mmo en Blizzard Kills Titan MMO 7 Years Into Development <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blizzard_entertainment.jpg" alt="Blizzard Entertainment" title="Blizzard Entertainment" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Seven years into the project, Titan's developers couldn't find the fun or passion.</h3> <p>Bad news if you were pinning your hopes on Titan being your next MMO after you've grown tired of World of Warcraft. <strong>After spending at least seven years in development, Blizzard has officially cancelled Titan</strong>, putting an end to a project that Blizzard ultimately decided it wasn't something it wanted to do at this time. On the bright side, Blizzard may still make another MMO someday, but for now, that's not the direction it wants to take.</p> <p>Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime revealed the decision in an <a href="" target="_blank">interview with <em>Polygon</em></a>, telling the site that it just couldn't get excited about the project. The company knew it could make a successful MMO -- World of Warcraft proved it -- but despite plans to build an ambitious follow-up, the team just couldn't get it to come together.</p> <p>"We didn't find the fun," Morhaime said. "We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."</p> <p>So just like that, Blizzard pulled the plug, though after spending that much time on the game, the decision to do so was an "excruciating" one.</p> <p>Reading through the interview, it seems that Blizzard is perhaps overly sensitive to being pegged as an MMORPG company, or any other genre for that matter.</p> <p>"We just want to make great games every time," Morhaime said.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> blizzard games mmo Software titan News Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:35:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 28595 at Google Niantic's Reality MMO "Ingress" Leaves Beta, Now Open to Everyone <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ingress_players.jpg" alt="Ingress Players" title="Ingress Players" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Augmented reality meets MMO</h3> <p>After more than a year in <a href="" target="_blank">closed beta</a> and amassing over 1 million downloads, <strong>Google's Niantic Labs just launched Ingress </strong>to the public. What is Ingress, you ask? It's a journey into alternate reality gaming, is one answer. Another answer is that it's a blending of augmented reality with MMO gaming for people with Android devices (iOS support will come later). It gets gamers outdoors in a sort of geo-caching expedition with real-life capture point control.</p> <p>At present, users can join one of two factions: Enlightened or Resistance. Scattered throughout the game are different color "Portals" to an alternate universe that you can see, discover, and capture with your mobile phone. Agents of the Enlightened want to know more about these Portals and embrace their power, while agents of the Resistance fear they're influencing the way we think (mind hacking) and want to defend and protect what's left of humanity.</p> <p>This is really just the tip of the iceberg. The game's back story is rather deep and involved, but short and to the point, the world around you is the game. It's a neat way to discover new places and landmarks, and best of all, it's free. If you want to give it a try, you can <a href="" target="_blank">download Ingress from Google Play</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> android augmented reality games Google ingress mmo niantic labs Software News Tue, 17 Dec 2013 21:17:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 26908 at Razer Redesigns Naga MMO Gaming Mouse for Improved Ergonomics, Adds Mechanical Switches <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_naga_angle.jpg" alt="Razer Naga" title="Razer Naga" width="228" height="179" style="float: right;" />Best selling MMO gaming mouse just got better</h3> <p><a href=""><strong>Razer</strong></a> isn't the least bit bashful to point out that its Naga mouse is the best selling MMO gaming rodent of all time, but rather than rest on its laurels, the peripheral maker decided to the tweak the design. The newest version of the Naga mouse now sports mechanical switches for increased tactility, speed, and actuation assurance, while each button on the thumb grid stands out more pronounced than previous generation models to allow for blind-finding, Razer says.</p> <p>The form factor is a little different, too. The revised Naga has a broader shape to accommodate more hand types. The fourth and fifth finger rest now has a gentler down-slope for better grip and less fatigue, and the scroll wheel gains a tilt function that wasn't present on the previous iteration.