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By on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:08 am, in MMORPG, News  |  Comments: No comments yet

Even though we’ve just recovered from the end of ArcheAge‘s third closed beta event, the fourth beta event was announced yesterday. It’s right around the corner! It’ll begin at 10 AM PST on Friday, August 22 and run until 10 AM on Wednesday, August 27th. There can never be too much beta in a sandbox-y game like ArcheAge, right?

There will be no character wipes from the third beta event, so players will be able to continue their progress. As always, the limited closed invites from CBE 3 won’t be valid for CBE 4, but Trion posted a list of third party sites where keys for this test period can be found starting on the 20th. All Founders and Alpha testers, of course, still have access.

For more info, check out the official FAQ. Happy beta-ing!

By on Aug 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm, in Gaming, Preview  |  Comments: 1 comment

Wow! What a week trying to catch up on this not-so-little pack of voxel fun. It is easy to underestimate what seems like a really simple game, but Trove has depths and layers to its crafting, building, and combat that keep you running around blissfully losing track of time.

What is most enjoyable about Trove is that there is this old school understanding overlooked in many games today striving to be leading edge. Trove keeps what’s meant to be simple, simple. Take for instance mining ore– it’s out in the world, you use a laser to gather it, and everyone around you also gets the same ore which makes it more enjoyable knowing you can group up to concentrate on certain materials to spend more time building or leveling your chosen class to 20 when you can. Speaking of class…

By on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm, in MMORPG, News  |  Comments: No comments yet

Wow! Running around in ArcheAge Alpha, I stumbled upon something that made me jump up and down in excitement!



Trion Creates a Labor of Love

Trion has always been pioneering in gaming innovation, partnering with XLGAMES for ArcheAge being one of these fore-thinking developments. Today, if I am correct, I think something happened I have never seen in any game and it is just superb because it involves bots and I absolutely despise bots – bots being the online term for robot or any software application that runs automated tasks. Here’s what happened:

By on Aug 6, 2014 at 6:30 am, in MMORPG, News  |  Comments: No comments yet

Results are in for the second contest run by Trion creating a buzz across the high seas of ArcheAge to win an Archeum Founder’s Pack with “Raise Your Sails“. It’s been a blast following the official forum post as the creative deviousness and brilliance of many personalized crests in ArcheAge revealed themselves. Without further ado, here are the six winning crests that also included a most meta sail pick from Trion staff members that made us smile!

By on Aug 1, 2014 at 6:31 am, in Featured Article, MMORPG  |  Comments: 1 comment

Our staff members recently had the opportunity to get some answers to our questions regarding ArcheAge. Much like the experience I’ve had with their support team, Trion Worlds had detailed responses and got back to us very quickly. We got some great information on upcoming game changes, cash shop changes, and a deeper look at some of the challenges with the localization of ArcheAge.

Along with many other players, we also had a chance to play in alpha and the recent beta events. One big thing we’ve all noticed is the “first come, first serve”-type tagging system when it comes to tagging mobs for quest credit (that led to instances like this). Good news– Trion and XLGAMES are considering changing this on a global level. We’re looking forward to more on that! Read on for more information.

By on Jul 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm, in MMORPG  |  Comments: No comments yet

There has been a lot of talk about the pirate system in ArcheAge. At first glance, pirates are free to do pretty much whatever they want to. They’re free to attack any other players, except in safe zones. They can build farms and houses wherever they want to, except the second they set foot in another continent, they should probably be prepared to die.

With the current system, pirates are vastly outnumbered and aren’t given much luxury. Even the “Pirate Island” has limited resources (as expected, pirates generally rely on stealing to get what they need) and is open to be attacked at any moment. Not only that, but it takes a whopping 3000 infamy points to become a pirate, and close to a month to get those crime points down if you decide being a pirate isn’t quite what you wanted.

