Is this a failure or just the path of an aging game?

MMO Champion has done some data analysis from the WoW armory and has found that upwards of 60% of all WoW players have done Highmaul at some level, whether LFR, Normal, Heroic, or Mythic.

However, only 36% have done even the first wing of Blackrock Foundry on any difficulty. That includes LFR, which has been available since February 17th. The later wings have been done by even fewer people.

I’ll admit, I have only done the first two wings of BRF, and only once each.

What’s the reason for this?

Is WoW hemorrhaging players the way the naysayers have claimed? I haven’t seen recent subscriber numbers. In my guild, a lot of our long-time players have stopped logging on. I don’t think they have unsubbed, but I don’t see them for days at a time. Why? There’s nothing in the game that is holding their attention.

Guild raiding seems to be dead unless you’re in a progression guild. It is easier to get your raiding fix through Group Finder or LFR. Here’s the downside of that – if your raiding activities are limited to LFR and Group Finder, then you have no personal motivation to upgrade your gear.

In guild raiding, if you run into a roadblock or wipe repeatedly, then you look for ways to improve. Everyone in the guild has to work to get better otherwise you’ll never succeed. You grind out opportunities for upgrades, whether in LFR or crafting or the auction house, because you have to run with the same people next week.

In LFR/GroupF inder raids, if your group fails, you can always requeue and find another group. There is no personal responsibility to gear up or even to be any good at all.

For example, I have not upgraded my crafted gear, even though I have the resources to do so. There is no personal motivation for me to spend the resources. LFR is easy and Group Finder is hit or miss, but a patient player can usually find a good group that will succeed. Why should I push myself and spend gold to raise my iLvL if I am just running LFR?

Because I have no gear grind driving me, I really don’t do many of the raid-related activities in the game. I do garrison chores and I do LFR to make progress in the legendary questline. I do pet battles to get closer to my Level 3 Menagerie and fishing to get closer to me Level 3 Fishing Shack. Once I finish those buildings I doubt I will pet battle or fish any more. Then it will just be the legendary and achievements keeping my attention.

The solution to this, in my mind, is to revitalize guild raiding. Incentivize raiding in guilds, somehow. That, however, is unlikely to happen. Blizzard has spent the past couple of xpacs crippling guilds in order to promote overall accessibility. Non-progression guilds are all-but-pointless now other than social constructs. Without guilds, we lose any personal responsibility. Instead of increasing raid accessibility, what we are seeing is people unsubscribing and raids are going unplayed.

I’ve heard that PVP stinks right now, too. What it seems like is that all of Blizzard’s efforts to increase accessibility of the game are falling flat once at max level. At level 100, the game is mainly engaging for progression raiding guilds. Everyone else – casuals, pvpers, guild raiders – are getting more and more unhappy.

I’m still busy in game, but it is discouraging to log on on a weeknight and see only 2-3 guildies online. If nothing changes, then I predict a nice spike in activity at patch 6.2, followed by a HUGE drop in players once they burn through that content. Hopefully Blizzard will add some hook to get our attention in the near future.

read more

Devil’s Third coming to PC as Devil’s Third Online

In what looks like an odd move, the Wii U title Devil’s Third from Valhalla Game Studios will be making its way to the PC in a cut-down online form as Devil’s Third Online.

PC gamers will probably have not been following Devil’s Third at all, so in case you were wondering, it’s a third-person action title created by Tomonobu Itagaki of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden fame. The PC version will be free to play but the “Story Mode” which features in the Wii U version is not included according to the press release.

By prior agreement with Nintendo, Valhalla has developed the free-to-play PC exclusive online game “Devil’s Third Online.” To spread “Devil’s Third” around the world, this game service will run from September 2015 onwards, in various regions around the world following the release of the Wii U version in each region.

In consideration of cultural characteristics in each region, the content is being optimized via co-development with local publishers. Service territories and the details of game content will be announced accordingly.

For your information, “Devil’s Third Online” is the online-exclusive game playable on PC and its service is specialized in matchup. Wii U exclusive “Story Mode” is not included in it.

The PC version is currently going by the name of Devil’s Third Online but that may change as the release date of September gets closer.


read more

Dying Light teases buggies in DLC round-up video

In a new video that could’ve been titled “gosh, look how much we’ve added to Dying Light over the last six months,” Techland offer a short tease of further additions.

It’s a very short tease, coming at the very end of the trailer and lasting about 20 seconds, but shows a chap revving a dune buggy. Buggies have been teased before (back in March, I think,) but look like they’re about to get included in the near future. Those with a better knowledge of Dying Light weapons than me may also be able to tell whether the gun shown in the buggy segment is new.

Producer Tymon Smektala says that this next add-on is something Techland have been “secretly working on since the release of the game.”

“This is Dying Light from totally new angle, but with everything fans love about the original still at the core,” he adds.

A new angle, hmm? Some sort of Carmageddon-like dune buggy racing with added zombie smashing? Perhaps.

Whatever it is, it’ll be getting an airing at Gamescom in early August. A “public reveal” will follow after that (if the news doesn’t just leak out from the trade show.) For now, here’s the video.


read more


Players who’ve logged into Dark Age of Camelot since yesterday will have met a stylish new NPC in the Mularn, Cotswold, and Mag Mell, as Broadsword has added a tribute character to the game in its latest update.

A quest NPC named Renvek Larson honors a six-year-old boy by the same name who’s battling ganglioneuroblastoma, a rare brain tumor. “Renvek got his name from his father’s own Dark Age of Camelot character,” says Broadsword, “and we are proud to honor the request to put an NPC that suits his playful nature into the game.”

Renvek’s father explained his son’s story and thanked Broadsword on Facebook. Read that and then go hug your kids.

In other patch news, the Otherworlds content also received a difficulty adjustment pass, and Darkness Falls (oh man, remember Darkness Falls?!) will open for all realms for the upcoming event weekend.


read more


PLAY NEVERWINTER FOR FREEThe upside of having a system to vote-kick players in Neverwinter is that abusive players can be identified and removed from a run before they ruin the experience. The downside is that players can also vote to kick out others just as loot is being distributed, thereby opening the doors to a whole different sort of abuse. Thus, the game’s vote-to-kick system is being revised in the near future to curb loot-related exploits.

Vote-kicking players will no longer be possible while loot is being rolled for or while players are in the middle of a boss fight, thus preventing two rather common forms of griefing. The change will be rolled out shortly before the Strongholds patch on the PC, with an Xbox patch and announcement coming “soon.” Hopefully, this will curtail abuse of the abuse-prevention system, because nothing is ever easy.


read more


PLAY TERA FOR FREEWhat’s summer without a party or two? That’s TERA’s thinking, as the action MMO announced that it’s dealing a one-two punch of celebratory fun this month.

TERA has reactivated two of its summer events, starting with the Festival of the Sun. Here players can eradicate vermin in a temple, clean up graffiti, and snack on a few icy desserts. Then there’s a beach party at Dragonturtle Beach, which features several mini-games including a splash cannon, watermelon smashing, and sandcastle building.

Of course, there are rewards to be obtained for undertaking the various related quests and minigames. Both events will be around until near the end of August.


read more