Building Flashpoints Building Flashpoints


Last week, Star Wars: The Old Republic developers released a terrific video featuring “flashpoints”, dynamic areas of the Star Wars universe that demand groups of players to battle forces a single person could not hope to overcome. This week, the official site has been updated by Bioware World Designer Jesse Skye discussing what Flashpoints are, the development and building of Flashpoints, and some of the combat aspects that Flashpoints will bring to the game.


(Georg Zoeller): The combat experience in Flashpoints can differ radically from combat in the open world. We aim to tightly integrate the story with the types of enemies the Flashpoint calls for, their AI behavior and their abilities, creating unique scenarios seen nowhere else in the game.


Flashpoints also feature some of the toughest combat challenges in the game. Flashpoints in The Old Republic will require a full group of players to succeed.


Numbers alone won’t be enough either – with a cast of adversaries among the most memorable and powerful in the game and scenarios that often leave the party with impossible choices, players are expected to show superior coordination and skill in order to overcome the challenges ahead.




My Beta WishMy Beta Wish

The next Guild Wars 2 beta event has been announced for June 8th. We’ve got a few ideas of some things we’d like to see during that event. See if you agree and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future beta events for Guild Wars 2, and it feels like the next one is right around the corner. I’ve reflected on the past events a bit, even sharing my thoughts and experiences with you guys. ArenaNet has offered a lot of content, but I’ve been thinking about how much more there is to experience. Already I’ve had a chance to spend a lot of time with the Charr, Norn, and Humans. I’ve gotten to travel some of the lands of Tyria, and I think I have a good grasp on the early areas and events in the game. In fact, it’s allowed me to kind of plan out what I will do when the game actually launches. But I want to see more!We are a specialized, professional and reliable online supplier for guild wars  2 gold selling. We have been supplying fast and cheap guild wars  2  gold to our loyal and reliable customers for 7 years. If you want to buy guild wars  2  gold or get the latest news of cheap guild wars  2  gold, please come here. We provide not only the most competitive price but also the safest delivery and the best service for your cheap wow gold. Hope you enjoy buying guild wars  2  gold.



BattleTags, Mark of Valor Sigils & Beware SpoilersBattleTags, Mark of Valor Sigils & Beware Spoilers

Will there be a character specific or Diablo III specific friendslist as well, or is BattleTag the only way to add friends in Diablo III?

There will only be two levels of friendships in Diablo III when the game launches: Real ID friends and BattleTag friends. Character-level friendships like you have in World of Warcraft won’t exist in Diablo III, so if you want to another player as a friend, you’ll need to add them as a BattleTag friend or a Real ID friend.

Lylirra, can we get some clarification on where character names show up vs. Battletag?

Sure thing! When Diablo III launches, your character name will be visible to you in a variety of locations including the character selection screen and game menu. For other players, your character’s name will only appear within your player profile, as hover text in the friends list, and when your character participates in quest dialog. In every other context, your BattleTag will be shown.

Also, just to clarify, your BattleTag identifier (the numbers appended to the end of your BattleTag nickname) will be visible in the “Add Friend” dialog and on a player’s profile page. But that’s it. When you’re just playing normally in a group, only your BattleTag nickname should display.

So Bashiok basically lied then?

No, but we did miscommunicate, and that’s our bad.

To help clear up that confusion, the current design is something we feel pretty confident in. Even after carefully reviewing all of your feedback and analyzing the pros and cons of the system, we found that BattleTags are a better way (overall) to personally identify individuals from game to game, even if they change characters.

It helps players build up street cred, or even the opposite type of experiences where you’d want to avoid another player entirely — something that would only be possible with an account-wide nickname. As a result, we felt that confusing BattleTags with character names in Diablo III was detrimental to those types of benefits.

We know that some of you may disagree with that approach, and that’s totally fine. We just encourage you to give BattleTags a chance when Diablo III releases so you can see how the system works in the actual game environment. You might find that you actually like it! Or, you might not, and we’d love to hear your feedback either way. 🙂 

Let There Be Warhammer!Let There Be Warhammer!

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is billed as offering players fast, fun PvP action in the tradition of MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, but with traditional Warhammer Online combat. We’ve got a a brand new preview of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes. Check it out and then offer your comments.

Have you ever had the desire for some genuine MMO PvP combat only to find despair as you login to your MMO of choice and wait in queue for untold amounts of time, only to end up struggling against a tide of strangers and incompetent allies for hours on end? Does the inaccessibility of leveling up a multitude of characters and decking them out in time-intensive gear feel more a chore than a gameplay experience?  If so then look no further than the upcoming game Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes!The most competitive Price. By using a special price searching system to check the diablo 3 Gold prices of our 150 major competitors.We are able to maintain the most competitiveprice for players to buy diablo 3 gold,We guarantee 100% safe delivery method and take full responsibility for it, our company  have been completed thousands of transactions and meet over 1000 orders everyday, we successfully make all our customers delighted and satisfied.

