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By Elric

Wolcen - Full Release!

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem is going into full release on Feb 13th, 2020!  I've been following this ARPG since it was first Kickstarted way back in 2015.  I've played it once or twice throughout the development process... Some Alpha, some Beta.  Overall it has come along very nicely, and I have high hopes for the future of this game.  This game has been discussed as once of the top games that will be pit against Diablo IV for the next generation of ARPG's on the market.  I know Cecil and I will be playing for sure.  Come join us in-game and on Discord!

Final Launch Trailer:
 


Rhykker's Review:
 

 
ZiggyD's Gaming Review: 
 
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By Damis

Covenant Football League - Champion Crowned.

Chard's Goat Herders crowned Covenant Football League Champion for the 2019 season!
Trailing 140.22 to 139.74, Chard's Goat Herders staged a comeback and rallied back to beat Irok's Rokkets in the championship game with a final score of 152.36 to 140.22.  Chard's Goat Herders finished the season with a record of 11-5, while Irok's Rokkets ended the campaign at 13-3.
1st Place  -  Chard's Goat Herders
2nd Place  -  Irok's Rokkets
3rd Place  -  Baentir's Brawlers
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By Damis

Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings, wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness and prosperity during the holidays and in the coming New Year.
~  Covenant of the Phoenix
 
 
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By Damis

Path of Exile - Free to Play

Path of Exile is a free-to-play action role-playing video game developed and published by Grinding Gear Games.
ABOUT THIS GAME
You are an Exile, struggling to survive on the dark continent of Wraeclast, as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you. Created by hardcore gamers, Path of Exile is an online Action RPG set in a dark fantasy world. With a focus on visceral action combat, powerful items and deep character customization, Path of Exile is completely free and will never be pay-to-win.

Key Features
Freedom. Power. Revenge.
Banished for your misdeeds to the dark, brutal world of Wraeclast, you play as the Duelist, Witch, Ranger, Templar, Marauder, Shadow or the Scion class. From forsaken shores through to the ruined city of Sarn, explore Wraeclast and uncover the ancient secrets waiting for you.
Unlimited Character Customization
Create and customize hundreds of unique skill combinations from tradable itemized gems and our gigantic passive skill tree. Combine skill gems, support gems and trigger gems to create your own unique combination of power, defense and destruction.
Deadly Missions
The Forsaken Masters each have their own style of mission and each of these missions has many variations. As you explore deeper into Wraeclast, the pool of available variations increases to challenge you in new ways. All of the Missions and their variations can occur anywhere in the game, including within end-game Maps.
Dressed to Kill
Path of Exile is all about items. Find, collect and trade magic, rare and unique items with arcane properties, then customize your character build around the deadliest combinations you possess.
Brutal Competitive Play
Battle in PvP tournaments seasons and Capture the Flag events for worldwide recognition. Compete in Daily Leagues and Race Events that run as separate game worlds with their own ladders and economies to win valuable prizes.
Customise Your Hideout
In their extensive travels throughout Wraeclast, the Forsaken Masters have discovered ideal locations for an Exile to use as their own secret Hideout. Once you've earned a Master's trust, you may be taken to a Hideout, where you can create your own personalised town. Masters residing in your Hideout offer you daily Missions and train you in advanced crafting options. Use your Hideout as a quiet place to craft after battle, or expand it and use it as a personalised Guild Hall with hundreds of decorations.
Fair-To-Play. Never Pay-To-Win.
We're committed to creating a fair playing field for all players. You cannot gain gameplay advantage by spending real money in Path of Exile.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/238960/Path_of_Exile/
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By Damis

Smite - Free To Play.

Smite is a 3D fantasy MOBA where players take on the role of mythological gods and battle in team-based arenas. Unlike other MOBAs, SMITE puts you directly onto the battlefield with a third-person action viewpoint. From blind-side ambushes to aimed shots, a new pantheon of strategic possibilities awaits.  Become a legend of myth, enter the Battleground of the Gods, and play FREE now!

Game Modes:
Conquest – the main 5v5 game mode. Features three lanes and a jungle area filled with neutral monsters. Arena – a 5v5 game mode with an open battle area rather than lanes. Each team begins with 500 points and must reduce the other side's to zero by killing heroes, minions, and escorting allied minions to portals. Joust – a 3v3 game mode with a single lane which otherwise plays like Conquest mode. Joust can also be played 1v1. Assault – similar to ARAM (All Random, All Mid) in LoL, players are assigned a random God and fight on a map with a single lane. Siege – a faster version of Conquest. Siege mode consists of only two lanes and contains a special Siege Juggernaut minion that deals extra damage to structures.
Never played a battle arena before? Don’t worry. Auto-buy, auto-level, and the deathmatch-like Arena mode let you jump right into divine MOBA action. Aspiring pro? Top the ladders, join a competitive team, and you too could be playing at the SMITE World Championship.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/386360/SMITE/
 
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Elric

Fractured - New MMORPG in Alpha

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I knew it was a free Alpha test this weekend, so I wasn't expecting much... However, my 1 hour in the game was frustrating and pointless.  I started out messing with gathering / crafting and some PvE.  That part was alright, but going any farther was a waste of time.  Literally every single plot on the map is taken.  I ran for 40+ minutes and did not see a single open plot of land to test any of the player housing and building mechanics.  Meanwhile, all I see in chat is a bunch of kids trolling new players.  People would ask where there were open plots, so trolls would suggest spots that were open - and then laugh when people got there to find all the spots taken.  Fun stuff.

