Dive into Another World: MMORPGs

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday and new year, everyone! Here’s hoping that everyone is planning great things for 2017, both for personal and gaming goals!

Rachel and I have been hard at work trying to improve this blog, to figure out bigger and better ways to connect to fellow gamers and writers. Because, honestly, isn’t that the point of gaming? Socializing and excitedly freaking out with your fellow nerds?

(Real talk, I’ve never understood where that old stereotype of gamers hanging out in the basement of their parents’ house alone came from.)

This year I would love to try my hand at more MMORPGs. Although they’re not required to enjoy the games, Rachel and I are comparing prices and reviews of microphones and headphones for such games so we can, you know, possibly communicate with other gamers (outside of the game’s chat system, of course).

I’m not entirely sure where to start. I used to play City of Heroes when it had been around, having tons of fun flying around, kicking butt, and teaming up with other players when I could. Back then, I was like Batman, working better alone if only due to my computer being just barely able to run the game. It wouldn’t have been fair to join a team of fellow superheroes only for my system to lag during an important battle.

Rachel and I were thinking of Lord of the Rings Online, figuring that it was a familiar enough franchise for us to dive into and play with each other. Star Trek Online is another world I would love to join. I would love to try perhaps World of Warcraft down the line, that kind of fantasy world being right up my alley. Overwatch is still on my list to play, too.

What about you out there — any MMORPGs that you enjoy playing? Any recommendations, for games or equipment?

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Flashback Friday: City of Heroes

Double Jump Kris Mii Yay, it’s Friday!

This week we’re celebrating an old MMORPG that I used to play and that, sadly, has closed it’s doors. It was fun while it lasted!

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City of Heroes was a MMORPG that had opened its doors in North America in April 2004 and eventually shut down at the end of November 2012. It was developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCSOFT. The game allowed players to create their own superhero character to protect the fictional Paragon City from various villains and gangs, either solo or while teaming up with other players.

Every detail about the character was created from the ground up by the player, from the character’s body type to looks and costume to origin of superpowers to hero archetype. It was so detailed, in fact, that Marvel had filed a lawsuit against the developer for allowing the creation of characters that infringed on Marvel’s copyrights and trademarks. The claims were settled in December 2005, and Marvel even teamed up with Cryptic Studios down the road to help the now-titled Marvel Heroes 2016.

A player could easily get lost in the many options of the character screen, especially with the superpower choices. Did your superhero gain his powers through technology? Or is she a mutant? Science or magic may also grant one superpowers, or powers may just come naturally to the hero. Each origin gave way to certain perks and growths with one’s powers, as well as different types of abilities as well. As you leveled up, you were able to unlock more powers in your move pool, such as stronger lightning bolts if you had chosen electricity-based powers, and travel powers like super speed or flight.

Then there was the superhero archetype, giving way to how the hero fought. Was she a Tanker on the field of battle, having awesome defense, or maybe he was a Scrapper, a nimble melee fighter? Blasters were a little fragile, but got great hits — both short-range and long-range — on their opponents, while Controllers’ abilities usually dealt with the mind, tricking enemies or summoning “pets” to help out in a fight. Defenders could weaken enemies while bolstering allies’ abilities.

The setting of the game itself was amazing. Paragon City was a huge playground with plenty of zones and multiple gangs of enemies to fight either on the street or on missions given to you from your trainer. It was always simple enough to team up with other players, either temporarily or creating an actual team (with a sidekick system!), to deal out justice.

The sequel, City of Villains, was released in October of 2005 and allowed players to create — you guessed it — villains instead of heroes. The City of Heroes expansion pack Going Rogue was released in August 2010 and gave players the best of both worlds and even allowed characters to switch their alliances, with heroes becoming vigilantes before being called a villain or villains gaining the name rogue before gaining hero status.

Unfortunately, the studio had closed its doors to the game in 2012 despite the many valiant efforts of players to keep the game open. Players flooded the servers to give out farewells and heartfelt thanks for the game that had spawned comic books, tabletop role-playing games, card games, novels, and many fansites.

Did you used to play City of Heroes? How did you enjoy it?

Chronicles of Elyria

Double Jump Kris Mii Hello, hello! Kris here!

Everyone knows what an MMORPG is, right? Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, to be exact. I’m here to share a bit of news about a new one on Kickstarter that has a unique twist: your character ages and dies.

 

Chronicles of Elyria is a brand new MMORPG developed by Soulbound Studios. One of its main selling points is how your character ages, dies, and is reincarnated into an even stronger character. The body may deteriorate, but the soul lives on.

Most MMORPGs have the player creating the standard avatar and completing quests from NPCs while earning experience to become a stronger level. Chronicles of Elyria boast an open world where there are no repeatable NPC quests, no set landscapes, and finite resources available, enabling players to interact and shape the world around them together. Not only do a player’s choices and actions affect those around him/her, but it also affects his/her character’s lifespan.

Every action determines how long your character lives. Chronicles of Elyria isn’t the type of MMORPG to allow avatars to respawn over and over. Every bit of damage that your character takes, every respawn he/she uses, lessens your character’s lifespan. It’ll make players think more carefully about their choices in the world that is constantly reshaping due to themselves and the players around them.

As the BGR article stated: “So what’s one surefire way to get players to make the most of their decisions in a game? Give them a death sentence.”

The concept art and screenshots look gorgeous, and the team that’s developing the game all tout backgrounds from other successful companies in the industry. Gamers and fans of MMORPG’s definitely should keep an eye on Chronicles of Elyria! The KickStarter is available here.