Join The Elder Scrolls Online Free Play Week

Posted by | News, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | No Comments

As part of their three-year anniversary event, The Elder Scrolls Online will open its digital doors this week. The Free Play Week begins tomorrow, April 11, at 10 am Eastern/7 am Pacific on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and Mac (Steam). It ends April 18 at the same time.

When the Free Play Week begins, you’ll be able to download The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The Free Play Week includes the base game, but not any of the DLC areas. When creating an account, you’ll receive 500 crowns to spend in the in-game Crown Store. You can purchase XP boosts, unique outfits, and other items.

Any character progress and Crown purchases you make will carry over if you decide to purchase the game after the Free Play Week. Likewise if you have participated in previous Free Play events, your characters will still be preserved and ready to play (assuming you use the same account).

The three-year old MMORPG’s anniversary event also grants some additional goodies. A unique cake vendor will spawn in Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall, or Davon’s Watch depending on your faction. Completing his quest will reward you with the new 2nd Annual Jubilee Cake. Anyone in your group can eat a slice of cake to enjoy a two-hour 100% XP boost. Additionally all daily and weekly quests completed during the event grants an Anniversary Gift Box. These boxes contain the usual crafting materials, but also at least one rare item. The three-year anniversary event also ends on April 18.

The Elder Scrolls Online originally released on April 4, 2014 as a spin-off MMORPG to the popular single-player RPG series. It began with a subscription model and was met with mixed reactions. A year later in 2015, it dropped the sub model and was re-branded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Now it’s a one-time purchase, along with a real-money store for extra stuff and DLC that adds new areas and content.

The first major expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online is Morrowind, coming this June.


black desert

Black Desert Review

Posted by | PC, Reviews | No Comments

Available on PC
We played on PC (Beta)

The new Korean MMORPG Black Desert takes the kinetic action-based combat of Assassin’s Creed, the open world freedom of Skyrim, and a community of thousands of players, and combines these elements in what many are calling the first in a generation of new MMOs. It’s tough to foretell how far this MMO will go, but it has sparked plenty of well-deserved interest. Read More

star stable

Star Stable Review: A Horse Is a Horse

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I loved horses in my tween years. I would actually go out into my backyard and see how large of an area we could have if we built a stable and a pasture. I checked some books out of the library about how to care for horses and read short novels about girls who rode horses. I watched every movie that had a horse in it in some way. Sylvester was my favorite. I didn’t know of any girls my age who didn’t love horses. A lot of tween girls love horses, and that’s why Star Stable is so popular, even if the gameplay is very basic and somewhat boring at times.

Star Stable is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, where you take control of a girl with a horse in a small town based around a stable. Like many other MMORPGs, Star Stable has you spending your time doing quests. The early quests teach you how to care for and control your horse. Then you have regular quests that send you out into the world for various reasons. The game limits interactions with other players, similar to other MMOs aimed at the younger set, like Wizard 101. Friends can play the game together, but you can play all on your own if you want to. It is important to note, though, that the game is only free to play up to level 5. Once you hit that level you need to pay a fee if you want access to any more content. You can buy a lifetime subscription for $69.95.

star stable

I don’t have anything against MMOs for kids. I actually really enjoyed Wizard 101. But even with my love of horses, Star Stable didn’t suck me in. The main problem I had with the game was that there was very little you needed to do that actually required a horse. There are some racing missions, but beyond that, the quests involve finding an item and returning it to its rightful owner or performing some task in order to further the plot. Even the interactions with the horse, such as brushing or feeding, felt stale—all you do is watch your character perform the actions. I also had some trouble controlling my horse, but that was my lack of skill, not the game’s. I saw many other players galloping past me with precision.

The plot is okay, but it’s not anything all that original. Apparently some evil corporation wants to raze the stables to make room for something that wasn’t entirely clear, at least in the three or so hours I spent with the game. However, there was one part of one early quest that really made cringe. This quest is to prove yourself to a team of girls by completing an obstacle course in a certain time. That isn’t a problem except for the fact that the leader of the team tells you to keep your hands off her boyfriend. Eye roll. Can’t we get past the stereotype that all tween girls think about is boys?

In the end, Star Stable is a simulation with quests that are really not that interesting. Because of its premise, there are no battles. Maybe it’s just me, but I like a little bit of fighting in some form in most of my games.  If you’re a parent who wants a safe game with no violence whatsoever, then this might be the right game for your child. There is nothing inherently wrong with Star Stable, and my 10-year-old self may have really loved the game. But the last thing I did was park my horse in the stable, give him food, water, and a good brushing then turned off the game. I don’t expect to return.

Everquest II Logo

Everquest II Rulebreakers Will Get Sent to MMO Jail

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If you cheat in Everquest II, prepare to be sent to jail.

Well, maybe not jail, but Drunder—Drunder is what Daybreak Game Company is calling the server where cheaters will be exiled. “Players who are caught breaking our rules and disrupting EQ2 live server gameplay will be flagged for this server, and no others—ever,” they announced in a forum post. In the Drunder server, players can still play Everquest II, but they are separated from non-cheaters.
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world of warcraft

[Video Games 101] Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Posted by | Tips for Parents | 3 Comments

This post is part of a series that addresses the needs of the parent who “just doesn’t get video games.” I’m here to catch you up, Clueless Parent!

MMOs—or massively multiplayer online games—are games that millions of people play, all together, inside the virtual world of the game. They are a bit difficult to understand if you’ve never played one. They are also a source of anxiety for parents who worry their kids are talking to strangers or becoming too invested in the game world. The first step in alleviating some of that anxiety is getting the hang of what MMOs really are and why people play them. Read More