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Monday
Feb092015

Transformers Universe: A Timeline

The following blog post was written by TFormers.com forum member TheTfboy. In this post he describes the history of the Transformers Universe MMO from a user’s perspective.  

Transformers Universe: A Timeline
by TheTfboy

What is TFU?

A Third-Person MOTA style game, similar perspective to Smite (if anyone has heard or played that before.)

Early Timeline

  • Announced at Botcon 2011, as a MMORPG with multiple classes and conventional character creation.
  • The game went into a Private 2012 closed beta
  • The First gameplay trailer was released. The actual date is unknown because I can’t find the original video, so looking at various other gaming/news channels, it seems like it is was shown around October, 2012
  • Game went silent for most of 2013 ( Believe this is around when I first heard of and signed up for the beta)
  • Game was redesigned to a MOTA style, and in the comment section of some of the articles, a lot of people we upset at the changes and decided that they were not going to play it.
  • Test your metal Trailer, Feb 07, 2014
  • Close beta at March, 2014

Shortly thereafter, the Founders Program introduced

Available tiers:

  • Bronze: $44.99
  • Silver: $59.99
  • Gold: 119.99
  • Cybernite: $449.99

Now, I got into Closed Beta on 6/6/14, and part a on the website, mentioned something about the fact that my PC is just below the current recommended setting for the game, which would probably explain who exactly was allowed in the Closed Beta.

In the Closed Beta, I start out on the BOT side and I notice that I only have access to the three starter bots, which confused me because I thought I would have had access to all the characters in the game, (bearing in mind, the founders bots were not in the game at the moment) but at the time, it didn’t really bug me, I was just excited to play.

Now, I will not go through every detail on every patch update, only the ones that I feel are important

Fun fact: June 20th the first Player Spotlight was done with 1Exit, a Con player who I commonly fought against and just a cool guy in general, which I was quite surprised with. Here’s the quote

“I believe I’ve played the most games with Thetfbot; he’s come a long way and I have a lot of respect for him as a friend and Autobot. “

Which is quite true, considering I’ve only been playing the game for two weeks.

Fun Fact: On June 21st, Soo Mungry released a Transformers Universe PVP compilation-type video on his channel with me and another teammate in our group doing some PVP. (You can see that even back then, the servers were quite laggy.) This was also when I first time I played on the Cons side.

It was quite fun, and for a few weeks, I was referenced for being in both the player spotlight and the video.

June 26th: Players can now shoot out of their spawn to prevent people from camping.

Players can now see their teammate’s health at all times, as shown on the left side.

The Client/Game Installer was introduced. Personally, I used it 99% of the time ever since, because it was a little bit better optimized and I could record easily with it.

Open Beta: July 4th

Now, you’re probably thinking that this is a great thing for the game, and that now, the game is going to get popular, there are going to be more players to test it and ultimately, the game can only improve from there, right? NOPE. The servers could not handle the massive amounts of people. Logging in, I noticed that the estimate loading time to get into a match was over an hour! So, I waited… and after about an hour and a half, I was able to get into a match, only to find it so laggy, everyone left soon after it started. It was really bad, and it continued to be that way all through the Fourth of July weekend, up until Monday, where the servers became a little more… playable. However, what concerns me is that a lot of the newer people who wanted to play the game in Open Beta never returned after trying to play on that weekend. Although I do not have exact numbers, but I can almost guarantee that we lost a good chunk of the community due to the overload of people.

In addition, the prices of all of the non-founder warriors quadrupled as open BETA launched, For a sense of scale, imagine being a new player to the game (ignoring the fact that the servers couldn’t handle everyone) As a new player, I found myself to be getting 20-30 relics per match at the start, and the warrior pricings was 550, 1100, and 1950 per bot, depending on who you wanted to get. As high as that sounds, for anyone who seems interested in the game, that’s not too bad as long as your goal is not to get every single bot in the game. Now imagine if those prices were four times the amount, at 2200, 4400, and 7800. That sounds ridiculous! What’s even worse is that Jagex may have done a very good job at hiding most of the evidence that there was a price increase once the game went to open BETA, so anyone who wasn’t in Closed BETA had no idea of the Price increase.

Personally though, I had played the game enough to where I had enough relics to buy every bot and con currently in the game, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t worried about the rest of the community who wanted to get into the game. This was definitely not a successful Open BETA launch.

July 8th: Once the servers finally got themselves back in order, Jagex decided to put the two Founders Bots, Anomaly and Derail, who is the two cheapest bots, into the game. However, you could only play them if you were at least a silver founder.