By on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm, in Gaming, MMORPG  |  Comments: 3 comments

This dynamic voxel MMO has evolved through the roof since I first jumped into Alpha way back at Christmas time. I was a little reserved then, not having been drawn to any voxel game beforehand. I thought maybe I was taking my love for Trion games a little too far. I have been blown away more times than I can count ever since then– not only thanks to the Trion team but especially because of the friendly Trove community.

trove 1

Evolutionary Creativity
Straight off the bat testing Trove came with a “go big or go home” attitude– building such things like “Trove Boy,” and a possible girl friend (previewed above) out in the open world where anyone or anything could smash away at it challenging rapid placement and patience. Being fond of detailed, realistic game building, I found it was a pleasant surprise how creative I could be once I discovered how cubed art worked.

Quickly following the beginning months of testing, open world cornerstones (previewed below) were implemented, then dungeon making took effect along with homeworlds and now clubs.

  • Cornerstones are out in the world across all the biomes randomly located waiting for you to stake your claim.
  • Dungeons are built by the community and then put into place by the Trion team.
  • Homeworlds are instanced personal worlds you can grant others access to for building and visiting purposes.
  • Clubs are Trove’s answer to Guilds/Clans with a ranking system that also includes who can build in your Club House.

trove 2

Revolutionary Classes, Crafting, &  Combat

Building is only a fraction of your adventure in Trove, setting it apart from any other similar games. The game offers three class choices so far with more to come including Knight (feature image), Gunslinger, and Faetrickster (previewed above).

  • Knight – Melee sword, blade, mace, and hammer.
  • Gunslinger – Ranged firearms.
  • Faetrickster – Ranged decoy and staff.

trove 3
trove 4

Adventuring out in the world, killing bosses in dungeons, and trading among other players is how you gather weapons. Man, there so many to choose from, but if you want to build or decorate to your imagination’s content you’ll also be killing mobs, mining ore, and breaking down the earth and all its structures for parts. After that you’ll be hunting recipe lairs and smashing pinatas to get recipes in order to use all of your materials.

Crafting in Trove is so engaging. Additional ways to get items to soothe your creative genius multiply every hotfix along with weapon choices. We’ll go into more detail in separate articles including community creations, biomes, block textures, fun parts, mounts, crafting tools, and shadow arena. Plus most importantly– Corgis (Yes, this character has on a corgi mask)! Trove not only has a Corgi mount but also Corgi guns. I’m totally going to go hunt for those in the next few days!

trove 5

Oh, one parting note. I should mention lava. There will be lava and dragons… so many dragons!

By on Jan 21, 2014 at 9:35 am, in MMORPG  |  Comments: 1 comment

RIFT‘s upcoming patch– RIFT 2.6– is right around the corner and is due out sometime in February. Until then, we received another large update on the Player Test Shard last Friday that showcased a few awesome features headed our way in the update. For starters, we were able to preview a completely new Loyalty tier. Also available for preview are unstable artifacts and some of the reward mounts as well the new trophy goodies, the beginning hints of an Air saga world event, and the Bloodfire Stronghold and its corresponding zone events.

Care for a preview? Head on over to Rift Junkies to take a look. Also, don’t forget to check out our preview of Dream Weaving, the new crafting profession being added in 2.6.

By on Dec 20, 2013 at 10:55 am, in MMORPG  |  Comments: 16 comments

The next major RIFT update– RIFT 2.6– is headed to live shards in February 2014, but for now we have an early preview of some of the additions headed our way on the Public Test Shard. The most exciting addition is probably the new profession– Dream Weaving. Dream Weaving grants players the ability to salvage artifacts and create dimension items and other goodies with raw materials. Players can even create new dimension keys that are BoE using Dream Weaving.

Also arriving in 2.6 are a couple of new raid rifts, new raid weeklies, new dimensions (as a result of Dream Weaving), new achievements, bounties, and a new Instant Adventure added to the Goboro Reef area. For now, let’s focus on Dream Weaving. Let’s take a look at how the crafting profession will work and a few of the awesome things players can create with it.

