League of Legends’ Honor system debuts, aims to improve community relations
In a move that seems like a pretty good idea, Riot Games rolled out a fancy new community-oriented component to their seminal hit League of Legends. Dubbed the “Honor” system, players are now able to award the titular something-or-other to their companions after any match completion. Spread out into four categories – Helpful, Friendly, Teamwork and Honorable Opponent – the system seems to be a way to encourage actually caring about your teammates and hoping they play well enough to deserve that precious little number bump at the end of the day.
Being in its infancy still, there really doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of purpose to the system other than highlighting people that aren’t cantankerous jerks. Riot does mention in their FAQ that there will be eventual bonuses to being “an honorable summoner” down the line, but as of right now it seems to be just for bragging rights. I can’t see them making the Honor system affect player balance in any way, so at the most this could maybe lead to extra cosmetic skins or something of a non-competitive nature.
Now I wonder: is bragging about being honorable really all that honorable in the first place?
[Source: League of Legends]
New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLC dropping Thursday, kind of a big deal?
Nintendo’s not really known for their open embrace of post-launch add-ons. I suppose they’re not really known for having a competent online platform either, but that’s a view that they seem to be making wild stabs at in an attempt to change. While the 3DS iteration of Fire Emblem has already seen DLC releases in Japan, US folks will finally get a chance to pay Nintendo some extra money after the fact when New Super Mario Bros. 2 gets a trio of different level sets to bolster up the coin-collecting platformer. They’ll all be dropping on Thursday at a fair price point ($2.50 per pack), and it seems you won’t necessarily need to use the eShop to snag ‘em.
Seeing Nintendo cautiously wade into the DLC river is awfully interesting. It’s always seemed to me like an inevitable thing, but with how frazzled they seem to be whenever the topic of online related…well, anything pops up, I’ve had my doubts about whether it’d be a worthwhile endeavor. Granted, we don’t know if these extra level packs will be worth the money they’re asking, but I’m willing to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt here. If nothing else, the “Nerve-Wrack Pack” seems right up my alley, a collection of levels designed for people who found NSMB2′s basic offerings a bit too pedestrian.
[Source: Giant Bomb]
Extensive Secret World post-mortem highlights plans for the future, eagerness for “slow growth”
In a mighty long post-mortem with Eurogamer, The Secret World’s game director Joel Bylos and creative director Ragnar Tørnquist break down a plethora of topics regarding the somewhat shaky launch of Funcom’s mystery-thriller MMO. The discussion includes reflections on middling reviews, the subscription-based model, and a staunch aversion to going free-to-play. It’s a fantastic (and admittedly long) read, diving deep into one of the more intriguing MMOs that’s released in the past couple years. If nothing else, it affirms that TSW seems to be a passion project in the best possible sense of the term, one that I’m not worried to attach to the game.
I know our own Steven Strom seemed to enjoy his romps through the macabre mythos of The Secret World, but I found the game to be the slightest bit unappealing. It’s sad that my opinion seemed to be the majority, but after reading through the post-mortem I’m actually intrigued in giving it another look at some point down the road. Bylos and Tørnquist’s explanations are loaded with energy and excitement at the future, and their comments on pushing forward with continuous monthly updates in lieu of “[going] the expansion route]” put a smile on my face. With the game being half off in this week’s Steam Midweek Madness, maybe now’s the time to take that plunge.
Steam steps outside of games, adds game-related software
I wasn’t quite sure if this is worth covering in the Report, as the argument could be made that it’s not technically game-related news. Regardless, seeing the biggest digital distribution platform for games stretching its legs a bit is worth taking note, especially when it comes to PC-centric folks like myself. With a big blocky headline that simply states “Software on Steam”, Valve announced a handful of programs that are launching in an introductory sale today. Most of these pieces of software happen to be game-related and take advantage of things like Steamworks and Steam Cloud, which I can see being incredibly useful when it comes to 3D modeling and things like that.
Of note is GameMaker: Studio, which lists Steam Workshop integration as a pretty prominent bullet point. Why do I call this noteworthy? Not only does this allow people to upload their own little tinkerings at games to a massive database where anyone can see and download them, integrating GameMaker with the Workshop essentially allows would-be indies to have a backdoor entryway into Steam. You can bypass that $100 warning sign at Greenlight Junction and get a little experience under your belt before trying to push ahead with your magnum opus of a retro 16-bit platformer with hyper-realistic physics.
Before I forget, aren’t video games already software?
Dyl-Questing – The Best Thing I Read Today: The Classic Games We Can’t Play
Over at Gameranx, Rowan Kaiser has a fantastic article on the problems that arise when trying to play older PC legends such as Grim Fandango, Myth and System Shock 2; namely, the fact that you can’t. If nothing else, it’s a call to awareness of all the great games that are being lost to time and memory as the digital marketplaces try to keep up with all the games that are coming out today. Perhaps the folks working over at GoG and Steam will take note.