Alice: Madness Returns is the much anticipated follow up (by me, anyway) to 2000’s PC/Mac game American McGee’s Alice – the dark and gritty telling of Alice’s post-Looking Glassadventures in what has now become a twisted version of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. The original game had Alice following an anorexic, pierced Cheshire Cat around a grotesque Wonderland, presumably due to Alice’s inclement insanity, slashing her way through the Red Queen’s guards amongst other familiar faces from Carroll’s universe with a bloody knife, and the sequel delivers more of the same.
Today Bioware released a little bit of information about how Star Wars: The Old Republic plans on doing “instances”. It dawned on me that a lot of readers that don’t play MMOs may not even know exactly what an “instance” really is. To clairfy I went to GeekDictionary.com for the official answer.
Definition: A segment of gameplay in MMORPGs in which players form a group together and enter a special area in the game world, usually through some type of portal. They are then essentially cut off from the rest of the gamers in that only people who are in the group when the group passes through the portal will be able to enter the dungeon with them. Other groups may enter the dungeon, but will not encounter the first group, hence they are in a different INSTANCE of the same dungeon. The use of instances allows players to avoid the risk of kill-stealing or spawn-camping by other players. Loot and monster level inside an instance is usually higher than anywhere else in the game world, and there are usually specific systems in place to ensure the fair distribution of loot among party members.
Usage: My guild just did a new instance for the first time and I won some pretty awesome loot.XX
So how is Bioware changing up this classic MMO formula? With the addition of story. Each player within these “Flash Points” will have the opportunity to manipulate the arc. The only problem I foresee, is immature gamers attempting to bypass story elements in order race their way to a new shiny backpack or “laser dongle.” Let’s check out Flash Points in action.
Is anyone else as excited as I am for this game’s release? Check out these previous posts.