</p> <p>"When we launched the original Razer Naga gaming mouse several years ago, we had no idea that it would rise to become the best-selling MMO gaming mouse the world has ever seen, helping launch a slew of other MMO mice," said Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. "In fact, we expect the copycats to be the first in line to order the new Razer Naga. This new iteration is no different – mechanical thumb grid buttons for better game control, improved ergonomics that were already widely accepted as the benchmark for this type of mouse within the editorial community and intuitive software that makes MMO gaming more efficient."</p> <p>Razer's also introducing in-game MMO configuration software with the Naga so that owners can setup key binds, macros, and other preferences from within any games they play. The software uses a non-intrusive overlay so gamers needn't exit to the desktop.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/razer_naga_side.jpg" alt="Razer Naga Side" title="Razer Naga Side" /></p> <p>Other features include 19 MMO optimized programmable buttons, a 12-button mechanical thumb grid, 8200 dpi 4G laser sensor, green LED backlight, 1,000Hz Ultrapolling, up to 200 inches per second / 50g max acceleration, and zero-acoustic Ultraslick mouse feet.</p> <p>Finally, Razer is launching a left-handed addition of the new Naga. The company claims it's producing the mouse at a fiscal loss, but decided to forge ahead anyway due to popular community demand.</p> <p>The new Naga is available now for $80 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Gaming Hardware mmo mouse naga Peripherals razer News Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:07:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 26017 at No BS Podcast #197: All Rants Edition <!--paging_filter--><h3>All of Gordon's epic rants from 2012!</h3> <p>"Could ya'll possibly make an 'all rant edition' podcast this year like there have been in previous years? I liked those episodes of all the rants from the past year cut up into one." – user <a title="maximum pc steve" href="" target="_blank">steven4570</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/gordzilla.png" alt="Gordzilla" title="Gordzilla" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><strong>Catzilla has nothing on Gordzilla</strong></em></p> <p>Well, steven4570, be careful what you wish for because we listened and have unleashed hell's wrath…or at least Gordon's. Yes, that's right, we have assembled all of Gordon's rants from 2012 and have compiled them into one rant-fest that shall be known as <strong><a title="No BS Podcast #197: All Rants Edition" href="" target="_blank">Maximum PC's No BS Podcast episode #197</a></strong>. In this retrospective edition, Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung rages over such topics such as Star Wars, Apple, and consoles. The rants were plucked from episode #182 all the way up to episode #193. It is almost three hours long so if you've got a weak stomach for passionate hatred, you may want to listen in small doses!</p> <div> <p>If you have feedback for the show, please leave it in the comments. If you want to catch future episodes, you can:</p> <p>Subscribe on&nbsp;<a title="iTunes" href=";;xs=1&amp;;xguid=627db7057ac7ccfd23f9a503957ff08e&amp;xcreo=0" target="_blank">iTunes&nbsp;</a></p> <p>Fan us on&nbsp;<a title="maximum pc facebook" href="" target="_blank">Facebook&nbsp;</a></p> <p>Tweet us on&nbsp;<a title="twitter" href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> <p>Check out&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC windows 8 app" href="" target="_blank">our Windows 8 app</a>&nbsp;in Microsoft's app store</p> <p>Email us at&nbsp;<a title="maximum pc email" href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>Subscribe to our&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC feed" href="" target="_blank">RSS feed</a></p> <p>Leave us a voicemail at 877-404-1337 x1337</p> <p>Thanks for listening!</p> <p>-Maximum PC Staff</p> </div> 197 all rants edition apple Consoles episode gordon mah ung maximum pc mmo No BS Podcast rant star wars No BS Podcast Thu, 14 Mar 2013 18:52:41 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 25187 at Logitech G600 Mouse Brings 20 Buttons to the MMO LAN Party <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/logitech_g600_0.jpg" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />Logitech is <a href="">rolling out</a> a new addition to its G-Series gaming lineup, the G600 MMO Gaming Mouse, which features a whopping 20 buttons, including 12 thumb buttons plopped into groups of six "on a meticulously designed thumb panel." There are three default profiles to choose from, two of which are best suited for MMO games and and the other for general gaming, in case you want take a break from World of Warcraft and change things up with Battlefield 3 or the like.</p> <p>The thumb panel is supposed to be easy to reach so you never have to look away from where the action is, but if you do, it should be easy to spot the button you're looking for courtesy of customizable LED backlighting.