Yesterday the Elder Scrolls Online announced its first expansion, Morrowind. I’ve long had a complicated relationship with the game, having played off-and-on since the very first beta we weren’t even allowed to tell anyone was happening. The relationship meandered off and on since then, from deciding to pass on the game at launch to eventually returning after, against all…
Final Fantasy XIV has long been the contemporary gap in my MMO resume, one made ever more conspicuous by how often it seems that people only have nice things to say about the damn game. So fuck it, I thought, and after handing in my capacity to grow facial hair for some cat ears, I dove right…
The honeymoon is over. I came, I saw, I floundered, and after a few blissful months reimmersed in my old Azerothian stomping grounds, I’ve found myself completely sapped of the will to carry on.
Turns out I’m hardly alone in this. The forums and social media communities have been aflutter with a consternation regarding the current state of the game. There’s been weeping, gnashing of teeth – you know, all the usual stuff. So where’s it all coming from?
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Steven Sharif, founder of Intrepid Studios and the Creative Director behind the nascent studio’s upcoming MMORPG title Ashes of Creation.
This year’s annual Star Wars movie release – that still feels weird to write – has come and gone. With Rogue One’s theatrical debut last week, a new wave of hype and excitement has reinvigorated fans of the franchise, and for those of us who are gamers, the desire to jump back into the universe has come rushing towards us in full force.
It’s time for another bout of Isarii vs Monetization, the epic, windmill-tilting saga of one man shouting into a gale force of increasingly common industry practices. Today we return to The Elder Scrolls Online, a game uniquely dear to my heart as the original starting point of this whole internet wordsmithing thing, which has continued its ever-trundling encroachment into a quagmire of whale-hunting cash shop fuckery.
One of World of Warcraft: Legion’s signature features was the introduction of artifact weapons: powerful, lore-steeped items that would grow with players over the course of the expansion, gaining in power and abilities rather than simply being replaced with new drops over the course of the years-long campaign against the Burning Legion. With a weapon system introducing that level of permanence, the need for extensive customization follows, so each artifact weapon comes with a variety of unlockable skins in varying hues. Some feature straightforward unlock requirements: the completion of a quest or the fulfilling an achievement. But others are less straightforward, with even their very existence going undisclosed except to those with the data mining skills to find them.