These past several weeks have been very active ones in the realm of PC gaming. We saw an incredibly busy month in April with multiple betas for some very large titles, a major (but only kind of surprising) announcement for a new MMO, and the unfortunate cancelation of a fairly promising up and coming MMO title. There’s a lot to cover so let’s get right into it!

TERA Online

Being the first major MMO launch of the year, TERA has had quite a bit of mixed reactions across the board. The game markets itself on its fast paced combat that publisher En Masse Entertainment calls “True. Action. Combat.” In the month of April the game had a number of betas, culminating in a lengthy head start process in which players could achieve up to level 38 prior to the official launch of the game. While this allowed players to reach end game
quickly, the problem soon became that players found the end game content to be somewhat lacking, something we’ve seen from many MMOs that have been recently released (I’m looking at you Star Wars: The Old Republic).

While TERA’s combat is incredibly fun to play, the monotonous quest grinding is kind of a letdown, especially when you consider that fighting BAM’s (Big Ass Monsters) with a group of friends is more enjoyable than questing, but is a much, much slower way to level up. Dungeons are quite entertaining, but you can only do the same instance so many times before you’re ready to move on to the next thing.

In its current state TERA is quite a letdown. It has an amazing combat system but fails to keep players entertained with content to match. PVP is one of the most entertaining parts of the game right now but also tends to be repetitive. In future patches we have been told a new “rift” PvE system is being added to the game, along with the addition of PvP battlegrounds, so combined with few more tweaks perhaps we will see a much more entertaining game in the near future.

Diablo 3

With short notice in the final weekends of April, Blizzard Entertainment decided to make a surprise announcement for an open beta test of the highly anticipated dungeon crawler, Diablo 3. Gamers jumped with joy, and then quickly got frustrated with the constant login errors and server resets. Once finally in the game, however, it was well worth the wait.

In addition to a major facelift, Diablo 3 takes what many people loved about the previous installment and has removed all the serious annoyances; such as buying town portals and identify scrolls, adding stat points just to wear gear, skill trees that lock you into a specific build, and many more. The game also adds a more useful companion system along with an entertaining crafting system, something many MMOs seem to fail at.

If you’re among the first wave of people who bought the game when it was finally released the other week, enjoy it! It’s been a long time in coming. If you haven’t bought it yet, check back in next week and I’ll give you a more detailed breakdown following the release.

Dominus

This year has not been to kind for all up and coming titles. Developer Pitch Black Games had to close shop on their efforts to make a three realm PvP game: Dominus (originally named Prime: The Battle for Dominus). The announcement came on April 30th via Pitch Black’s Facebook page, stating quote, “It is with a heavy heart that I have to say goodbye, or at least goodbye for now. We simply cannot deliver the game you deserve with the resources we have. We never quit trying, even when hope faded, because you – our community – kept us inspired.
There is a market for a game like this one. Thank you for proving it. I hope to see you again.”

Very unfortunate news for all veterans and fans of PvP games, as the title was shaping up to be an epic one that followed in the footsteps of what is still considered the best RvR game to date: Dark Age of Camelot. Hopefully Pitch Black will find the support it needs in the future and have the chance to deliver their amazing game to the community.

The Elder Scrolls Online

I would be hard pressed as an MMO fan to not bring up this huge announcement from Bethesda and ZeniMax, The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) game has been officially announced. While this is a pretty big announcement, very little has been revealed about the game itself. Right now we know the game will take place over a large portion of Tamriel (the entire continent of the Elder Scrolls world, much more area than any previous game). We also know ESO will take place long before the events of Skyrim, so the story will be fresh with many plot fillers for Elder Scrolls players who have followed the series from the beginning. Finally we know the game will be having a three realm PvP system that is designed around open world conflict rather than instanced combat.

In their interview with Game Informer, ZeniMax made it pretty clear they want to create the best MMO available on the market. The developers themselves have knowledge and experience in the MMO field and have been studying what other games such as World of Warcraft, Rift and Star Wars did well, and ideally where they failed. Hopefully ZeniMax can roll all of the best into one game and put out an amazing title for us in 2013.

And with that we wrap up this week. Next time we’ll take a look at Diablo 3 following the launch and how it compared to what everyone hoped for. Did it meet the community’s expectations? Does Inferno really challenge even the most hardcore of gamers? Will this be the end of a trilogy or merely a cliffhanger for a possible expansion? Check back next week for all these answers and more!

*Article written for Geek To Me courtesy of vVv Gaming!

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