</p> <p>As for the laser sensor, Logitech rates the resolution at 200 to 8200 dpi (you can change it on-the-fly), image processing at 11.25 megapixels per second, max acceleration at 25G, and max speed of up to 160 inches per second. Other features include a G-Shift function (assign it to a button to double the number of functions on all the others), braided USB cable, and low-friction feet.</p> <p>The <a href="">Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse</a> will be available in July for $80. It comes in black or white.</p> <p>Image Credit: Logitech</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="">Facebook</a></em></p> g600 Hardware logitech mmo mouse Peripherals News Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:55:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 23590 at Star Wars: The Old Republic Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>A fabulous single-player experience in a massively multiplayer online game</h3> <p><strong>STAR WARS:</strong> The Old Republic (TOR) comes with a buffet of a story for an MMO, but you only get to fill your plate once. From decisions as significant as choosing your character’s class specialization to events as trivial as responding to key dialog options, everything you do has a lasting and permanent effect on your gameplay. We like the feast: BioWare’s masterful use of instanced environments creates more captivating gameplay for the solo quester than most any other MMO.</p> <p>But this is BioWare’s first foray into the massively multiplayer world, and it shows. TOR is more a role-playing game you play alongside 999,999 friends than a true MMO. BioWare either poorly integrates or completely misses the mark on many of the elements that define an MMO. On the upside, the beautiful blend of voice acting and dialogue options in each of TOR’s many quests should earn the game a celebratory parade through the Yavin 4 throne room. And while the scripted quests (occasionally punctuated by John Williams’s familiar score) are immersive, they make the rest of the game’s environments seem stale by comparison. TOR’s non-instanced “generic” areas just aren’t very player-interactive. The Nar Shadda casino, a cold and lifeless location that cries out for mini-games and interactivity, is just one example. And don’t get us started on TOR’s cantina music.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" width="620" height="388" /></p> <p>Whoever designed TOR’s sprawling landscapes (and transportation flowcharts) deserves to be Force choked. Traveling feels like marathon training until you gain the Sprint power at level 15, or player vehicles at level 25. Even then, you can probably alt-tab out and watch the full Battle of Hoth while you auto-run your journey between planets, space, and your ship to fulfill various missions.</p> <p>TOR isn’t designed so you can amass armies of friends to take out a faction leader, nor is it even really geared for generic player-versus-player prior to level 50. It’s telling that even on a PvP server, it took us until level 27 (out of 50) to encounter our first enemy player in the wild. TOR’s instanced PvP matches are simple and fun—yes, even Huttball—but BioWare’s decision to have power-boosted lowbies play alongside top-level characters is baffling.</p> <p>TOR’s general combat is challenging and interactive. It includes targetable combustibles that can deal significant damage to nearby enemies, and pop-up bonus objectives that give players more of a reason to fight. That said, the boss fights of TOR’s group instances, or Flashpoints, aren’t very impressive through mid-game: The strategies are simple and the tanking and spanking is prevalent.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" width="620" height="388" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Keep an eye out for clickables (or killables) during normal quests, and you could earn some tasty experience from self-updating bonus objectives!</em></p> <p>And then there are the omissions: TOR’s space combat system is more Rebel Assault than TIE Fighter, and it’s pathetic to see no Flashpoint matchmaking system beyond shouting “LFG” in general chat. There’s no true guild support beyond just having one, no in-game achievements for the boastful, and absolutely no UI customization or add-on support to speak of. The game’s Legacy features—beyond granting a player access to a last name around level 30 or so—are even labeled within the game with a big fat “coming soon.” Come on.</p> <p>But no MMO can go from Padawan to Jedi Master (or Darth) in a single launch window: If BioWare can complement the game’s excellent single-player experience with more of the MMO genre’s successful staples (including a stronger implementation of the features we enjoyed in, say, Star Wars: Galaxies), then The Old Republic could very well be the “prequel” that beats out some of the MMO landscape’s big original titles. How many times do you get to say that about anything Star Wars?