July 16th: Jagex decides to reduce the price of warriors in half and refund anyone who bought a warrior between the 4th and 16th the difference. While most people believe that Jagex listened to “your feedback through the forums and our surveys about the Transformers warrior prices,” I personally believe it may have been all planned out. Here’s my theory. Jagex raises the prices of the warriors much higher than they need to. The community freaks out, as it should, and Jagex reduces the prices down to what they had planned to increase it to, which, to anyone who just got into Open BETA, it makes Jagex look very generous at reducing the prices, and to anyone who was in the closed BETA, it would look like Jagex decided to compromise, by only raising the prices twice as much rather than four times as much. Although I don’t technically have any direct evidence supporting this, it would not be surprising if this actually happened, but again, this is just my theory.

Note: I went out of town for the summer for three weeks on the 21th of July, so although I’m not playing the game during this time, I was following it on my phone.

July 25nd, the rest of the founders’ bots were released, which includes Doubletake, Ripraw, Deadheat, and Astraea. Again, even though this game is still in open BETA, these warriors are only available to those who purchased the founders. Also, a penalty system was implemented to refrain people from leaving too early in a match, however, one major problem was that if the game crashed while you were playing, which was quite common with both the browser and the client, the game will still penalize you for “leaving the match.” even though you crashed. The penalty was a decrease in the amount of XP and relics you would earn in the next match.

Two new Bots/Con were also introduced. Swagger, and Diabla. However, at the time, both bots were considered way overpowered.

August 1st There was a poll on whether the Death Mechanic should stay or be removed. (I’ll explain what that was in a moment.)

August 4th: The Death Mechanic was removed.

For those who do not know, as you leveled up in the game, at levels 5, 15, 25, 35, 50 you receive a slot to equip a Powercore, which can give you various advantages in the battlefield. However, if you died in game, your character would temporarily lose the Powercore equipped at the highest level slot, and the only way to get it back was to either wait for your Bot to repair itself, which can take one hour and 30 minutes at maximum, you can repair it with Energon, which is sort of the main currency in the game, or you can use Repair packs, which can be made with Energon, but like everything else in the game, crafting anything in game with Energon has a real time timer ranging from 2-4 hours.

However, the reason for the removal was very…. scripted. Because the poll was done on Survey Monkey, various people found ways to vote multiple times on both sides, so the decision to remove the Death Mechanic was done regardless of the poll. Personally, myself and even some of the community thought that this was planned and Jagex was going to remove the Death Mechanic anyways.

August 19th: In addition to the nerfs done to the last two new bots added to the game, Swagger and Diabla, two new Bots were added, Macro and Firebreaker. Oh boy. These two bots, even now, are overpowered and widely controversial because of it. I’m going to try to explain it in a way so that you can understand it, since some of you all probably haven’t played the game that much to understand why

Macro has two defensive abilities, to where he can place a miss-field causing a 30-40 chance of a shot missing (Except for AOE attacks) he has a dome that can hide himself along with any of his teammates and they all can shoot out of it, and Macro has another field which allows him to increase his Spark damage by 50% or 150% if it is inside his miss-field or his cloaking dome. Firebreaker on the other hand is very annoying to deal with. He can cloak and has a 200% damage boost when he attacks which cloaking. He Also had a DOT virus that can bypass your shield and can deal around 500-600 damage if it runs its full duration. He also has a weapon that can remove a “boost” from the enemy and deal 500% more damage than he normally would do in one shot.

It is that only method in the game that can punish enemy players by using their own “boost” equipment.

September 2nd: Macro receives a minor nerf, allowing him to only receive his 150% spark damage bonus if he’s inside HIS OWN miss-field or dome

September 5th: The Evolution of Transformers Universe: this was an Article going across various points about the game, and where it’s headed.

September 16th: Two more new Warriors are now announced for the game on the 24th. Outsider, and Pandemic. Pandemic has the ability to remove any Boost and Hull buffs and receive benefits from it, as well as the ability to disable someone’s weapon at Melee range for a few seconds. Outsider has the ability to place a Healing pad that he can teleport to it within a certain range. He also can place a dome-like trap that can prevent any enemy from leaving for about 9 seconds.

NOTE: It was around this time when a majority of the community started to question where this game was going, and a lot of it wanted to know if there were going to be some more balance changes done, since some bots definitely outperform other bots/cons, especially when stacked.

September 23rd Patch was delayed until the 28th.

October 15th: Developer Update:

The promised game mode and lore warriors Chromia and Flamewar are delayed due to needing “more time looking at the balance of the characters and the game mode.”

October 29th: The next patch notes were released for the 31st. The only new features in the game are that the game will have key bindings, and there will be new resprays for allowing your character in game to have a black and orange deco in game, because Halloween is in a few days.

October 30th: The patch notes for the 29th were delayed

Note: By this point, a majority of the community are worried and believing that this game is going to die, mainly due to the lack of updates, the constant bugs in each patch, and the lack of response from Jagex to anything the community has said about the game.