Recently I got the chance to visit the good men and women at Bioware Mythic studios and preview their new genre-bending game. They feel will be the answer to any desires for MMO-style PvP combat without the bore and grind of traditional MMOs PvP structure. The motto here is fast, fierce, and fun PvP combat, and I can personally attest that the game not only delivers on these tenets but also shows extreme promise for the future of the genre as well.


Bioware Rocked By LayoffsBioware Rocked By Layoffs


According to a new forum post on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic site, Bioware, developers of SWTOR, is in “restructuring” mode, usually PR-speak for employees losing their jobs. The actual number of redundancies is not given.

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.all of the conditions , terms and conditions and everything that were contained in  swtor power leveling package will accomodated when guest’s order finished,or the compensation directly propotional  to unfinishd parts of package will replaced by new gears,or corresponding gold

Looking back at launch, we all came together and did something historic. We executed one of the largest, most successful and stable launches of any MMO yet in industry history. That is not an easy feat for any development team or company and we are humbled and honored by our fan community’s strong support both at launch and beyond.



Blizzard & Valve Settle DOTA Trademark Dust UpBlizzard & Valve Settle DOTA Trademark Dust Up


Blizzard Entertainment and Valve have announced that the two gaming giants have reached an agreement regarding the use of the DOTA name. In the settlement, Blizzard will be able to retain the non-commercial use of the DOTA name with regard to consumer-created maps for Warcraft III and Starcraft II.

“Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they’re looking forward to, so we’re happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that,” said Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard Entertainment. “As part of this agreement, we’re going to be changing the name of Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, which ultimately better reflects the design of our game. We look forward to going into more detail on that at a later date.”

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“We’re pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “We both want to focus on the things our fans care about, creating and shipping great games for our communities.”
The companies do not plan to discuss the terms of the agreement beyond today’s announcement



Review in Progress – Part ThreeReview in Progress – Part Three is committed to giving our readers the best and most informative reviews of today’s hottest MMOs. With that in mind, we’re taking a new tack with TERA and giving it a multiple week timetable for review. In today’s installment, we take a look at an instanced dungeon and at guild quests and politics. Read on!

I finally began to go some guild quests this past week too, in the hopes that we’ll manage to at least ding and hold level two with our motley crew of 10 or so active guild members. We’re not big, but we try to maintain. You see, in TERA, your guild can and should partake in the Political Vanarch system which will open up (we’re told) at the end of May for its first round of voting. There are 13 regions that can and will have Vanarchs ruling them, even the tutorial Island of Dawn. The Vanarch who is voted in to a region can control the trade brokers, the taxes on sold items, access to teleports and more.

Read more of Bill Murphy’s TERA: Review in Progress – Part Three.


Star Wars: The Old Republic : Friday Update: Game vs. World and CommunityStar Wars: The Old Republic : Friday Update: Game vs. World and Community


As Community Manager here at, this week’s Friday Update for Star Wars: The Old Republic touches on a subject dear to my heart: community! D’uh!



This week’s update is a new developer blog from Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert, who opens up by discussing the often controversial topic of MMO design philosophies: i.e. designing a “game” vs. a “world”:

Massively multiplayer games are not new. The first true massively multiplayer game was a text-only virtual world called MUD, put together by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw in 1978. This little window of dizzying text descriptions was a far cry visually from the seductively lush 3D virtual worlds of today, but it was enough. Enough to get the genre started, and enough to get armchair designers across the world to imagine the possibilities, and debate philosophical matters of game design. One of these questions, still asked today, is whether or not massively multiplayer environments should strive to be games or to be worlds.

Advocates of the world philosophy see the space as a simulation or a sandbox. Fans of this viewpoint favor freedom and realism above all else – players have the ability to use and abuse almost anything around them, including other players. In ‘world’ MMOs, players tend to have a wide range of possible actions, most of which have relatively little depth. The depth of the world MMO comes from the interactions – players are urged to explore the world, and to find their own fun. The world MMO hates artificial constraints like classes or level requirements.

