Are Your Gaming Profiles Safe? (Update: 28/8/14)


Update (28/8/14): As exclusively reported by Gamespot, Trion Worlds have stated that there was no “compromise” of their security, rather their systems were infiltrated by a very particular kind of info bot. This bot uses a computer’s IP address and searches for commonly entered username/password combinations, then uses this information to make unauthorised purchases “legitmately” through your account. All those effected are being refunded as soon as possible, and Trion advises all customers to change their passwords, and to not use the same username and password combinations across multiple online services.

Original Article

Account security might be one of those things you brush off, thinking “like anyone would ever hack me?”

I thought the same, until I found myself down $170 I never spent, taken from a recently hacked Trion Worlds account. So, the OXCGN team and I would like to extend our most genuine warnings to gamers, to go through all their accounts and ramp up the security, remove credit card details that don’t need to be connected, and keep yourselves safe from hacking and fraud. Gamers are often the victims of hacking and fraudulent purchases, and now, from personal experience, I can warn you that it is more than worth your time to beef up your account security.

Trion Worlds have responded to similar claims as my own on twitter, stating that all fraudulent purchases are being promptly refunded. If you are a victim of the Trion Worlds hackings, be sure to send an email support ticket to Trion Worlds immediately through support@trionworlds.com.

Don’t be a victim of hacking and fraud; change your passwords regularly, add all available security features, and remove bank details from your accounts.

Australian Indie Game ‘Ascent’ Gets Huge Update


Lone Australian Dev Delivers a New ‘Colonies’ Update for MMO

Ascent – The Space Game, an ambitious MMO space sim hybrid, has today received a huge update from its lone creator,  James Hicks, entitled “Colonies”. The game has been in development since early 2013 and has grown greatly since it’s early versions. This is a very exciting day for fans, with the new updating adding even more features in this exciting title.

This update now allows players to colonise any of the game’s whopping 270 billion plus star systems, as well as adding a whole host of new features. The complete notes for the update are in the press release below:

Here’s the TLDR:

  • Ascent players can now colonise the 270 billion+ outer star systems!
  • This feature is a complete city-building sim included in the existing MMO. Cities can grow to be up to 100km in radius, and there is no hard coded limit on the number of buildings or colonists.
  • Designed to be the new endgame for industrialist players, Colonisation has more depth and complexity than previous features.
  • Outer planets generally have very hostile environments—necessitating the use of Environmental Domes, which are huge and require a lot of complex materials to construct.
  • Players can then program and configure their Domes into a habitable state by adjusting the radiation, temperature, gravity, atmospheric composition and pressure inside.
  • Colonists can then be recruited and transported to colonies.
  • Colonial farming and mining are more complex and involved than in the inner system cities players built earlier in the game, since these new colonies have no starting population, support or infrastructure, and hostile environments.

For more detailed notes check out the full breakdown on the Ascent site.

You can play the game free on the website, or buy the PC version here.

Jayden Perry ©2014

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – An Interview with Naoki Yoshida


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Director Chats to OXCGN

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is doing incredibly well since launch. With over 20,000 subscribers worldwide and a whopping 500,000,000 game hours logged thus far, the PC, PS3 and PS4 MMO is a success story born from the ashes of the original MMO’s failure. 

I was lucky enough to chat to the man responsible for this success, Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XIV’s Producer and Director, at Bandai Namco Headquarters in Sydney. This is the first time a Naoki has been in Australia for interviews, and he provided some very interesting answers about the development and history of Final Fantasy XIV, as well as what the future may hold, with new content and updates on the way!

Jayden: So you’ve taken this MMO from what it originally was and have worked on building it in to A Realm Reborn. What was the biggest challenge along the development path from 1.0 to the current PS4 build?

Naoki: There was so many challenges through the journey, but more than technology and game development, the biggest challenge we faced was trying to change the players expectations and the image of the MMO. Because of the launch of the 1.0 version many of the fans were disappointed and had negative feelings towards the games and the Final Fantasy franchise. They thought they’d never see the glorious days of Final Fantasy again, so trying to change that image and making sure that wasn’t the case, to regain the trust, that was the biggest challenge we faced.

