• Games

    Neverwinter Goes Live On XBox One – MMOBomb.com

    Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 8:27 PM by


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    Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment have unleashed
    the free to play world of Neverwinter
    on the XBox One today. XBox Live Gold members will be able to
    download the game and play as soon as they’re finished reading
    this article if they want to, but Silver members shouldn’t feel
    TOTALLY left out.

    XBox Live Silver (free) members can download Neverwinter and
    give the MMORPG a try
    between now and April 2nd, but after that date if you want to
    keep playing you’ll have to pay and upgrade your XBox Live
    membership to Gold status.

    The console version of Neverwinter comes with all of the
    updates up through the Tyranny of Dragons update which includes
    the Scourge Warlock class. The Xbox One version of Neverwinter
    will also utilize console features including friends list
    integration and optimized controls to easily transition the
    MMORPG experience from PC to console.

    “Neverwinter represents Perfect World Entertainment and
    Cryptic’s entrance and dedication to the console market,” said
    Bryan Huang, CEO for Perfect World Entertainment. “Our
    development team has worked relentlessly to ensure that the
    Neverwinter experience lives up to console player’s
    expectations for a high-quality free-to-play MMORPG. We’re
    excited to welcome players to the Forgotten Realms and continue
    to build on their experience as we release updates throughout
    the year.”

    You can get more information about the XBox One official launch
    on the Neverwinter website.



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  • Analysts Say MOBAs Still Have Room To Grow The Market –
MMOBomb.com
    Games

    Analysts Say MOBAs Still Have Room To Grow The Market – MMOBomb.com

    Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 7:54 PM by


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    If you think there are too many MOBAs, think again. Research
    firm EEDAR recently published a paper detailing the MOBA
    business, and its conclusion is that it’s still growing.

    VentureBeat hits upon many of EEDAR’s major
    points, which I’ll summarize here. Except where noted, all of
    these figures relate to MOBAs and MOBA players in 2014.

    * EEDAR says MOBA revenue was $406 million in 2014 and that
    figure will rise to $503 million in 2015.

    * “The top 1 percent is responsible for 15 percent of the
    revenue while the top 10 percent generates 62 percent of the
    total.”

    * 52% of people who played a free-to-play PC game in 2014
    played a MOBA.

    * Of all MOBA players, the most played League of Legends (76%),
    followed by Dota 2 (41%),
    Smite (16%), Heroes of the Storm (12%), and Heroes of Newerth
    (6%).

    * The average MOBA player is 25.33 years old. So, despite how
    it may appear, they’re not all just raging teenagers, though at
    that age, they’re probably already washed up.

    * 56% of money is spent on characters, whether it’s to unlock
    them or make them look prettier:

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    alt="EEDAR-chart-2" width="620" height="459" class=
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    * EEDAR provides a chart showing not only how much was spent on
    average on each type of transaction but what percentage of
    players spent on it:

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    alt="EEDAR-chart-1" width="620" height="525" class=
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    That last bit pokes an interesting hole in the commonly assumed
    ratio of spenders vs. non-spenders in free-to-play games. While
    the numbers we usually hear are in the 10s or 20s,
    percentage-wise — with much lower conversion ratios for
    “pick-up-and-drop” mobile games — that figure usually
    represents all players of a game throughout its lifetime. A lot
    of people might try a F2P game for a couple hours, decide it’s
    not for them, and then leave it forever. Should they really be
    counted among a game’s “freeloaders,” with the same weight as a
    person who plays regularly?

    With EEDAR’s numbers, only people who played MOBAs in 2014 are
    counted, and they conclude that “46 percent of all MOBA players
    never spend money,” which would mean that 54% do spend
    money. That last chart would seem to corroborate that
    conclusion. If 41% of people spent on skins, than at least that
    many spent something on a MOBA in 2014. Some people
    might not have bought a skin but paid for one of the other
    products, and that would account for the other 13%.

    The top 10% might still account for 62% of the revenue for a
    MOBA, but hearing that around half of at least semi-active
    players toss a few bucks Riot’s/Valve’s/Blizzard’s/Hi-Rez’s way
    every now and then seems a little more reasonable to me.



