MMOnday: What are your MMO pet peeves?

Many game genres have certain tropes or reoccurring mechanics which can cause frustration among the playerbase. MMO’s are no different, so today I’d like to ask, “What pisses you off in massively-multiplayer online games?

FFXIV-quarrymillSpeaking for myself, I find complicated maps and backtracking to be one of the most awful elements I consistently see and which irk me to no end. The original release of Final Fantasy XIV was perhaps one of the most frustrating examples I can pull from recent memory. The map to the right, pulled from Aleczan’s site, shows exactly how convoluted and annoying they were to navigate. Luckily this was fixed in the massive A Realm Reborn update.

Another pet peeve of mine is poor auction house or trading interfaces. World of Warcraft doesn’t have the most amazing one, but it’s an example of a game that can be expanded upon by players themselves through addons. Other titles which I enjoy playing, such as Aion, don’t allow such customization and thus deliver subpar experiences.

Enough about my opinions though, what do you hate to see? How about killing 10 rats? Or a very limited set of skills for players to use at a given moment, such as in the Guild Wars series?

Pokémon fans get a little MOBA lovin’

rayquazaThe 3D MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) SMITE has thrown a bone to fans of the Pokémon franchise in the form of a skin for Kukulkan, one of the playable mythological gods around whose combat the game is based. Of course, the developer Hi-Rez Studios won’t be officially acknowledging the resemblance of its newest store item to the legendary Pokémon Rayquaza, but it is a cute wink-wink nudge-nudge reference that toes the line of homage and copyright infringement. There’s even new audio for the Mayan wind serpent which includes such cheesiness as, “A wild Kukulkan has appeared!” Had Smite really had their head in the game though, they’d have designed it around the awesomely powerful Mega Rayquaza instead!

SMITE is free-to-pay for PC & Xbox One, so there aren’t many excuses not to at least give it a go! We’d also love to hear about what other cross game references you’ve enjoyed in the past!

League of Legends PROJECT: Poll

The world’s most popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game League of Legends has just released a slew of new champion skins. The new PROJECT skins (Fiora, Lucian, Leona, Yi, Zed) have been added to the previously available PROJECT: Yasuo and seem to be leading up to the next in-game event which will also be part of a new champion reveal. For those unfamiliar, the game is free-to-pay, but generates money through champion “skins” which affect the characters’ appearance during a match. These new coordinated skins include not only new looks, but also a lot of nice attack animations and even new voiceovers (for Master Yi). You can preview them in the video below:

This got me curious though; which PROJECT skin is, or will be, most popular? Through highly scientific and accurate means unaccountable internet voting  we can find the answer! Take part in our poll below and do your part to help out! Please select which skins you have already purchased OR those that you will be purchasing in the near future. There is a bonus loading screen for this first week of their release, but next week they will be on sale so I realize that some of the more frugal players are holding off.

What PROJECT skins did you purchase?

View Results

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The more people that vote the more accurate the results will be, so make sure to share this with your League friends! Check back in to see the results!

End of the Month Reminders: June 2015

hearthstone-june-DarnassusSummer’s already flying by; we’re less than a week away from July already! While enjoying the sun you may have forgotten what you need to do before the end of this month in order to take full advantage of your time:

  • Hearthstone: The Darnassus card back for June 2015 must be earned by getting to at least Rank 20 by the end of this month! Not a particularly hard feat and the design is pretty nice for nature lovers
  • League of Legends: Want a free Champion to add to your roster? Who doesn’t?! All you have to do is connect your LoL account and Facebook (and no, it won’t post anything on your wall). Technically there’s no stated end date, but they’re sending the mystery champions to participants around July 1st, so I wouldn’t delay
  • PlayStation Plus: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4), Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition (PS4), Super Exploding Zoo (PS4/PSV), Futuridium EP Deluxe (PS4/PSV), Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (PS3) and Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3) are all available this month free of charge for PS+ subscribers
  • Xbox Games with Gold: Massive Chalice (XB1), Pool Nation FX (XB1), and Thief (XB360) are all available until the end of this month for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Just Cause 2 was also available this month for the Xbox 360, but only until the 15th
  • Xbox One: Don’t have an Xbox One? It might be a good time to buy if you like free games. You’re eligible to get one free (some restrictions apply) and they’re offering brand new games such as Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight

Have something else to share with the community? Post in the comments!