You'll face off against huge and powerful bosses in game!
You’ll face off against huge and powerful bosses in game!

Jayden: Well it looks like you certainly achieved the turn around, A Realm Reborn has been pretty popular. With such a rich lore and world that Final Fantasy is known for, was it a challenge to incorporate that deep story and world into the MMO style of game?

Naoki: No, not really, because ever since Final Fantasy 7 the storyline has been really focussed on a particular character. The player is following the life of a character in the world through the game. In Final Fantasy XIV we made sure that the player himself or herself is the main character of this storyline. So in the game it says ‘you’ are important in this world, they call the name of your in game character so players really feel they are the main character. By doing that, even in an MMO, you can enjoy the story like any other single player game.

Jayden: Can you speak at all about any of the new updates and content that’s coming?

Naoki: New classes and new jobs are coming, and through the last two content updates we’ve been leaving hints, so the community is already starting to guess what they might be. Timing wise, please wait a little longer as there are many events coming up, including E3, through which we’ll be announcing this content.

The World of Final Fantasy 14
The World of Final Fantasy 14

Jayden: In this world you directed and created, is there a city or part of the world that you really love or enjoy?

Naoki: Because I’m a classic Final Fantasy fan, I really like the crystal tower. When Final Fantasy 3 came out, which had this crystal tower as the last dungeon, I was playing the game in real time and I remembered how hard that was and how exciting it was, so having that with the current technology and trying to revive that in this current game was really exciting, I really enjoyed playing and experiencing the crystal tower. Also I think it’s content that anyone in the world can really enjoy.

Jayden: I’ve only put a few hours into the game myself, but I’ve seen both people I know and the PS4 community especially wanting to know whether there’s a chance we’ll see the Lightning Strikes event happening again for those who missed out?

Naoki: Actually we can do it again anytime we want to! Now we have the request, we would definitely like to consider re-doing the event for players who haven’t had a chance to give it a shot, so we’ll be looking into when would be the best timing for this event again.

Jayden: I’m sure that will make a lot of people happy! Using this event as a promo for Final Fantasy 13: Lightning Returns, are you planning on continuing the trend of in game events coinciding with the release of games like Final Fantasy 15 and maybe even Kingdom Hearts 3?

Naoki: For the Final Fantasy series we’re definitely looking into promotions and similar events in the future, including Final Fantasy 15 of course and also 10 and 10-2, which are especially popular with players. We will continue to try to come up with ideas and plans but we want to make sure we don’t destroy the lore in our game, we want to make sure there’s a proper storyline as to why these events are happening, so we be very careful when we do it, but we’re definitely looking into it.

Kingdom Hearts however, which also relates to Disney characters, might be tricky to have in the Final Fantasy XIV world. We will have to be careful when we look at this. When we talk about these collaborations with other titles, from a business point of view people may think we should do it with any potential game, but as it’s an MMO we want to make sure the lore makes sense, in every aspect, so if we are going to do collaborations we want to make sure we have enough cause to have a proper reasoning behind the event. 

Jayden: I have to ask this, to conclude. Where did the inspiration to bring the Fat Chocobo into Final Fantasy XIV as a mount arise from?

Naoki: The fat chocobo first appeared in Final Fantasy 7, and it’s also popped up in the series a few other times. Traditionally he never moved, but with this version we wanted to make sure he’s actually running on the field, so we really had to think about how to do this from a visual point of view. The artist drawing the artwork was always going backwards and forwards on designs, but finally came up with the idea of how we could make the fat chocobo run, deciding to have food dangling in front of him. That really struck us and that’s how we decided to implement him!

The Fat Chocobo in all his Glory!
The Fat Chocobo in all his Glory!

Jayden: That’s really great, the design is spot on! Thank you for coming out to Australia and giving us the opportunity to chat with you, I hope you’re enjoying your time here!

Naoki: Thank you! It’s been a great visit. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the development team of Final Fantasy XIV and Yoshida for their time, as well as the amazing team over at Bandai Namco Games Australia for coordinating the press event!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is now available on PC, PS3 and PS4.