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  • Skyforge Beta Notes Show Forethought From Devs, But Will
Gamers Agree? – MMOBomb.com
    Games

    Skyforge Beta Notes Show Forethought From Devs, But Will Gamers Agree? – MMOBomb.com

    Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 6:51 PM by


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    The Skyforge dev team wrote up some extensive notes regarding the feedback
    they’ve received in the first few weeks of the game’s beta
    test. It contains updates on a lot of the expected topics, like
    animations, client optimization, tweaking the Ascension Atlas,
    quality-of-life changes, and an explanation for one of
    Magicman’s biggest pet peeves: why melee combos are broken so
    easily when an enemy dies or moves.

    But there are two parts of the writeup that I thought were
    unusual and that show a kind of self-awareness that a lot of
    games and game developers don’t.

    Playing (nice) with others

    The shorter of the two is the section titled “Playing with
    friends of various Prestige level and adventure difficulty.”
    It’s no secret that a lot of games have taken steps to make it
    easier for players of various levels to group together. Whether
    that’s by upscaling or downscaling character levels or greatly
    reducing or outright eliminating vertical progression, it’s
    finally becoming obvious to MMO developers that when you get
    into a multiplayer game, you might want to actually play it
    with your friends or just random other people – not when you
    reach max level, but right away.

    As such, Skyforge will remove group Prestige requirements for
    adventures, allow for different difficulties, and offer rewards
    based on personal Prestige levels in a future beta build. It’s
    nice that this is being addressed, but it’s still a little
    puzzling that it took as long as it did. The explanation for
    why this hasn’t been implemented from the start strikes me as a
    little dubious:

    “As developers we forget about this stuff sometimes, it’s easy
    to cheat your character up or down to play together or with
    devs, or to test an adventure.”

    That would make sense, if you only were ever a developer for a
    game and had never, you know, played one. But it’s hard to
    imagine someone being a developer who had never had the
    experience of playing an MMO and being frustrated by the
    inability to group with friends of different levels.

    My guess: Some people on the dev team thought it should have
    been done, and some didn’t, and, based on beta feedback, the
    side in favor won out. But rather than saying, “Some of us
    thought keeping players separated was an honestly good idea,”
    it’s “Oops! Silly us! We just didn’t think about it.”

    Limit brakes

    None of this would be a problem if, as every MMO developer
    hopes and dreams, all of a game’s players voraciously consume
    it, letting it take control of their lives and be their sole
    source of entertainment – and where they spend their dollars. A
    decade or so ago, with relatively few gaming options, that
    might have been how most people played.

    But that’s not realistic for a majority of players these days,
    and it’s a point that the Skyforge dev team realizes and
    addresses in the longest point in its notes. In fact, they
    address it in those exact terms when discussing the game’s
    semi-controversial weekly limits on currency gains:

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    It’s amazing to see a dev team acknowledge this phenomenon,
    that with more games being available, the chance that one will
    become a player’s sole obsession is shrinking every day. Yet
    most games are still designed for the “time whales,” an
    increasingly smaller percentage of players who are the loudest
    and, in F2P games, the ones most likely to be “monetary
    whales,” as well. Still, a game admitting that it doesn’t
    expect you to give up your life for it is borderline
    astonishing.

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    It’s a variation on the Awful Idea of limited-time MMOs that I had a few
    months back, though less restrictive and probably more
    palatable than the harsh version I came up with. It still
    remains to be seen if it will be accepted by the Skyforge
    player base, which is something the dev team admits could be an
    issue, though it’s trying to address that.

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    There has been, and will be some heated debate regarding the
    topic, though, if they get the math right, it will only affect
    a small number of the most hyperactive players; whether it’s a
    good idea to rankle that group is questionable, but it seems to
    be a risk the devs are willing to take in order to provide a
    better experience for the 90+% of players who won’t run up
    against these limits.

    In reality, though, establishing limits on how much an account
    can earn is present in virtually every MMO – what do you think
    weekly raid locks are meant to accomplish? Without those, the
    hardest of the hardcore would blow through raids multiple times
    and be fully geared in less than a month. It’s not really a new
    idea, it’s just being implemented in a different way. Other
    MMOs, mostly imported from Asia, have tried stricter systems to
    limit gameplay, but I’ve never seen the rationale for it laid
    out quite so eloquently.

    The Skyforge dev team gets that keeping players clumped
    together so they can play together – the goal of an MMO – is a
    good thing, even if requires some unorthodox means to do so.
    What do you think?



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  • Games

    MU Online to Add 3rd Female Class: Grow Lancer – MMOBomb.com

    Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 5:09 PM by