Note: As always, all information taken from the PTS is completely subject to change at any time. With Dream Weaving, especially, many of the exact item requirements, etc., are merely placeholders. As such, this won’t be a guide for leveling Dream Weaving, but rather a preview for the time being.


Dream Weaving Basics

rift dream weaving header

To get started with Dream Weaving when it goes live, you’ll need to head to Tempest Bay and talk to Reva Song who can be found in the Canals area next to the NPC who sells dimension keys. You’ll also need a free tradeskill slot. Dream Weaving, unfortunately, takes up one of our non-freebie tradeskill slots. Because of this, Trion will be upping the amount of total extensions players can purchase in the RIFT Store to up to 7, totaling 10.

After picking up Dream Weaving, you’ll gain the ability to salvage artifacts. Breaking them down results in Dream Ribbons. Dream Ribbons are the main raw material you’ll need to create the items Dream Weavers can make. Other raw materials that are used include wood, cloth, ore, plants, leather, and fish. As of right now, the only items that can be salvaged from artifacts are the Dream Ribbons. Dimension items cannot be salvaged, but Faratha did mention that the team is trying to think of a way for crafters to break down dimension items.

How many Dream Ribbons you get per artifact depends on both your skill level in Dream Weaving as well as the rarity of the artifact you are breaking down. When starting, you will recieve 1 Dream Ribbon for a white artifact, 2 for a green artifact, 5 for a blue artifact, 20 for an epic artifact, and 50 for a relic artifact. As your skill increases, this number roughly doubles. You don’t get skill points in Dream Weaving for breaking down artifacts.

There are a few restrcitions for salvaging artifacts. Artifacts that respawn very frequently in the game world such as the Meridian/Sanctum artifacts cannot be salvaged. Trion is also going to be adjusting some of the drop rates for especially common artifacts such as the critter tears. As of 2.6, the fishing artifacts will also be able to be salvaged.

To craft items using Dream Weaving, you’ll need to be near a Dream Focus. You can find one directly next to Reva Song. You also get a pretty cool item for completing her first crafting quest– a Dream Focus. This is a dimension item you can use inside a dimension to create a crafting station of your very own. As you gain levels in Dream Weaving, you’ll be able to learn new recipes including ones for tons of new dimension furnishings, new dimension keys, and new item enchants called Dream Orbs.

rift dream weaving weather effects

Among the coolest created items are the new dimension items. Everything from new, fancy pillows to animated environmental and weather effects such as quicksand, dust motes, fire and lightning effects, ground effects, spotlights, waterfalls, and smoke plumes can be made to add cool effects to your dimensions. Many of these effect-creating items are completely new and use a new type of technology that Faratha detailed in a recent Trion blog post.


New Dimensions

There are roughly 15 new dimensions being added to the game with the arrival of 2.6 and the Dream Weaving tradeskill. The keys are crafted by Dream Weavers and they are tradeable. Among the new dimensions include locations such as Tower Meadow, Stone Grove, Faering Woods, Azcu’azg Oasis, Stillmoor Vale, Pus Swamp, Malluma Track, Anywhere (an open sandbox– the same place shown in Extra Life), Edgestone Ridge, Gloamwood Glen, Daazez Wastes, Fetid Plains, Bahralt’s Ascent, Karthan Ponds, and Scarlet Gorge Cliff.