This interview was conducted with the aid of a translator.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Beta Discussion


Our take on Bethesda’s ambitious MMO

Just like many gamers out there, we here at OXCGN can’t get enough of the Elder Scrolls series. We jumped at the chance to be able to take part in the latest beta test held this past weekend like thousands of you out there. But instead of providing readers with a stock standard preview or impressions piece, both myself and Jayden have combined our powers to present a discussion relating to our experience with the latest from The Elder Scrolls Online.

Daniel: It’s safe to say that the Elder Scrolls games have been a popular series over the years, even more so with the release of Skyrim in 2011. It seemed like gamers from all walks of life found enjoyment in Bethesda’s highly-detailed worlds. It’s no surprise then that once The Elder Scrolls Online was announced, fans old and new couldn’t wait to travel across Tamriel with their friends. Being an MMO, I think most people were a bit hesitant to see how Bethesda would transform a historically singleplayer experience into a multiplayer one. There’s no argument that the worlds created by Bethesda afford it, but I was a bit sceptical, expecting the game to lose some of it’s shine to accommodate an MMO experience. I’m happy to say that I was proven wrong here. It still feels like a lore-rich Elder Scrolls game, but with an added addition of being able to interact with people across the world.

Jayden: Indeed, at it’s core the game looks, feels and plays like an Elder Scrolls title. From the snowy mountains of Skyrim to the outlandish deserts of Hammerfell the world is populated with the beasts, structures, landscapes and people that make the Elder Scrolls lore so unique. Even in the very beginning, situated in Molag Bal’s Daedric Realm, other players pour through the dank dungeons alongside you, a constant stream of escapees to aid you in the fight against the hordes of daedra. It felt good to be surrounded by other players once you arrive in your chosen faction’s home province. It adds real life and a sense of business to the world, seeing such a diverse range of characters all hunting, questing and forging in the world around you. There’s a great spontaneity to be found when you see a group of enemies and without a word you and a few newfound companions are able to take them down utilising the various classes and abilities to dominate the field.

Daniel: That’s what the Elder Scrolls still retains. At the heart of the series, is creating a character to representing you in this great big world. You’re still able to customise a character to suit your tastes, and while it is nowhere near as deep as the previous Elder Scrolls titles, there is still a lot of sliders to play around with, which no doubt will have players spending the first hour or so perfecting their chosen character (I should know, as this happened to me).

Jayden: One of my favourite things about the Elder Scrolls stems from this idea of having your own, unique character. As a part of the in-game crafting system for weapons, robes and armor there is an option called “Style”. By finding lore books around the world you are able to craft items in the style of a race or culture found in Tamriel instead of the usual early game ‘steel’ or ‘leather’ armors, giving you a little extra personality and choice right from the word go. There are no restrictions in relation to styles going together. If you like the look of the Dunmer Cuirass you can craft that, then add Daedric greaves, Imperial pauldrons and dual wield some curved Redguard scimitars. Each of these pieces can then be improved and built upon so what once may have been early game armor can now become something that holds back the toughest of endgame enemies. It’s all about making your character as you want, then taking them out and exploring the world how you see fit.

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Daniel: And you’re given pretty much free reign to do things as you please. While as you said, everyone has to go through the obligatory ‘tutorial’ in the from of the prison in Oblivion, you’re then let loose into the world of Tamriel, depending on the race of your character. My Nord, The Hammer of Talos, belongs to the Ebonheart Pact, and begins his quest just off the coast of Skyrim. As you start to find your feet, you soon start to see players from across the world trudging across the land. After doing a few obligatory quests to open up the game’s backstory, I found my way to Morrowind. It is here the game really started to open up in my opinion. Not only are there more diverse quests, where you can pick and choose to undertake at your discretion, but your given information on your faction’s enemies, which filled with other players across the world, form the base for future PvP encounters. Just wandering around the town of Davon’s Watch, many people were doing things there own way. Some were questing, others were enchanting items, crafting armour and weapons, while others were experimenting with alchemy. It makes the world feel so much more immersive, how every Elder Scrolls world should be.

