5 Best Historical MMORPGs

Historical MMORPGs are very under-represented in the online gaming world, but they do exist. Using the list below you might just find one that suits your interests.  All of the games in the list are free to play but most of the games are monetized by offering items you can purchase with real money from an item mall.


5.) PIRATES OF THE BURNING SEA

Retail Price: Free

MMORPG.com Score: 7.0

In Pirates of the Burning Sea you are thrown into the set of the New World in an 18th century seascape. PotBS as it is called features high-seas action & thrills in a brave new world full of pirates & thievery. Players an select from either England, Spain or France with take your chances as a pirate and battle for glory & power!


4.) 9DRAGONS

Retail Price: Free

MMORPG.com Score: 7.7

9Dragons is the first authentic martial arts massively multiplayer online role-playing game. That means you shall not be alone in The Land — you shall journey alongside many friends, enemies, teachers and fellow disciples. The Land itself will be constantly evolving around you as new cities, quests, and special events are continuously added and updated.


3.) A TALE IN THE DESERT

Retail Price: Free

MMORPG.com Score: 7.7

A Tale in the Desert is a Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMO) set in ancient Egypt. The game focuses on crafting and trading, mixed with strong social challenges.


2.) NAVY FIELD

Retail Price: Free

MMORPG.com Score: 7.8

Navy Field; a massively multiplayer online tactics simulation game based on World War II naval warfare by SD EnterNet.

Be prepared to experience intense naval battles against large teams of real opponents from across the globe. To help you on your quest to be the ultimate commander of the sea, almost 100 different WWII era naval vessels are available to use.


1.) WORLD WAR II ONLINE

Retail Price: Free

MMORPG.com Score: 8.0

World War II Online is essentially a sim game with tactical warfare as its main draw.  WWII Online is distinct in that it is the first FPS that also has MMORPG elements. During the game you will rely on teamwork as players fight their way across a half-scaled version of Western Europe.


If you would like to see another historical MMORPG in this list, please leave a comment.

Read More

EVE Online: Incarna 1.0.1 Update #4 Released Today

Eve Online

Recently, I’ve found myself playing Eve Online again.  Unfortunately, I’ve returned to a game rife with strange user interface bugs.  Luckily, Eve is on top of the bug squashing with the Incarna 1.0.1 update #4 (and of course the other Incarna patches)

From Eveonline.com:

“EVE Online: Incarna 1.0.1 client update #4 will be released during our daily downtime on Thursday, July 21. This update fixes several UI issues with the Macintosh client. A complete list of the patch notes can be found here.

If you don’t want to navigate on over to the Eve Online patch notes, here is a what they have listed for this update:

Mac

  • Resolved a rendering issue for turret icons, including turret blueprints, which would cause them to not render or render as black squares. Symptoms included info windows, market UI, and the container UI scrollbar not working for these items. Turret 3d assets were in no way affected.

Certainly not a huge update but like with all Eve expansions they have plenty of bugs to knock out.  If you want to fly around Eve with yours truly feel free to send a message to Devil Too, cheers.

Read More

Battlestar Galactica Online Browser-Based Game Review

Battlestar Galactica Online

Battlestar Galactica: Online is based on the re-imaging of the sci-fi television show, BSG from 2003. The game takes place following the events of the second season. Specifically, this is directly after the Colonials destroy the resurrection ship only to find they’ve become stranded with Cylons even more hell-bent on their destruction. Both sides are low on resources and lost in the vast expanse of unexplored space, and as it so happens it’s you’re job to blaze your way to victory for the few surviving humans.

After I loaded the Unity plugin provided by Bigpoint games (the developer) it was time to get into some 3D browser-based action. At the time of the review, Bigpoint was offering a bonus for the Cylons so I chose to go that route. The game loads and your greeted with a tutorial by a Number Six Cylon clone.

Immediately after seeing the user interface it was obvious; BSG:O is heavily influenced by Star Trek: Online. The interface contains 3 basic areas of importance; weapons/ammunition, ship controls & abilities.