Why have an open Alpha test if every single plot on the map is already taken?  This means no new players can even test a major part of the game.  On the bright side, I'm glad I ran into the toxic community and gameplay issues before I invested any money into the game.  It's just disappointing, because I thought this game had an insane amount of potential.

I think this one is going to be a "no" from me.  At least not before it launches and has actually playable content.

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9 hours ago, Elric said:

I knew it was a free Alpha test this weekend, so I wasn't expecting much... However, my 1 hour in the game was frustrating and pointless.  I started out messing with gathering / crafting and some PvE.  That part was alright, but going any farther was a waste of time.  Literally every single plot on the map is taken.  I ran for 40+ minutes and did not see a single open plot of land to test any of the player housing and building mechanics.  Meanwhile, all I see in chat is a bunch of kids trolling new players.  People would ask where there were open plots, so trolls would suggest spots that were open - and then laugh when people got there to find all the spots taken.  Fun stuff.

Why have an open Alpha test if every single plot on the map is already taken?  This means no new players can even test a major part of the game.  On the bright side, I'm glad I ran into the toxic community and gameplay issues before I invested any money into the game.  It's just disappointing, because I thought this game had an insane amount of potential.

I think this one is going to be a "no" from me.  At least not before it launches and has actually playable content.

Thanks for the report. 

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If land grabbing is going to be an issue with  the game, then I won't be interested in playing it.

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Here's the "Review" they posted about the recent Alpha test (see below).  It sounds like I wasn't the only one with those concerns.

 

Quote

February 2020 Playtest Review

February 10th, 2020 at 6:09 pm

 

Fractured’s second stress test open to all registered users has ended – and it’s been a success. Here come our findings!

 

Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!

Our first open testing week has ended, and it’s been one of the busiest and most exciting times in the development of Fractured so far.

Back in December, our first attempt at a stress test was short-lived due to some server issues that came up soon after launch – both in the game code and in our own web infrastructure. Very few of you actually managed to play, which means we didn’t have the chance to assess the consequences of heavy load from a game design rather than a technical perspective.

This time, however, the test ran smooth as silk, and we got all the data we need. Let’s move on to our findings then!

 

The Good

Servers held flawlessly

Within a month from the previous “failed” test, we fixed all server code issues and completely rewrote our web API, login server and chat server. These changes delivered the expected results: we had hundreds of players logged in the game at peak times, with no sign of overload. Even better, we estimated we could have borne a much higher load!

In this regard, we’d like to express our gratitude to the Improbable engineers. Their help was invaluable, as they quickly solved the issues we had run into in December and supported us during the course of this test, even outside of office hours!

Massive interest again

Our first (attempt at a) stress test in December already revealed a great interest in Fractured – but this one surpassed it greatly.

Over 6,000 new accounts have been created in the last couple weeks, and almost 20,000 characters (belonging to ~15,000 distinct accounts) have been created during the playtest. There were even login queues after new patches were deployed and servers restarted – luckily short and not too annoying.

We now have over 70,000 registered users – thank you all for being here!

Good sales

As expected, the success of the test reflected positively on our sales. We’ve gained over 400 new backers in the last few days, and the flow doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

This increase is great for us but also for other backers, since it’s going to make future testing phases more active and populated, which is great news.

Very few bugs

The work we’ve done in the latest testing phases to reduce the bug count has paid off. We had very few bug reports this time, the main (and truly annoying one) being the infamous “handcart stuck in pavement” bug, which is not going to be around any longer in the next testing phase. Promised! 😉

 

The Bad

Free land hard to find

The land claiming and management system we’ve used in the playtest was still incomplete, and it was likely the largest issue most testers had to face.

Getting a parcel was completely free (no need to spend game currency), the 3 possible spawn points for new players were relatively close to each other, and land sharing was still under implementation. This terrible combo made it so that all plots around spawn points were quickly occupied, forcing users who joined later to walk for hours (literally) to find free ones.

This game-breaking scenario is the reason we’ve decided to prioritize the completion of the land claiming system and have it ready for Alpha 2 – Test 2.

What do I do now?

This question is one we heard from several players after they were done building their house, crafting stations, etc. The Knowledge System was there and made use of popups and notifications, yet for most testers it wasn’t clear that character progression is based on defeating monsters, filling their bestiary entries and learning their abilities. This requires exploring the world, and the lack of indications on points of interest in the world map definitely made things worse.

Given this feedback and the land claiming issues detailed above, we’re now exploring how to quickly implement a whole new early game experience that’s closer to the one at full release. More details on this topic will be released in future updates!

Griefers & hacks

Since day one, we’ve always taken a lot of pride in our community – one made of kind, friendly and welcoming people.

Sadly, an event like this one tends to draw in some individuals who have no interest in testing the game, but only in spoiling other players’ fun. While there were actually very few, some managed to become a real annoyance in the global chat, and we didn’t have a 24/7 moderation team to deal with them.

Some hackers also found vulnerabilities that could be exploited within character creation and in-game (related to movement and attacks). A couple we were already aware of, a couple were new and unexpected. They’re all gone already (they were trivial to fix), but we clearly wish some of you didn’t have to put up with the people abusing them.

 

What’s next?

It’s Alpha 2 – Test 2! Starting in late February / early March (exact date to be announced) and bringing to life:

  • Parties;
  • Guilds;
  • Land parcel management (friends & access levels);
  • The first iteration of the Vale of Shadows.

Before that happens, we’ll send out a survey to aggregate feedback from the past Open Playtest. That will award you with Foundation Points, so stay tuned!

Enjoy Fractured!

 

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Well, at least they are still working on improving the game, so that is a good.  This game will be a watch and see if it improves.

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