Jayden: Much like your Nord, my Breton Templar, a member of the Daggerfall Covenant, wound up in the city of Stros M’kai, a tropical oasis. After a similar amount of introductory questing I found myself on the Orcish isle Betnikh, where the game really does allow you to start your own journey. I played through the introductory story for both members of the Daggerfall Covenant and Aldmeri Dominion. Despite the basic introductory story similarities, it was quite a fun introduction to the faction you were about to become a part of. The characters you meet here are the ones that really shape the traditional Elder Scrolls world, managing to keep the story in the forefront of your character’s exploration and development without hindering the more open ended nature of the title.

Daniel: That’s another thing that surprised me. I was fortunate to play the game at E3 last year, and while I thought the characters we well voice-acted, they didn’t seem too fleshed out. Over the following months Bethesda have had developing ESO, I’m pleased to say that the characters have a bit more life now. While you can recognise some repeated voice actors, each character feels different, each going on with their daily routine. You can extend that to the world itself. From what I’ve seen, the world is quite beautiful and detailed. While ESO was never going to have as polished graphics as Skyrim (which some people absurdly thought), it’s definite adequate enough to make you remember journeying through the previous Elder Scroll lands of Skyrim and Morrowind.

Jayden: Too add to that, unlike in Skyrim, the combat has been dialled back a little from previous instalments. It was a little jittery and inaccurate in parts, but I assume that the overall control accuracy and movement will be polished a lot more in the final build. Using magic and abilities generally provided the most accurate and useful damage dealing, with area of effect attacks and guided attacks reliably hitting home. Dual wielding and melee works pretty well too, but blocking is generally not overly useful. Archery is the real hit and miss in the combat, with sneak attacks and proper aim rewarding the player with one hit kills. In open combat, however, it’s a little less reliable thanks to the beta being a little inaccurate with hit detection. Overall the combat and abilities, whilst being a little simplified for an MMO format, are still quite effective and fun, and will only get better in the final build.

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Daniel: I have to agree. I am playing as a Dragonknight, the Warrior class, and for the majority of the time it feels like all I have to do is keep swinging my sword until the enemy is dead. I never got anywhere close to being in any danger. There really was no incentive to use my unlocked abilities from levelling up, as my primary weapon was working too well. Overall though, I’ve been impressed with ESO. Although I feel like it would have been far better to showcase the PvP elements a little bit more. Hopefully in future Beta tests we’re able to dive right into that. If you had to pick one feature as a favourite so far in ESO, what would it be? For me it has to be the emotes. Silly little interactions that enables you to perform all sorts of actions in the world. I spent a good hour in the middle of Bal Foyen with my shirt off, doing jumping jacks and push ups. Needless to say, it wasn’t too long before I was joined by 20 other people.

Jayden: That’s what makes Elder Scrolls Online so great, the other players that populate the world. My favourite thing was the openness and diverseness of the world. You can keep walking and walking, past the story mission objectives, and you’ll keep finding side missions, players and exciting new sights and enemies. There’s just so much to see and do, and when you think you’ve found the end, there’s a whole new continent to continue into.

Daniel: That’s what will bring ESO to life, the ability to explore Tamriel. I think linking back to the previous games through stories and tales will make it feel like a huge, living breathing world. But it’s not without any faults. There were a few bugs to do with the UI, I’d be stuck in the Dialogue Menu with NPCs on a few occasions, which was only fixable by reloading the UI. While not game-breaking, it was still an annoyance. I was fortunate to not encounter anything harsher than that. I guess my least favourite feature is the sheer amount of people complaining in the side chat, but over time those people who simply jump online to flame the game will leave us Elder Scrolls fans to enjoy Tamriel ourselves.

Jayden: Once the game has been in the hands of the community for a little longer the developers should have enough feedback to fix the minor issues and bugs that have popped up in the beta. I too got stuck in a few menus and conversations, but found no other major issues. The Elder Scrolls Online’s Beta has only cemented my faith in the series. To have a chance to relive my experiences with the previous titles and revisit iconic locations all over Tamriel with a new character and new companions is very exciting. I cannot wait to get my hands on the final build of this game and just get lost in this diverse fantasy universe once more.