November 6th:  The 29th patch was released, and unknowing to the community, this was going to be the last patch the game ever received.

November 7th - December 16th: No updates to the game whatsoever. Instead, we have challenges week, clan spotlight, and a Black Friday sale, which was only a 10% discount.

Note: Around this time, lot of the community, including myself, was doubting that this game was going to last for much longer.

December 17th: Transformers Universe is announced to be closed. This is not a surprise to many, as the lack of an update for the past month is a huge indicator to what will happen. The game itself will close on January 31st. Those who paid money for the game will be refunded. 100%.

It’s such a shame, but that’s not even the main problem. What worries me is that Jagex’s other current project, Block N Load, is now in closed Beta and I’m pretty sure more than 99% of the community is not aware that this company just had a game fail to release past open Beta. I’m not saying Block N Load is going to inevitably fail, but…… I am worried about that community and I hope they don’t get massively disappointed like we were.

-TheTfboy

 

Sunday
Feb012015

Toy Fair!

Monday
Jan122015

The History Of The Fandom Part 4

I was but 23, technically a adult, but still just a child in the face of the ancient ones. I had grown with our beloved Transformers from a child at their introduction, to their adult, which during this time, was the time of the beast. It was during this time, that I attended a gathering of fans.

I had fun, listening to the speakers, enjoying merriment with friends and fellow fans. It was Saturday afternoon when I found myself alone, browsing the set up shops in the dealers hall when I felt a strange feeling of despair. I had heard the stories of the leviathans, tha banshees, the burbling pits of darkness and hatred that crawled forth from the darkest pits. But I was unprepared for the lurking fear that soon would grip my very soul.

I was perusing a rather beat up box full of Optimus Primes in various states of distress. For just the paltry sum of ten dollars, one could build his own Optimus from the box. I sat on the floor with others, going through the box, looking to build an Optimus in better shape than the one I had had since childhood.

It was then that time seemed to stop. All sound seemed to leave this earth as I reached inside the box and felt something wet. Something wet inside the box. I lifted my hands which were now covered in a terrible brown liquid. The stench was horrid and forced me into a fevor of madness as I reached back into that box and pulled out a totem of pure terror.

It was, or had once been, a Jetfire. His armor no longer and his once pristine white form draped in a dank brown film. It was though his plastic had been stained with the most foul stains of the most disturbing home.

I threw the horrible thing down. I stood, I turned to run away, only to be confronted with a being of unimaginable terror. A soul who had been lost to the darkness, now standing vacant. He stood there, saliva oozing from the corners of his mouth. A blank stare as words formed from his mouth, but never assembled in my ears.

I do not recall what happened next, as I awoke next to the water fountain in a cold sweat. My soul has never healed from the horrific event, and as I sit here writing this tome, I warn you. Nothing of this earth is truley what it seems. Please, be careful, be vigilant, for the darkness dwells even in the most friendly of places.

I must go now, for I fear the lost soul has found me, where I have hidden all this time. Quickly, to the window!

 

Sunday
Jan112015

Favorite Transformers Toys from 2014

Sunday
Jan112015

Transformers Legacy Author Interview

Monday
Oct132014

IDW Transformers Panel from NYCC

IDW Transformers Panel from NYCC
By Andrew Bathe 

This year at NYCC I was lucky enough to attend the IDW publishing Hasbro panel. I can say that this panel was one of the highlights of my time at this year’s NYCC. Being a Transformers fan, but not really being a comic person this panel really made me want to go out and buy some comics (which I did).

The first comic that they talked about was The Transformers, which used to be called Robots in Disguise, but had to be removed due to the upcoming Cartoon show coming to Cartoon Network in early 2015 Robots in Disguise. John Barber is the writer with Andrew Griffith doing the art. John Barber had a way of holding my interest through the whole panel, and it even prompted me to go buy a Transformers comic. What did I choose? I happily chose Robots in Disguise #1, and had it signed by John and Andrew since they were both attending New York Comic Con.

Next comic up was The Transformers More Than Meets the Eye written by James Roberts and Alex Milne as the Artist. Followed by Transformers Drift Empire of Stone written by Shane McCarthy and artist Guido Guidi. third Transformers Primacy written by Chris Metzen & Flint Dille with Livio Ramondelli as the Artist. I was also able to meet Livio in Artist Alley and purchased a metal print of Optimus Prime holding the matrix from him, which looks amazing.

Livio Ramondelli is also the artist for the new Transformers Angry Birds comic along with Marcelo Ferreira and written by John Barber. John joked that after coming off a serious and dark comic that this would be another serious comic. Angry Birds is obviously going to be a fun and light comic for this team. One drawing seams to even make fun at the recent Transformers Bay movie with Prime riding Grimlock. 