When I completed the beginner tutorial, BSG:O let me create a Cylon character & ship. The character creation process is what you would expect from a browser-based game in that it sorely lacks features. You have 8 toggles to choose from and only 2 ships to start. However, later in the game you have an opportunity to pick up other ships not featured in the television series. On a side note, the “name your character” portion of character creation is poorly integrated into the game. Throughout my travels to NPC’s call me by my rank as opposed to my chosen name, “Incursion”.

My character is ready to go and it’s time to get into missions. Similar to Eve Online, you’ll never get to plant your feed on solid ground. However, between missions you have a chance to talk to Cavil in one of the base stars to select missions. This is fine but one of the great features of BSG:O’s father game ST:O is the ability to do ground missions.

Controlling your new ship can be a pain, especially if it’s fast. Basically, all of your movements are based on the typical ASWD keys to move up, down, left & right. The spacebar is used to accelerate but that option only allows for full speed or full stop. To vary your speed you’ll need to manually toggle the option. When you’re at full speed the ship is unwieldy to say the least. Even with a gentle tap on your movement keys the ship often spins so drastically you’ll find yourself with its tail-end toward an enemy missile bombardment. Firing your weapons is mired in problems intrinsic in the games design. Like ST:O you have to align your ship on a firing arc giving you a tiny window were your weapons will fire. Fortunately, the weapons allow you to toggle them to autofire making it a bit easier to hit the sweet spot as far as the firing arc goes.

The re-imagining of TV version of Battlestar Galactica features some of the best sound to ever pump through internal HDtv speakers. BSG:O lets you experience all of the fine music from the show all over again. However, in an apparent attempt to minimize the download size of the game, the designers went with lower quality audio files. In the way of sound effects, you’ll get the typical beeps and boops with nothing special to speak of. Overall, the sound is satisfactory but would have been greatly improved with the option to increase the audio quality for those with better internet connections.

You wouldn’t expect much on graphics front from a browser-based game but Battlestar Galactica Online really shines in this regard. Similar to Eve Online, you have your 3D ship with additional objects placed on an outer-space background. The inherit nature of sci-games allows even browser games to look good even with minimal 3D graphics. When you get to walk around in the base ship the lighting effects off of my Cylon centurion really made him/it feel like I was playing a full-fledged sci-fi MMORPG. For better or worse the ship and your moveable character are among the only objects that really look great. The NPC characters come off as muddy. The avatar pictures are low quality static images merely used to add a graphic in the mix of text in on-screen mission assistance. However, my biggest issue is with combat graphics. The ammunition, especially the missiles miss the mark when it comes to graphic effects, particularly the inability to see any major explosions when the objects hit the target.

BSG:O is a free to play game with the option of buying in-game currency. Games with this type of business model often leads to a lackluster experience for anyone not willing to spend their real world cash on virtual world items/abilities. BSG:O suffers from this same issue, even so it offers an adequate experience for what it is. Although, don’t expect it to have the immersion you would find in your typical $15 a month MMORPG.

BSGO Review Scores
Graphicswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Objects, ships & your playable character look good. Unfortunately, the world in which they play could use a second look.
Soundwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
You'll get to enjoy the same musical scores from the TV show but don't expect the same quality.
Gameplaywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Mired in unwieldy controls & dull missions the game really lacks in prolonged playability.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
If you want to waste a little time with a free sci-fi game, give it a shot. However, don't expect an enthralling experience.
Read More

Interview with the SW:TOR Senior Environment Artist

Star Wars The Old Republic

Bioware / Lucas Arts recently posted a news article interviewing Robby Lamb, senior environment artist behind Star Wars: The Old Republic.  The post goes through the process of how environments in the game evolve and transform into their final product. Mr. Lamb shows off downloadable screenshots of current environments within the game as he describes how the walls, materials, props & lighting are created and how they all come together to make this beautiful new sci-fi mmorpg.