Daniel: It’s plain to see we think Bethesda are on the right path with ESO. While I have enjoyed my time so far with the Beta, I’m yet to be 100% committed. Certainly Bethesda have crafted a fantastic and deep world, and will continue to do so with continued testing and feedback, but I’m still waiting to hear the final word on their subscription model. I need justification on spending money for the game, plus a monthly fee. While interactions with other players have been fun, it’s more a question of asking myself whether I want to pay a monthly fee to experience the whole of Tamriel.

Jayden: It will be very interesting to see how the subscription will work on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One and how the accounts connect with the PC version. I’m pretty excited to see how the game progresses and develops up to release and how Bethesda will continue the Elder Scrolls Online universe in the future!

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Be sure to check out ESO’s official page to check out the latest on any future beta tests. The Elder Scrolls Online will be available on the 4/4/2014 on PC, with console releases to follow shortly after.

©2014 Daniel Geikowski

The Elder Scrolls Online Has a Release Date & New Gameplay Trailer


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The Elder Scrolls Online Has a Release Date & New Gameplay Trailer

Hundred player PVP? I’m in!

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

Earlier today Bethesda announced the release date for its new MMO accompanied by a new gameplay trailer which highlights the games online PVP system which will allow for hundreds of players to fight together and against one another.

Excited about the news Game Director Matt Firor took to ESO blog to post a personal message to accompany the news:

First, thanks to everyone involved in the ESO community: those we met at trade shows, those of you on social media, and those that have had a chance to play the game and provided invaluable feedback through beta testing. I personally am humbled by the intense feelings of excitement expressed to us by the community at large. At shows like PAX East, PAX Prime, Gamescom, Eurogamer Expo, Paris Games Week, etc. – we always had three to four hour lines to play ESO. We know those wait times weren’t easy, and the great patience and enthusiastic reception you showed was remarkable. Everyone here at ZeniMax Online appreciates each and every one of you and your fantastic support of the game.

The Elder Scrolls Online will be launching worldwide for PC and Mac on April 4, 2014 (4.4.14). With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions to follow in June 2014. You can view the new gameplay trailer embedded down below.

Click to see what Game Director Matt Firor also has to say about this announcement!

Elder Scrolls Online – “It’s all about player choice”


2013ESO

Elder Scrolls Online – “It’s all about player choice”

A look at the character progression systems in the upcoming Elder Scrolls MMO

by Jayden Perry

I have been excited for The Elder Scrolls Online since the day it was announced. An MMO set in the complete Elder Scrolls world sounds incredible, and we’ve been slowly drip fed information ever since, with each new piece of footage looking better and better. Now Zenimax Online has given us an in-depth look at the character progression systems inside Elder Scrolls Online in a brand new video.

Upon beginning the game you choose a race and a class, setting up the character’s build. The race choice allows a set of exclusive abilities, and the class unlocks three unique skill lines to the class. All characters can access basic skills, such as the weapon and armor skills. More skills can be found in-game by joining guilds, making the choice to be a vampire or werewolf and many more.

Your character, your way.
Your character, your way.

Continue reading Elder Scrolls Online – “It’s all about player choice”

DayZ: A Survivor’s Guide for the Uninitiated


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DayZ: A Survivor’s Guide for the Uninitiated

How to last longer than a day in Chernarus

by Daniel Geikowski

©2013 Daniel Geikowski

dayz screenshots oxcgn #3DayZ.

You may have heard of it.

For those that haven’t, let me break it down for you.

DayZ is a Zombie MMO, built as a mod for Bohemia Interactive‘s ARMA II. DayZ has been the reason why ARMA II has enjoyed great sales, long after the game’s initial release.

DayZ takes place in Chernarus, where a zombie infestation has hit the population, where the player washes up on shore, with the sole task of survival.

That’s pretty much it. Survive.

Can you survive?

OXCGN’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Impression


OXCGN’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Impression

An Epic Star Wars Adventure Awaits You!

by: Allegionary

©2011 Alex Hilton

The evil Sith were presumed to be extinct by the members of the Galactic Republic, only ruins and artifacts remaining to remind of their existence.

But they were wrong.

The Sith Order returned from the dead with force, taking over their original home planet Korriban with a swift and powerful strike.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is set during this turmoil where the Sith are rampaging through the galaxy and the Galactic Republic is belatedly trying to stop them.

More Star Wars this way