The game philosophy is quite the opposite, of course. Advocates of this view favor fun and balance more than anything. The game MMO is often described as being more like a theme park than a virtual world – player activity is tightly controlled, in such a way to help maximize the chance the player will have a fun, balanced and interesting combat experience and, in general, not be nasty to each other. The game MMO has no problem with introducing arbitrary rules to provide a tight, visceral gaming experience. Players can perform fewer actions, but these actions tend to have greater depth (such as a deeper, more balanced combat game).

In the end, Damion takes issue with both philosophies.With worlds, Damion finds these games can be much more harsh, less forgiving, and hard for newer players to get into. They are only as “good as the people who arrived before you.” This makes designers nervous. On the other hand, MMORPGs designed as “games” also have issues, mainly the lack of freedom, which is really the hallmark of MMOs.

So how does Star Wars: The Old Republic fall with regards to these two design philosophies? According to Damion, the game will be in the middle of the road, with the aim of utilizing the strength of both design philosophies, more specifically, providing “a directed and balanced game experience inside a lush, free-form Star Wars world.”

This is where Damion gets into that whole “Community” bit, something he feels has been missing in the game vs. world debate, and he goes on to describe how BioWare will be addressing this key third element with Star Wars: The Old Republic:

Community is the crazy notion that massively multiplayer games are more interesting when other players matter. Advocates of this viewpoint savor competition and cooperation above all else. Community-driven players want, above all else, to be able to interact and gather with other players, in a civil way. They share ideals with the other schools of thought: community-driven players tend to value balance and fairness, but they also want the freedom to express themselves and interact with others.

To me, as an MMO designer, community is the whole ball of wax. Let’s face it, if you wanted to play just a ‘game’, you’d be off playing a single player roleplaying game. If you wanted a ‘world’, maybe you’d play a life-simulation game. But community – well, that’s the whole ‘massively multiplayer’ part of MMO. When you look at it this way, ‘community’ is at least as important as ‘game’ or ‘world’ in this debate.

And probably more so.

Consider our multiplayer dialogue system. The Old Republic is in every way shape and form an MMO, though if a player desires to, they can solo all the way to max level – they’ll be missing some great content, but we don’t want players to feel they have to group. But we really want them to want to. As such, this has been an area of ripe experimentation for us, and has led us down some fruitful paths. Multiplayer conversations, where players can cooperate or compete to respond, has proven to be fun (and often hilariously so), in our playtesting (and no, another player cannot jack your dark side score with his response). But we’re not satisfied with just extrinsic rewards – we’re now experimenting with rewards that are unlocked for helping party members with class quest objectives, and we’re generally pleased with how it’s playing.

Damion also discusses community even with regards to crafting, he admits that the team has been unhappy with their various crafting implementations as they found players would be crafting almost exclusively for themselves. The intention is for dedicated crafters to be able to carve out a niche in their particular community and make a name for themselves. Such words bring up happy memories of my favorite crafters in Star Wars Galaxies to mind, unfortunately we’ll have to wait for a future letter to hear more about BioWare’s crafting plans.

Damion closes out the letter by promising that we’ll be hearing tons more from the various game designers in the coming months as they lockdown features and become comfortable talking about them. BioWare has stated they do not talk about things they aren’t 100% sure are in, and this could explain the limited scope of coverage we’ve seen thus far. Perhaps now that the game is further along, and continues to chug further along, we’ll be hearing more and more about the game’s features




With the first full beta weekend of The Secret World behind us, we thought it’s time to list out the best possible aspects of Funcom’s latest game, and the parts that we feel need work before the game launches in June.  Now we’re not trying to start fires in the forums or anything.  So please try to keep the resulting discussions below civil.  This is just our honest feelings on what works grandly in The Secret World and what falls a little flat.We are a specialized, professional and reliable online supplier for guild wars  2 gold selling. We have been supplying fast and cheap guild wars  2  gold to our loyal andreliable customers for 7 years. If you want to buy guild wars  2  gold or get the latest news of cheap guild wars  2  gold, please come here. We provide not only the most competitive price but also the safest delivery and the best service for your cheap wow gold. Hope you enjoy buying guild wars  2  gold.

1.) The Setting – Funcom has always been Class-A when it comes to nailing the aesthetic and settings of their worlds.  From Anarchy Online to Dreamworld and Age of Conan, very few developers can compete with Funcom when it comes to capturing atmosphere of their source material or the creative vision of their writers.  The Secret World is no different.  Though we’ve only thus far seen bits and pieces, everything from Agartha to Kingsmouth has been gorgeously rendered and detailed.  The sense of foreboding in the latter is something we don’t see much of in MMORPGs.