</p> bioware EA game Kotor mmo pc Review Star Wars: The Old Republic video videogame wow Games Reviews Mon, 28 May 2012 07:47:21 +0000 David Murphy 23407 at BioWare Lays Off Staff After Star Wars: The Old Republic Loses 1/4 Of Its Subscribers <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/starwarstor.jpg" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />When it rains, it pours, and the BioWare Austin team behind Star Wars: The Old Republic has been caught in a veritable monsoon of crappy circumstances. Just a few weeks back, an EA earnings statement revealed that <a href="">the MMO had lost about a quarter of its subscribers</a> during the last financial quarter. Execs said it was simply free trial players cycling out of the game, but BioWare announced yesterday that it had laid off some of the SWTOR team.</p> <p>BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka <a href="">told fans about the decision in the SWTOR forum</a>:</p> <p><em>Hey folks, since you’re reading this you may likely have heard that we’ve done some restructuring here on the SWTOR team. Sadly, we are bidding farewell to some talented, passionate and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make SWTOR a reality. Impacting people’s lives this way is always very hard, but we’re ensuring the affected people are treated with dignity, fairness and respect</em>.</p> <p>BioWare didn't announce the exact number of employees affected, but Internet scuttlebutt said the axe hit a fairly large percentage of the team. Nevertheless, Zeschuk and Muzyka said they "still have a very substantial development team working on supporting and growing the game," with new content and features planned for upcoming days.</p> <p>SWTOR hasn't exactly taken the galaxy by storm the way EA and BioWare hoped it would. Have you <a href="">played around in SWTOR</a>? What did you think of it? Do you think premium subscriptions still have a role in this increasingly free to play MMO world?</p> Gaming layoffs mmo MMORPG MMORPGs star wars Star Wars: The Old Republic News Wed, 23 May 2012 17:56:26 +0000 Brad Chacos 23381 at Tamriel Goes MMO: Bethesda Announces "Elder Scrolls Online" <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/elder_scrolls_online.jpg" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />After months (years!) of rumors and whispers, it's finally official: Bethesda just announced that it's developing "Elder Scrolls Online," an MMO version of its much-beloved role playing series. Just scanning the press release's subject line sent butterflies fluttering through my stomach: can Bethesda take its superb single player universe online successfully, or will this prove to be a proverbial arrow in the knee for the series?</p> <p>We won't know for sure until sometime in 2013, when the game launches for PCs and Macs, but the Elder Scrolls Online is the <a href="">main feature and cover story in this month's Game Informer magazine</a>. The details are still very scarce, but GI's brief teaser indicates the game takes place "across the entire land of Tamriel, from Elsweyr to Skyrim and everywhere in between… set a millennium before the events of Skyrim as the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm."</p> <p>There will also be a three-faction PVP mode that has players fighting for control of Cyrodiil and the Emperor's throne, the publication reports. </p> <p>"We have been working hard to create an online world in which players will be able to experience the epic Elder Scrolls universe with their friends, something fans have long said they wanted," game director Matt Firor said in the company's press release. "It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years. The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made - and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise."</p> <p>Well, Matt, our fingers are nervously crossed. </p> <p>Game Informer plans on periodically updating its <a href="">Elder Scrolls Online hub</a> with new content over the coming weeks, starting with a teaser trailer tomorrow.</p> <p>So, are you pumped at the idea of Dragon Shouting fools off of cliffs across Tamriel, or scared that the game will devolve into fools Dragon Shouting other fools off of cliffs around Tamriel?</p> <p><em>Image credit: Game Informer</em></p> bethesda bethesda softworks elder scrolls games mmo MMORPG MMORPGs pc games The Elder Scrolls the elder scrolls online News Thu, 03 May 2012 17:39:40 +0000 Brad Chacos 23258 at Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free For Easter Weekend <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u138055/starwarstor.jpg" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />Stuck all alone in Mobile while your family gets together in Memphis this holiday weekend? Don't get mopey -- if it's up to EA and BioWare, you won't be flying (Han) solo this weekend. The companies hope to entice hesitant gamers to the dark side with a free helping of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The doors are wide open until the end of Sunday!