Inside Look at Dungeon Defenders II

When it comes to setting up a solid defense and mowing down waves of enemies, you don’t have to have played the prequel Dungeon Defenders to enjoy the somewhat challenging, ever satisfying, upcoming free-to-play multiplayer action RPG/tower defense Dungeon Defenders 2.

I started playing Dungeon Defenders 2 with a semi-blank slate since I have never played the original Dungeon Defenders by Trendy Entertainment but have played several multiplayer online battle arena games which is the feeling you get when playing this title, though competition isn’t what is at play but rather teamwork.

Reminder, this is only the Pre-Alpha stage of the game, which features a variety of stages and only four playable characters: Huntress, Monk, Squire and Apprentice.

Load up Dungeon Defenders 2 and you’ll be prompted with choosing one of these characters to play as. To generalize, Squire is melee, Monk is support, Huntress is ranged and Apprentice is mid-range. However, each character has a similar array of skills built in with a “turret” each and traps. You can try out each character and switch between them on whim.

I chose the Huntress. These straw target dummies at the pre-game lobby are no match for my poisonous arrows.
I chose the Huntress. These straw target dummies at the pre-game lobby are no match for my poisonous arrows.

Level up your character to open your arsenal up to better gear, weapons and new skills which cap around level 15 at three action (blue) skills and four passive (green) skills.

The higher level you achieve, the tougher stages, or dungeons, you can defend. Using your gear: a helmet, a torso, gloves, shoes, a trinket and a weapon, plow through dungeon after dungeon to become the strongest dungeon defender you can be!

You’ll level up frequently and you will be flooded, and I mean flooded, with loot. The more players in your game, the higher chance of loot dropping, and each completed dungeon yields a chest with a particularly special reward. Sell the loot you don’t need for coins to be spent on upgrading your gear or purchasing new gear, though finding gear yields better stats.

Blue colored gear is a good find! But it's not the best... I hear there's purple gear out there...
Blue colored gear is a good find! But it’s not the best… I hear there’s purple gear out there…

These dungeons differ from each other in difficulty, appearances, monsters and towers but for the most part the strategy remains standard: you and your team set up traps relatively close to the portals where the waves of monsters spawn and run around shooting or whacking monsters whilst upgrading your traps and yourself upon leveling up.

There is a limit to how many traps can be placed, and traps can be upgraded up to three times, so coordinating with your teammates as to which traps are best is important as to not waste both green gems and tower space.

Coordination is not quite apparent however. There’s no voice chat options and most players don’t use the chat box to strategize, except occasionally in the very beginning at the harder stages to inform the team to back off and let the Apprentices use all the tower spaces and only contribute green gems towards upgrading said towers.

If these monsters get past my volley of arrows then they'll have to answer to my teammate's demonic fire flowers.
If these monsters get past my volley of arrows then they’ll have to answer to my teammate’s demonic fire flowers.

Clearing stages is a piece of cake. It does get harder and harder but it never gets to the point where you’re on the edge of your seat. The enjoyment gets stale but alternating between characters keeps gameplay interesting as does the pretty scenery, which changes between stages.

Dungeon Defenders 2 is only in its Pre-Alpha stage, which can be acquired for $24.99 on Steam. If you’re a fan of multiplayer online battle arenas or tower defense games you won’t be disappointed trying out this title. The Pre-Alpha had limitations but even so Dungeon Defenders 2 gave me hours of fun and I was able to pick it up and play with ease and the developers announced that more updates are to come as well.

Let us know what you think and if you plan on trying Dungeon Defenders 2 out either now or when it is officially released!