2.) The Skill Wheel – Whoever decided early on in TSW’s design process to go with the skill system over the traditional leveling mechanics of modern theme-park MMOs deserves a round of applause.  Sure the skill points and anima points are essentially the same as levels from an “I earned experience and was rewarded with this” standpoint.  But the real kicker comes when you realize that statistical progression is tied only to gear (and not that important) and that someone who has been playing for a week could conceivably compete against someone who has been playing for a year… just so long as their deck is well-thought and their strategy is sound.


3.) The Story – Is it a bit contrived? I mean sure… but isn’t just about any story in any game lately? The sheer notion that Ragnar and Dag and the folks at Funcom have been plotting out this game’s story for a decade is mind-boggling, and the background, myths tied in, and mysteries laid before you are enough to keep you playing the game even if there as nothing else worthwhile (but there certainly is).  If you like a good yarn in your MMO, The Secret World is looking to deliver.

4.) The Questing – Do you still sometimes get told to kill stuff? Yep. But the story and cinematic presentation give it a boost in the arm.  As does the tiered approach, which has one mission first  tasking you with merely killing a mob, then tracing its trail of blood, and later decoding some mystery scrawled on a napkin in a diner (just an example).  Throw in the missions that have you sneaking through camera-infested security depots, and getting blown up by triggered explosives… and you have a recipe for lots of fun adventuring in The Secret World.


1.) The Floaty Combat – The skill system is great, its versatility amazing… but there’s something missing from the combat.  A real feeling of “oomph” when we hit enemies maybe? Out of all the weapons I personally tried over the past week, the one that felt the best was most definitely the hammer.  But even it had a certain something missing that’s hard to put a finger on.  Maybe it’s the sound, maybe it’s the placeholder animations. But a feeling of impact or visceral connection between the character and its foes. Graphical queues might help, or maybe I’m just too used to TERA.  But the main problem most of us had with TSW this week was the combat.  It works.  It just left us feeling a little flat.

2.) Awkward Animations – The dev team tells us that part of the problem that comes with allowing the characters to run freely while using any skill in the game is that the upper body cannot be tied to the lower body.  This means sometimes the animations will look a little stilted.  But we feel this might actually be part of the problem with the combat feeling somehow off.  Anyway, we’re told that the animations will receive a lot of improvement in later builds so we’re anxious to see as much.

3.) Character Creation – Another thing that reportedly has a lot more options in later betas, but we have to mention it here.  On the press server, everyone pretty much looked the same.  And in a game that emphasizes players being able to look however they want separately from their stats, we were hoping for a few more options to say the least.  I want to make a real Ron Swanson, darn it.

One thing that should be mentioned: the core of our problems with The Secret World result to a simple matter of polish.  The crux of the game is absolutely stellar. It’s unique and enthralling, and we cannot wait to see how PVP works out later too.  If Funcom can tweak and alter the animations and combat, as well as give us more depth in character creation, I’ll be a happy camper.  I can say this, though: despite our misgivings, I can’t stop wanting to play The Secret World. And that’s what matters. It still hooks you.



Something in BetweenSomething in Between

Gamespot  has interviewed Jack Emmert and confirmed that Cryptic Studios is indeed working on an online version of Neverwinter Nights. The game will neither be a traditional MMO, nor will it be a single player RPG, Neverwinter Nights 3. The game, according to the article, is something in between. In truth, the new game sounds rather Diablo-ish in its interpretation: Players connect to a server and are ‘encouraged to play cooperatively’. Building tools will also be released as in previous games.A massive amount of tera gold is ready to decorate your tera  world. Anytime you run out of gold, just tell us! Ample stock also guarantees the fastdelivery. Have a helpful customer service when you buy wow gold is really nice. Luckily we got a customer service team just like that. Please do feel free contact us if you have any questions. We are here for you around the block.

The new game will focus on the D&D 4th edition rules and will be launched in concert with R.A. Salvatore’s new trilogy, Gauntlgrym, the first book of which is set to be published this fall. The game will take place in a world where Neverwinter has fallen into ruins:

GS: We also understand that the game is being launched in tandem with Gauntlgrym, the first book in an all-new Neverwinter novel trilogy by author R.A. Salvatore. Tell us about the game’s story and how it will evolve alongside the new books.

JE: The game is set a little over 100 years into the future, and Forgotten Realms is recovering from an epic catastrophe: the death of the god of magic triggered a massive “spellplague” that swept across Faerun and changed everything it touched.

The Salvatore trilogy touches on all the events leading up to the game and, most importantly, how Neverwinter fell. Through these great novels, readers will get a taste of the Neverwinter world, characters, and enemies.

At some point, Neverwinter was laid waste. Why? No one really remembers at this point. The players will need to find out what happened and whether it’ll reoccur…