Tag: Online gaming »
I’ve only ever positively associated two franchises with the word “Avatar.” The first is the fantastic animated series on Nickelodean (watch it if you haven’t yet, seriously), and the second is Ultima. It was never quite as huge an RPG franchise as Final Fantasy, but it’s got more than enough die-hard fans to justify an iOS rekindling. Hence the upcoming Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar.
For those unfamiliar with the series it’s essentially a fantasy action RPG set in the same world (Britannia) but with ever changing threats. Each game also stars a legendary hero known as The Avatar. Hence the title. Ultima Foraver is set over twenty years after the events of Ultima IV with Lord British stepping down from the throne and his progeny, Lady British, taking over. The land is once again in peril and once again in need of The Avatar. A horrible disease referred to as “the Black Weep” is slowly consuming the land; turning people into monsters, ugly-ing up the countryside, and generally being a nuisance. Players must combat the Weep while also conditioning their character to become the next Avatar if Britannia is to have any hope of survival (Spoiler Alert: the series has currently already crossed into double-digits).
Ultima Forever is going to be an online RPG, but without all the rampant ganking found in Ultima Online (thank goodness). The focus this time is on co-op, with up to four players able to team up to take on an assortment of the game’s dungeons. Dungeons that scale in difficulty, depending on the number of participants of course. The number of players can also have an effect on what areas can be accessed as certain locks and other puzzles require a specific number of people present to interact with them. Combat itself is also a bit more involved with position playing a key role. Attacking from the sides and especially the back will typically do more damage, and many enemies incorporate attacks with specific hit zones that can be avoided with enough practice. And as one would expect there’s going to be loot aplenty. But this is looking to be more than a mere dungeon crawler, however.
As I’ve mentioned, there’s an emphasis on turning each player’s character into The Avatar, and to do that they need to master the Eight Virtues. Each Virtue has its own meter that fills up based on the dialog choices a player makes as well as some of the quests they complete. Once they’ve mastered all eight (no easy task as it requires building up a good reputation in all of Britannia’s many towns, among other things) they can throw their own little Avatar parade.
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is still a few months away with a predicted Spring release, but it’s already looking pretty sharp. And it’s going to be free-to-play, so I expect to see a lot of would-be Avatars running around Britannia when I load it up.
Gameloft’s juggernaut of a mobile phone MMO has just hit the 1 year-old mark. While celebrating the occasion with a huge update isn’t exactly out of the ordinary it’s still certainly something worth talking about. Especially because it includes a number of additions as well as one particular feature players have been clamoring for over the past twelve months.
The list of new stuff is fairly extensive. Various bug fixes are to be expected, as well as some new quests. Players will also receive a free gift box, a special Thank You letter, access to new items and pets, and will be able to mess around with the new Lottery system. Those who have been playing for over three months will also get a special Anniversary pet. And it wouldn’t be a proper celebration without some flagrant fashions (i.e. new clothes for NPCs) and fireworks that can be purchased as well as simply viewed in all their explosive glory. Last but certainly not least, Gameloft has given the fans what they want and included 3G support. So now Order and Chaos can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere.
The festivities have already begun, so make sure to get on that downloading. Everyone else who isn’t already playing can download it now for $6.99, which includes a free 3 months of play ($0.99/month after that).
So those folks over at Spacetime Studios, they’re alright. After releasing two more than a little successful iOS MMOs (Pocket Legends, Star Legends), they’ve gone and put out a third. But what’s left after anthropomorphic woodland creatures and space-faring explorers? Vampires, natch.
Taking a page or two from the modern day vampire handbook, Dark Legends puts players in control of a young (as in recently turned) vampire simply trying to survive in a world that knows they exist and wants them gone. It takes a slightly different approach to the player’s interactions with the world this time around. Some missions put the player in direct control of their character as they cut a bloody swath through their enemies while others simply take real time to complete automatically at the cost of a little energy. Both provide experience and the like, of course. As expected, avatars can be customized with a number of special weapons and clothing items, as well as proudly displayed to others when playing together in a group or with guild mates.
Dark Legends is lurking on the App Store right now. Joining the ranks of the Undead is completely free, too. Typical micro-transactions and in-app-purchases are available those who want to show their support with money or pick up a few vanity items, though.
Clear the calendar and kiss those loved ones goodbye, celebrated iOS MMO Pocket Legends is turning 2 years-old. But this isn't any old birthday party, no sir. Spacetime Studios is doing it backwards by giving gifts to the party-goers, not the guest of honor.
What this means is that the developer has made all premium areas free to access. Now anyone can quest, loot grind, or pointlessly emote in each of the six exclusive zones (Sandstone Caves, Skeller's Return, Croc Feud, Frozen Nightmares, Shadow Caves, and Wyldwood). Those who've dropped some cash to access these areas already have no need to fret. All players who have paid to unlock these environments will be getting a special in-game vanity helm (the Frozen Crown of Gratitude) to lord over all those plebeians who didn't show their support monetarily. Similarly, everyone will be able to purchase a special 2012 Anniversary hat during the event which can bestow tiny clones of itself atop the heads of those who wave to the original wearer.
Star Legends users haven't been forgotten either. Bird, Elf, and Bear "Bobble Head" masks will be available throughout the week-long celebration. Anyone curious to see what all the fuss is about, get back to a game they might have been absent from for a while, or might just be between marathon sessions can check out both MMOs for absolutely free. Just act fast if oddball hats are a priority. The festivities will only last through the end of next week.
With not one but two popular MMORPGs under their belt already, one would think that Spacetime Studios might be interested in taking a little break. Nope. DroidGamers have discovered that, rather than simply being content with resounding success they've decided it's time to make yet another one. It's planned for mobile devices, it's going to be "... a bit of a departure from the formula that Pocket Legends established," and its called Dark Legends.
I wish I had more info to share about it, but after checking the initial forum announcement, their official Facebook page and the completely unhelpful teaser site (I know, what else could I expect from a teaser site?) I've come up with zip. Well okay, that's not entirely true. It's fair to assume that it'll probably have a somewhat darker theme than either of the developer's previous titles. It's also looking like Spacetime will be refining their Massively Multiplayer craft even further, and given the leap in quality from Pocket Legends to Star Legends it's certainly something to be excited about.
148apps will no doubt be keeping an eye out for further developments. In the meantime, I'd advise being patient. Or possibly keeping busy with one (or both) of those other mobile MMOs while waiting. Patiently.