Another new Comic that they showed us was Transformers Combiner Wars. This is a comic that made me excited the minute I heard it. I think the more combiners through official channels the better. This comic is written by Mairghread Scott & John Barber with art by Sarah Stone & Livio Ramondelli. With this amazing team up of writers, artists, and combiners this looks to be a can’t miss comic. This comic is also set to run between RID and Windblade.

At the end of the panel they opened it up to questions as normal. Other than the questions about My Little Pony from some of the Bronys, I was able to ask if any other combiners would be showing up in the combiner wars other then Menasor and Superion, which were shown on the cover they showed. Mairghread Scott was happy to answer my question with starts with D, and has fencor in it, as well as Devastator. I personally was really hoping to get a Computron, but maybe if the Combiner Wars last a longer than a year I feel we will have a good chance at that. Maybe this even give us a hint for more upcoming combiner toys we will get from Hasbro. It was mentioned that Hasbro works with IDW on character choices for the comics.

As you can see there are more Transformers comics then you can shake a stick at. There is even a Transformers G.I. Joe crossover. With all these comics there shouldn’t be a Transformers fan left out. Even 
younger kids can enjoy some Transformers comics with the Angry Birds comic coming soon.

Thursday
Sep112014

The history of the fandom part 3

When the beast infected the darkness with chaos, monsters we all became. 

Nasty, bitter, sniveling creatures wallowing in self pity and self indulgence. Some became walking Leviathans, so massive that each watery step shook the earth to it’s core. Others became living banshees, wailing their songs to whomever would hear. Their sounds sure to cause madness and suffering to the ears of their victims. 

It was at one of our conferences, outside the darkness, that the first large scale horrific incident happened.

There we were, in the halls of the hotel, engaging in regular conference nighttime rituals. Many had spent the day in lectures, conversing the varying aspects of our beloved Transformers and each way the ancient ones provided. Merchants sold toys, clothing, and other items of interests to attendees. When night came, so came great parties. Groups of friends and comrades enjoyed food and fun together. Some merchants had set up shop on the floors, their impromptu trading parties became legend. Even amid the chaos and the wars, outside the darkness, we managed to have fun and enjoy the company of other like minded individuals.

And then, then came the horror.

Nobody knows whom set off the attack. Was it one of the Leviathans, angrily lashing out? Ill minded rebels making a name for themselves? Perhaps the work of a band of trolls? Nobody knows, but everyone remembers the horrific scene.

There we were, in the hotel lobby. Fun was had by all. And then, as if we all subconsciously became aware of the danger, we looked up. The beautiful elevator, reaching miles into the sky provided an outline to the heights of the balconies of the hotels numerous floors. And from the top floor, there it was.

Falling at a unnatural rate of speed and velocity.

A headless, junker, Fortress Maximus.

Even without it’s head and accessories, the fabled Fortress Maximus was a behemoth. It’s ascension down the seemingly miles of sky in the hotel came fast and hard. Upon it’s collision into the lobby floor, it sent out a shockwave knocking all to their feet. The explosion of Maximus on hitting the cold tiled floor was immense. It’s shrapnel flew for miles, tearing at the skin of all. 

Within minutes, a once joyous scene was reduced to a blood bath. Marking the end of our innocence, and the arrival of the chaos outside of the darkness.

Tuesday
Sep092014

The history of the fandom part 2

It was there in the darkness where we first reached out. When contact with another came, we felt joy. Soon, a few became a hundred. A hundred became a thousand, and so on. Since the darkness was magic, it be both close and far. We found ways to communicate in the darkness. Words rang out, spread to the near and the far. Soon the darkness would hold us captive no more. Soon, we all were one.

Within time, we began to congregate outside the darkness. Arranged meetings and ceremonies became common place. We soon grew bold and no longer confined ourselves to the shadows. We went about in the natural world wearing our insignias on our clothes. Tattooed into our skins. Branded into our vehicles. The fandom grew and grew with each new offering the ancient ones provided us.

There was the occasional rumblings, but for the most part, there was peace. That is, until that fateful day the beast presented itself to us. It’s primal screams echoed as it tore the fandom to it’s core. Newfound radicalism shone bright in the darkness ripping the very fabric of the existence we all knew into the massive maw of chaos.

We spread out further into the darkness, siding within groups of like minded individuals. The beast tore the fandom asunder. Fandom politics, which before were at minimal, were now a devisive edge in the blade carried in the hands of all. The blade which made our words, before means of bonding, now fiery weapons. Sides were drawn, stakes were claimed. The meetings and ceremonies soon became tools for the beast to further construction of the new world order. A new world built by a beast war.

Monday
Aug182014

I take it personal when body builders say 'beast mode'.

Never forget the time Optimus Primal was a red assed monkey.