</p> <p>If our <a href="">slightly less than overwhelming review of the game</a> combined with SWOTR's high sticker ($60) and subscription costs ($15/mo.) dropped you on the fence, this freebie window is a great way to try the game out for yourself and discover if you find the story-centric MMO to be more Jedi Padawan or Jedi Master. </p> <p>No commitment or credit card is needed to give the game a whirl, but you can't partake if you've signed up for a free SWTOR pass previously. BioWare plans on storing Free Pass characters indefinitely, so if you decide to pick up the lightsaber again sometime in the future, your trial characters will be ready and waiting for action. Freeloading players do have some restrictions, however, all of which can be read about over at <a href="">the Weekend Pass Free Trial FAQ page</a>. (Hint: Don't plan on trading items with other players or exceeding level 15!)</p> <p>Interested? Head on over to <a href="">the SWTOR Weekend Pass page</a> and sign up now. The offer started yesterday so you should be able to jump right in to the action.</p> bioware cool free Gaming mmo star wars Star Wars: The Old Republic News Fri, 06 Apr 2012 17:53:30 +0000 Brad Chacos 23080 at Elder Scroll News: Skyrim 1.5 Patch Emphasizes Kill Shots; MMO Coming in May <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/skyrim_kill.jpg" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />By now you've have had plenty of time to log significant hours into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and may have even finished the main quest, but you've probably only scratched the surface of all there is to do. In case you were starting to lose motivation, Bethesda is working on a patch that, among other things, makes it much more satisfying to kill enemies.</p> <p>Our sister site <a href=""><em>PC Gamer</em></a> is hosting a trailer for the new patch and has the full skinny on what new features it brings to the table, including new cinematic kill cameras for projectile weapons and spells, and new kill moves and animations for melee weapons. There's also a whole bunch of bug fixes.</p> <p>In other Skyrim news, <a href=",news-14481.html"><em>Tom's Guide</em></a> claims ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda are working an Elder Scrolls MMO. Elder Scrolls Online will debut in May of next year and take place a full millennium before Skyrim, most likely during the 'Second Era,' which is hundreds of years before any of the Elder Scrolls games.</p> <p><em>Tom's Guide</em> says you'll be able to choose one of three playable factions, each represented by a different animal. They include a lion, a dragon, and a bird of prey.</p> 1.5 bethesda games Internet mmo online patch Skyrim Software The Elder Scrolls update Videogames News Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:20:03 +0000 Paul Lilly 22929 at Exclusive Sneak Peek: Mad Catz' Most Over-The-Top Mouse Yet <!--paging_filter--><p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u57670/mmomouse.jpg" width="620" height="362" style="border-style: initial; border-color: initial; text-align: center;" /></p> <p>It's been a little more than a year since we <a href="">first reviewed the R.A.T. gaming mouse</a> from Mad Catz, and called it the best mouse we’ve ever played with. Since then, there’s been a couple of incremental upgrades to the line (the cordless R.A.T. 9, the white <a href="">"Albino" R.A.T.</a> the 6400 DPI Contagion Edition), but nothing that fundamentally altered the design. They’re about to do just that, though, and we got to take a sneak peak at the result.</p> <p>The Cyborg M.M.O. is (for all the terribly bad guessers out there) a version of the R.A.T. designed for MMO gaming. Where the original R.A.T. had 6 programmable buttons, the M.M.O. has 13, plus a shift button and a three-mode toggle, allowing for a maximum of 78 custom bindings per profile.</p> <p>Also like the original, the M.M.O. has a feature we’ve never seen on a mouse before. Special buttons on either side of the scroll wheel allow you enter “Action Lock” mode, where any right- or left-mouse-button click toggles between the button being in the “up” position and the button being held down. The idea is that you use this feature for MMOs where holding right click causes your character to run forward, or enter mouselook mode. Tri-color indicator LEDs in each mouse button keep you from losing track of whether Action Lock is on or off.