Take a look at Kiwi’s latest video where she shows off some of the cool environmental/weather effects as well as a few favorite new dimensions. The dimensions are also currently available for our previewing pleasure on the PTS (thanks to Kiwi and her awesome team!). Care for a preview? Here is a gallery of my favorite screenshots of each of the dimensions I previewed (click each image to bring up the full-size versions):

Each screenshot is tagged by the origin dimension’s name. I’ll list the names here as well:

First row: Tower Meadow, Stone Grove, Stillmoor Vale, Scarlet Gorge Cliff, Pus Swamp
Second row: Malluma Track, Karthan Ponds, Gloamwood Glen, Fetid Plains, Faering Woods
Third row: Edgestone Ridge, Daazez Wastes, Bahralt’s Ascent, Azcu’azg Oasis, Anywhere


Other Crafted Items and Recipes

Dream Weavers will also be able to create Dream Orbs, which are essentially extra enchantments that can be placed on gear and are specific to your calling. Theses stack with runes. There are three tiers of Dream Orbs that you learn as you level the craft. Gear must be level 40 or higher in order to have a Dream Orb placed on it.

All of the recipes for Dream Weavers can be learned from the NPC trainer of bought off the RIFT Store so far. There are no crafting dailies for Dream Weaving nor does Trion intend for there to be. There are only a few recipes purchasable off the RIFT Store at the moment:

rift dream weaving rift store recipes

Leveling Dream Weaving is going to take a lot of artifacts, but it seems like the tradeskill will add some pretty cool items to the economy as well as give dimensioneers plenty to love about 2.6. It’s awesome to see Trion giving dimension lovers some new toys and goodies to play with. I just mentioned this in an editorial the other day, but RIFT‘s dimension system is one of the best examples of housing done extraordinarily well in an MMORPG. Creativity, unlimited potential, availability, accessibility, and new goodies and locales to constantly look forward to? It really doesn’t get any better than that.

By on Dec 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm, in Uncategorized  |  Comments: No comments yet

Just in case you ever get a teensy bit bored while browsing the internet and find yourself thinking about your video game collection, we’ve got few questions for you to ponder over. Well, one a week in particular. Possibly more. The others will come in the later editions of Gamer Think Tank. By the way, we’re not totally sold on this column’s name yet, so if a cool idea strikes you, feel free to shout it out in the comments section. For now, let’s talk about what gets you to buy items in “free” games.

Last week, Laura wrote an article on Trion using a “world event” as an excuse to get people to essentially buy stuff from the cash shop in Rift. Well, that’s kind of simplifying a lot, but stay with me here. It got me thinking about how companies try to get me to buy stuff for their free to play game, and what tricks at least work on me. While I love mechs, I could guess from the e-mail I was sent that the “world event” was an excuse to sell things in the cash shop, and my research pointed to playing the random chest game. Sorry, but that’s what I play everytime I kill a  mob. I refuse to pay for that, especially since it tends to come with my monthly subscription. To limit items to paid, one time use only slot machines really kills the genre for me. I especially hate it when companies give me boxes but not keys. I don’t really care about the boxes, but if I keys without the box, I’d probably be a bit more tempted. Small change, but it’s just something I noticed about myself.

No, stupidly, I’m one of those people that sometimes pays for beta access (not alpha if I can help it, since I actually test). If pre-ordering comes with mounts that I normally have to level to unlock, or will save me a lot of in game money at the start of the game, that gets me to open my wallet too. I need to feel like I know what I’m buying, and I prefer things that save me in game time, rather than look cool. I think it’s one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed SOE’s free to play games. If I want to unlock a gun for my PlanetSide 2 bus of doom, I just buy it. If I had to pay slots for it, I would have already uninstalled the game. Oddly enough though, I don’t buy xp boosts. I don’t like sitting around for an hour straight playing games, as odd as that may sound. I like the idea that I can go to the bathroom whenever I want, or go out to dinner if a friend suddenly suggests it. While skins are nice, I rarely buy them. In fact, if a game only has cool skins that I have to pay for, that I cannot earn any other way, I tend to avoid them. I’d rather pay a sub or buy the game as a buy to play option than have to essentially clothes shop for my avatar with my real life money.

What about you, junkies? What’s acceptable for companies to sell you in their cash shops? Are you hooked on boosters? Love random chests? Toss out money for mounts? Or are you one of those people that plays free to play games absolutely free?

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