In previous Bioware titles we have been treated to fantastically beautiful 3d environments.  However, what really sets them apart is the lighting and the grandiose rooms & levels throughout the games (see: Mass Effect & Dragon Age).  On the topic of walls & lighting he had this to say:

“As an Environment Artist, I love having time to polish the work that our team has put into the game. Quite often, assets and lighting may be completed months or years prior to the game’s release, so when we have time to polish this allows us to update and unify the game to the ever changing, growing, and evolving demands of development. This is especially true on an MMO like The Old Republic, where hundreds of different elements are interacting to make the multiplayer experience work correctly. When one element of the game changes, it can impact many others, so we may be required to polish the art in a certain part of the game, so that the story still works and the performance of the game is still optimal.”

“Apart from working on environment items like walls, another polish task is the re-lighting and adding of props to an area to help tell the visual story better. Appropriate lighting and props can quickly and visually tell you that an area is, for example, seedy as opposed to crime-free.”

Additionally, the props in any given 3D environment play a huge factor in the atmosphere created for the players.  Robby Lamb had this to say on that topic:

“Apart from working on environment items like walls, another polish task is the re-lighting and adding of props to an area to help tell the visual story better. Appropriate lighting and props can quickly and visually tell you that an area is, for example, seedy as opposed to crime-free.

This is important to the environment artists as well as the writers and designers whose story we are telling through art. Often we are given a description of an area that needs to be built out; let’s take a computer lab as an example. With a few NPCs placed inside, we might start with a computer lab in the simplest terms. However later in development a more detailed description may evolve – describing this area as a computer lab, locked from the outside, with a hacker trapped inside who is enslaved to the Empire. Based on this description we will go back into an area and address it by either building new or reusing more appropriate assets to fit the scene, relighting the area, as well as adjusting the environment settings such as fog depth or color.”

Mr. Lamb closed by giving some light on what they are trying to achieve with the final product and the focus they put on quality.

“Spending time to add polish to the game is extremely important, but it’s also a lot of fun as we see the game improve directly as a result of our work. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into what polish means from our perspective – and hopefully you have a better understanding of how important a simple wall can be in a game like The Old Republic!”

It’s a breath of fresh air that Bioware is taking the time to polish every aspect of how the game looks, unlike some of their competitors. With that said, even a premier developer like Bioware can make a mistake.  We will just have to see when Star Wars: The Old Republic releases.

For the full Q & A take a look at the source post: http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20110415

Read More

Black Prophecy Sci-Fi MMORPG: First Impressions

Black Prophecy is a space combat MMO with modern 3d visuals derived by sci-fi author Michael Marrak and created through the work Reakktor Media… but is it any good? That is what I attempt to uncover throughout this post:

CHARACTER CREATION

From the onset of the game you become enamored with surprisingly wonderful 3d animation in the character creation process. The only time I’ve been so impressed with the graphical appeal of character creation was after the most recent expansion to a game you may be familiar with, Eve Online.  However, after tweaking the settings a bit to achieve the desired look for my character I found several toggles that presented limited or non-existent options.  However, to be fair this post is based on the early closed beta of the game.

OPENING SCENE

It was time for my freshly generated character to set off on whatever journey awaited.  As I had expected based on the visual quality of the first few steps I was please to find a well-crafted opening CG video playing (as you will see in the video below).  Unfortunately, the voice accompanying the dark scenery didn’t seem to fit the mood of the video.

 

GAMEPLAY

The graphical quality of both the character creator and the cinema sequences are fantastic.  However, Black Prophecies positive attributes may end there.  I wasn’t as equally amused by the space combat & the controls for both the ship movement and weapon aiming.  The initial combat I was throw into appeared to simply be the best 3d rendition of asteroids to ever grace a computer screen but wasn’t up to par with my expectation.  Instead of constantly mashing same number on the pad to use my skill (singular) like in World of Warcraft, I “enjoyed” the same dullness using the left mouse button.

?Later on in the tutorial you’ll  learn how to target your enemies and move your ship (mentioned above).  To close I’ll say this: gameplay would have been unbearable for any extended length of time but I might be treated to a more difference combat system as the game progresses.

If you’re interested in giving it a try yourself, registration for the Dark Prophecy beta is still open.

Read More