Blizzard testing a real money cash shop in WOW

8 07 2013

Since 2004 World of Warcraft has been the king of the MMO hill.

Challengers have tried to emulate it’s success and have come and gone, many of them have vanished without a trace and those that are left have slipped into the murky realm of Free to Play.

For a mighty nine years now Blizzard have been gorging on the millions of monthly subscriptions that it’s cash cow has generated.

However those days seem to be coming to an end. As the postponement of Project Titan has suggested even the mighty Blizz has to tighten it’s belt on occasion.

Whilst this by itself doesnt imply that the end is nigh for WOW’s subscription model there are other signs that change is afoot in the World of Azeroth.

Sharp eyed dataminers have come across links to real-money items – for instance, a 100 percent XP boost called the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom – while trawling through test server updates.

Rather than crush the rumour or just ignore Blizzard have actually come forward with an explanation on the official forums:

“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”

Does this mean that Blizzard have hit the free to play panic button? Of course not. However it does suggest that this isn’t as ridiculous a suggestion as it would have seemed 12/18 months ago.





Indie Game Anthem (Thrift Shop) – Viva La Dirt League

14 06 2013

I laughed so hard.

 





RIft is going Free to Play

15 05 2013

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Well it is finally official. Rift is going free to play.

Trion Worlds have announced that as of June 12th 2013 anyone will be able to experience the fun of exploring Telara without having to stump up their hard earned cash.

The change in pricing model will go live at the same time as patch 2.3 – Empyreal Assault launches and will see a number of changes including a cash shop and a tiered model which will see subscribers rebranded as “Patrons”

Patrons will benefit from a number of different perks which will set them apart from their non paying brethren:

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On top of the above rewards people who purchased the original game or the Storm Legion expansion will receive access to additional character slots, starting bag slots and access to the expansion souls (Storm Legion purchasers only)

I guess it was inevitable that Trion would take this approach with Rift at some point but personally after the success of Storm Legion I didn’t think it would be quite this soon.

I am not typically a big fan of F2P as a model and I am especially wary of cash shops, probably as a result of way too many hours spent playing PWI when I was younger.

That said I like what Turbine have done with Lord Of The Rings Online and have to admit that going F2P was probably the best thing which could have happened to the game.

Likewise I am really enjoying the Beta of NeverWinter so maybe there is hope after all.





Game Shop – Thrift Shop Parody

10 04 2013

I would like to say that I can’t relate but I really can…





Rebuild

15 08 2012

BitFenix Merc Alpha Gaming Case - Black

The sharp eyed amongst you might have noticed that I haven’t exactly been writing prolifically so far in August.
Well not here at least…

There have been several irons in the fire this month and they have all resulted in me being a busy little boy.

I guess one of the most exciting uses of my time has been actively throwing myself back into the realms of PC building.

I came to the shocking realisation at the end of July that my main gaming PC has sat as is without so much as some extra RAM since March 2009!!! How the hell did that happen?

Well I guess life happened, sure I have had plans to upgrade, there has just always been a but:

Old car needed a suspension rebuild…new car needed to be purchased…relationship breakup….moving house…..old house getting flooded….blah,blah,blah.

The laundry list of excuses continues.
Putting all of that to one side one glaring fact remains, you can’t play 2012 games using 2008 technology. At least not the way I want to play them.

So it was time to break out the mastercard and take the plunge.

I’m not really an impulse buyer so I tend to try and do a fair bit of research before parting with my hard earned cash. The way I see it I want something that will do the job I want out of the box, is relatively future proof and hopefully offers something by the way of a feasible upgrade path.

The last point is particularly important to me. Sure I could have crammed a faster, shinier Phenom II X4 into my ageing AM2+ motherboard but what would be the point?

At the very best it would be a short term fix that would give me a small increase in performance before I then needed to change everything all over again in 6 months time.

I will happily admit that during my research I was more than a little shocked at how much has changed in a few years.

I have shied away from Intel processors for over 10 years now. I followed the path of Athlon>Phenom>Phenom II without so much as a second thought to their little blue rivals.

Based on that  I was hell bent on rushing out and picking up one of the new bulldozer chips which AMD are currently peddling.

Until I tried one.  To say I was underwhelmed would be missing the mark by some order of magnitude. The 4100 which I tested at a friends house just didn’t seem to be that much of an improvement over what I was currently rocking.

To try and get a better handle on things I decided to scour the forums on Tom’s Hardware and a few other sites I trust and see what they had to say.

In short the 4100 sucks balls for gaming, nearly every other processor in the lineup beat it hands down.

In the end I decided to go to the dark side and buy Intel…as such I am now the relatively proud owner of a z68 motherboard from Gigabyte coupled to an I3 2120.

As for why I went for such a low ball processor…simples. I want to swap it out with an I7 Ivybridge asap, just didn’t have the cash for it right now and can’t see the point of picking up an I5 just to get rid of it next month.

Anywho here is the spec of my new budget gaming rig with lots of room for not so distant upgrades

Gigabyte Z68AP- D3
Intel i3 2120 3.3ghz
Asus Radeon HD 6770 1GB DDR5
8GB Ballistix Sport  DDR3
WD Caviar Black 500GB HDD
BitFenix Merc Alpha case

 





An update from Telara

2 08 2012

Last week I mentioned how I had decided to get myself in shape ready for the first expansion to hit Rift since it’s launch, Storm Legion.

Well so far, so good! I have tried to be a good boy and have pretty much focused on just two characters:

A Guardian warrior and a Defiant rogue.
I have to say this is my first rogue in Rift and I have to say they rock…seriously.

I have two main roles set for him at the moment; one is mostly specced as an assassin and the other is set up for ranged dps with a few points thrown in bard to spice things up a bit.

The assassin specced role just feels really, really sneaky and nasty – I love it!

Through some odd stroke of fortune both characters have ended up sitting at level 31 at the moment so all is looking well on track for the expansion launch.

The well-rounded nature of the classes, the stunning graphics and the more mature community in-game has just served to really remind me why I was so smitten with Rift first time around.

Long may it continue!





Ascend a friend…

24 07 2012

Squee…

If you have read any of my gaming related posts you might be aware that I very excitedly ventured into playing Rift last year.

Well far from being the 2 minute wonder that I thought it would be I’m still there and going strong and more importantly so is the game.

So strongly in fact that the developers of Rift, Trion, made over $100 million last year. Not too shabby at all!

I have recently become very excited as the new expansion, Storm Legion is due this Autumn and is set to triple the size of the in game World. Triple!!!

So that I am nice and ready I have taken this opportunity to roll a couple of new characters. Gijuin, my rogue, is now up to level 21 and Ferren, my Dwarf Warrior is a lofty 32.

So all in all everything is well in hand.

In case you would like to share in the fun you can click here to take advantage of Rift’s “Ascend a Friend” program. Hope to see you in Telara real soon.








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