

 

*Woe be unto us all for the end times have come! Repent! Repent! The streamers are coming! The end is nigh!

** Memes have been around since the 90s, if not earlier, but they didn’t have the reach they do now.

*** eSports have been around since the birth of gaming, but they didn’t really enter the mainstream until the last few years.

Old School RuneScape on iOS and Android

The billion-dollar franchise and globally recognized MMORPG, RuneScape is ready to take the world back to 2007. Old School RuneScape launched yesterday in full on iOS and Android.  Jagex is celebrating Old School RuneScape achieving a groundbreaking milestone, becoming the first mainstream PC MMORPG to release in its entirety on mobile devices.

A Historic Moment for Old School RuneScape and Jagex

In addition to this historic moment in the world of gaming, Jagex's step into the world of mobile devices offers gamers a seamless cross-platform play experience. This means gamers can easily and effortlessly jump from PC to mobile platforms and vice versa. There have been over one million pre-orders or pre-registrations placed by the RuneScape community. Additionally, there are already over a million already playing Old School RuneScape on Android devices which were a part of the Members’ Beta and soft launch.

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Let's be honest, almost everyone has seen this screen.

Old School RuneScape is a free-to-download app but joins the club with subscription-based apps like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube Premium. Not only is Old School RuneScape the first full PC MMORPG that expanded to mobile devices, but it will also be the first mainstream game to transfer their monthly membership to mobile. Most RuneScape players already know what a membership offers but for those that may not, this paid service gives gamers access to additional world locations, skills, quests, and massively expands the RuneScape universe.

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Who remembers this?

A membership doesn’t just apply to Old School RuneScape but also provides a membership for the current version of RuneScape as well. Modern RuneScape is not currently available on mobile devices.

RuneScape Membership pricing is as follows:

USD | GB Pounds | Euros

1 Month $10.99 £6.99 €9.49
3 Months $29.99 £18.99 €25.99
6 Months $54.99 £34.99 €47.99
12 Months $99.99 £62.99 €88.99

Old School RuneScape launched back in 2013, offering fans the opportunity to relive the glory days of the MMORPG. Many still see RuneScape as that browser-based MMO everyone played back when they were young kids, and that might be true. However, RuneScape has come such a long way and the end-game is surprisingly in-depth. RuneScape allows for countless hours of solo play as well as the option to take part in 100-player raids, far beyond the nostalgic RuneScape experience everyone remembers. It has even set itself apart by fully embracing a competitive community with a seasonal free-for-all event called Deadman Tournaments. The winners receive a huge cash prize and membership.

With over 250 million player accounts worldwide, RuneScape has been going strong since 2001 and only shows signs of continuing to move forward. It’s been a long while since any member of the Gigamax Games crew played either the new or old RuneScape but it might be time for a hasty return.

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Final Fantasy XIV Director Wants Game on Switch

Final Fantasy XIV Director Wants Game on Switch

Final Fantasy XIV is an amazing MMORPG that has captured the hearts (and wallets) of many players around the world. This game has a pretty hardcore fan base that would love to see it played by as many people as possible. If things go as planed, fans will soon see this experience on two more consoles.

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The Inside Scoop

In a recent interview with gaming publication, Kotaku, the game's director, Naoki Yoshida, stated that "would love for as many players to be on FFXIV as possible" and continued by saying "conversations have been had with Phil Spencer of Microsoft, and the upper management teams of Nintendo." (http://bit.ly/2tBoW50) Although if this were to happen, Yoshida has one condition that may be the biggest hurdle.

Yoshida confirmed in the interview that if the game were to be made available on both consoles that they must has cross platform play. He stated that the reason this has to happen is because many companies don't realize how consistent updates and the way servers are maintained and operated for MMO's go into how the game runs. "Those can become a hurdle when we consider operating FFXIV for an extended period of time," he said. "So when I talk to those first-party companies, I ask them, 'Do you have the capability to prepare for that, do you have the resolve that you're going to make sure to take responsibility and take care of those, do you have that willingness?'

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Sony seems like a lost cause in terms of cross platform play. Recently, the company opted out of allowing both Minecraft and Rocket League to be played between the competing consoles. This follows the announcement at Microsoft's E3 conference where they laid out plans to continue support for cross platform play between the Switch and PC players. Sony currently has no intentions to ever allow cross platform play and may never allow it to happen on their consoles.

Recently Square Enix debuted the most recent expansion for FF XIV, Stormblood and has made it clear that they are going to continue to support the game. Gigamax Games has recently become heavily invested in this game and will keep a close eye on any updates the developer releases so make sure to keep checking back for more.

Sources:

http://kotaku.com/final-fantasy-xivs-director-says-theres-still-so-much-m-1796345981

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/final-fantasy-xiv-director-wants-switch-and-xbox-o/1100-6451129/

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Overview

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Overview

The Elder Scrolls Online will soon expand once more.  Morrowind is coming out June 6th and fans of the MMORPG are itching to get their hands on thethe elder scrolls online morrowind, morrowind expansion cover expansion. Opening up this classic Elder Scrolls location, long time fans of the series are excited to take a look at the new class and area(s). The Warden, with it’s beast campaign are only a small part of this expansive new addition. Morrowind is expected to bring an entirely new area just waiting to be explored.  Let’s take a look at what we can expect to see from the new expansion.

 

Morrowind Trailer Offers Insights Into Warden Class

Morrowind's cinematic trailer begins with an incredible chase scene where the new class, the Warden, makes their first appearance. Showing off the class's abilities in a dramatic combat sequence, it gives an idea of how the character can be used. Entering the fight with their tell tale bear pet, the Warden eventually shows up swinging a two handed sword. Wearing what seems to be heavy armor but casting spells, this class is sure to bring with it a few surprises. Also, a new enemy rears its ugly head as the trailer fades out which just leads to the imagination going wild. Find the trailer below to get a look at this hype inducing 3 minutes.

 

Game Informer Live Stream

Today, 5/23/17 Game Informer held a live stream of Morrowind showing off the new Warden class. This lets fans see exactly how the Warden will handle on PC. Still the question is up in the air what the end-game will look like in this latest addition to Elder Scrolls Online. This glimps into Morrowing is surly just a peak throught he keyhole.

Watch live video from GameInformer on www.twitch.tv

Pricing and Details

There will be something a little different with Morrowind besides the in-game content. Morrowind is an expansion rather than a regular DLC. This will means players can expect even more content than a normal DLC but this also comes at a price. Listed on the Playstation store, the Morrowind expansion will cost $39.99 but right now there’s a 10% discount for pre-orders.

All this information gives the world a pretty good idea of what the final edition of Morrowind might look like and play like on PC and console. Some PC gamers have already been playing Morrowind on early access, but it’s common for developers to add patches and updates to improve the content or gameplay once it is officially released.

More to Come

Be sure to check back on GigamaxGames.com for the latest coverage on the new expansion. Get ready for new video’s, articles and discussions surrounding this new leg in the Elder Scrolls Online saga. Being huge fans of the serious. this game will take the crew on an incredible journey and they want to take you along for the ride. If you’re still on the fence about spending almost $40 extra dollars on the new ESO expansion, stick around for our impressions.

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