</p> <p>And of course the mouse comes equipped with the latest 6400 DPI sensor—a feature that might be more useful to RTS or FPS gamers. We’ll be looking forward to testing out the M.M.O. for a full review, but so far we like what we see. Check out our gallery of the M.M.O.’s snazzy new paint job below, and less us know what you think of Mad Catz’ latest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Build a PC cyborg Gaming Hardware Mad Catz mmo mouse rat News Sat, 12 Nov 2011 00:37:23 +0000 Alex Castle 21300 at Age of Empires Online Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>So AOE, World of Warcraft, and Farmville walk into a bar…</h3> <p>Playing Age of Empires Online is like greeting an old friends for the first time in years, but instead of returning your friendly fist-bump, your pal socks you in the gut. Don't get us wrong: AOEO isn't a bad game, and somewhere benearth its mountain of MMO-influenced bling, the AOE of yore forms the online version's steel-sharp strategic center. Problem is, this isn't so much an instance of old meeting new as it is old and new getting thrown haphazardly into a blender. As a result, some of the game works, and some of it really, really doesn't.</p> <p>Truthfully, AOEO is two games in one. There's the classic Age of Empires RTS that in the innocent days of your youth taught you how to wage bloody, ruthless war, and there's, well, World of Warcraft. AOEO's main hub is a persistent city that gains experience points, has its own talent tree, and is capable of equipping your troops with stat-boosting gear. Meanwhile, crafting takes a questionable page from Farmville's vile book, requiring you to manually micromanage resources after a certain number of real-life hours pass.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u139222/aoeo-big.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u139222/aoeo-600.jpg" width="600" height="450" /></a><br /><strong>Cool guys don't look at explosions.</strong></p> <p>But what about the part where you click miniature men and order them to raise their tiny toothpick swords in your name? Well, that's separate from your city. See, hub cities are littered with quest-givers who hand out specific tasks to be completed within RTS matches. Sometimes, you'll be asked to simply command and conquer your way through a regular battle. Other times, though, you might find yourself embroiled in a neck-and-neck camel race. Unfortunately, quests repeat themselves a bit too much, and—despite AOEO's candy-coated veneer—get really damn hard as you progress. Co-op makes that particular pill a bit less bitter, buy you'll definitely run into an "Are you kidding me?" moment or two.</p> <p>The upside: When the tug of war between AOEO's two components reaches a happy medium, it's pure, addictive bliss. Customizing your talent tree and unlocking new units is utterly compulsive—even if the early goings are a bit too bare-bones. The carrot-on-a-stick usage here is masterful; it always feels like you're just a quest or two away from unlocking some cool new thing. However, this also throws multiplayer balance way out of whack. We don't consider ourselves strategic geniuses, but we lost a good many matches because our units were simply worse.</p> <p>On top of that, AOEO's free-to-play nature is a seriously double-edged sword. On one hand, the game's free, but starter civilizations miss out on many units, items, and craftables, not to mention a chunk of the talent tree. Premium civilizations, meanwhile, weight in at $20, and booster pakcs will run you between $5 and $10. Or there's the season pass, which tips the scales at a whopping $100 for six-months' worth of content. Also of note: This is a Games for Windows Live title. By and large, Microsoft's reviled service keeps to itself, but if your internet connection hiccups, say bye-bye to your mid-match progress. No saves, no resume options—nothing. You're simply banished to the login screen, no ifs, ands, or buts.</p> <p>It's a shame, too, because AOEO really has a lot going for it. It's insidiously addictive, jam-packed with content, and—this really can't be stated enough—an Age of Empires game through-and-through. In the end, that's what it all comes down to. As a game, AOEO's mostly great. The army of annoyances surrounding it, though? Not so much.</p> <p><strong>Free-to-play, <a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong><br /><strong>ESRB: E</strong></p> Age of Empires Online Gaming mmo rts 2011 Games November 2011 Reviews From the Magazine Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:12:21 +0000 Nathan Grayson 20195 at Interplay Circling the Drain, Fallout MMO Probably Going with It <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u46190/fallout.jpg" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />From the moment we first saw the Fallout MMO beginning to take shape, we thought it seemed too good to be true. But we just figured we'd get a half-baked, wasteland-wandering WoW clone out of it – not, you know, <em>nothing</em>. Sadly, the latter's now looking like a distinct possibility, as publisher Interplay's found itself in a bit of a pickle. And by “a bit,” we mean one of those mutant “world's biggest” tourist trap pickles that have their own giftshops in towns whose populations are halved anytime someone takes out the garbage.</p> <p>Put simply, Interplay's in debt. More specifically, over $500,000 in debt. Meanwhile, in Interplay's bank account: $3,000. You do the math.</p> <p>“If we cannot generate additional income or raise additional capital in the near future, we may become insolvent or be made bankrupt or may become illiquid or worthless,” read an SEC filing <a href="">uncovered by Develop</a>.</p> <p>Fallout Online – which is also currently being blocked by Bethesda's lawyers – isn't the only game facing an early trip to the chopping block, either. ClayFigher, Stonekeep, Descent, and Earthworm Jim 4 are also reenacting that one really cliched (but still oddly moving) scene from Toy Story 3. Granted, all hope isn't lost. Interplay just needs more funding, after all. That, however, may well be an impossibly tall order. Straight from the horse's mouth:</p> <p>“However, no assurance can be given that funding can be obtained on acceptable terms, or at all,” said Interplay in the SEC filing.</p> <p>“These conditions, combined with the company’s historical operating losses and its deficits in stockholders’ equity and working capital, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”</p> <p>So yes. Not much room for thin rays of hope or lights at the end of the tunnel to squeeze through there. Fingers crossed, of course, as it's never fun to see people lose their jobs. But still, we don't recommend holding your breath.</p> debt Fallout Online Gaming Interplay mmo news Gaming News Wed, 01 Jun 2011 07:24:18 +0000 Nathan Grayson 18810 at Want to Join The Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta? BioWare Accepting Sign-Ups Now <!--paging_filter--><p>It's no exaggeration to say that the eyes of the entire MMO world are on Star Wars: The Old Republic right now. Hell, even the guys and gals with the inspirational “I kicked the habit and you can too!” stories typically add a defeated “...but I don't think I'll be able to resist The Old Republic.” And now, BioWare's offering an opportunity for you to get an early start on what's sure to be a beautiful, fun, and – most importantly – completely debilitating relationship. </p> <p> Over on the official <a href="">Star Wars: The Old Republic website</a>, BioWare's begun accepting another round of sign-ups for the soon-to-begin closed beta test. Simply create a TOR community account, head over to the Game Testing Portal, and – quick as Jar-Jar Binks laying waste to someone's childhood – you're in!</p> <p> Granted, we're still talking closed beta here, so no matter how badly you want to take the game for a test drive, you won't get a golden ticket unless you meet BioWare's “specific requirements” for this test. </p> <p> So, with all that said, we have to ask: what are you still doing here? Go! Sign up now or risk playing the game at the same time as everyone else like some kind of filthy videogame <em>peasant</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u46190/starwarstorsaber.jpg" alt="" width="415" height="233" /></p> beta bioware Gaming Gaming Software mmo news Software Software News Star Wars: The Old Republic Gaming News Wed, 01 Dec 2010 03:51:40 +0000 Nathan Grayson 15872 at Razer Rolls Out First Dedicated MMO Gaming Keyboard <!--paging_filter--><p>At a glance, Razer's newly <a href="">announced</a> Anansi keyboard looks like any other modern gaming plank. Ask Razer, however, and they'll tell you the Anansi is the world's first <em>MMO</em> gaming keyboard, and a perfect compliment to the company's Naga MMO mouse line.</p> <p>"The Razer Anansi gaming keyboard is the new weapon of choice for MMO gamers," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Let’s face it, the regular keyboard that came with your PC was designed and built for typing, not for MMO gaming. With its revolutionary seven thumb modifier keys, every key combination that you had before is now multiplied by seven times. The Razer Anansi allows you to use every spell, ability or custom macro in your arsenal -- both instantly and in complete comfort."</p> <p>Razer's Anansi sports seven thumb modifier keys, over 100 programmable "Hyperesponse" keys with on-the-fly macro recording, 20 gaming profiles with one-button profile switching, five additional gaming keys, customized backlight options, anti-ghosting, and a gaming mode that disables the Windows key.</p> <p>The Anansi will ship in December for $100.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/razer_anansi.jpg" alt="" width="405" height="268" /></p> <h5 style="text-align: left;">Image Credit: Razer</h5> anansi Gaming Gaming Hardware Hardware keyboard mmo Peripherals razer Videogames News Wed, 27 Oct 2010 14:30:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 15299 at