Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s faces, SOTA’s memorial, Hero’s Song’s AMA (September 24, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen stole the show, first with a video showcasing its extraordinarily detailed character face tech, then rather unintentionally in a Kotaku piece that sought to investigate the game’s controversial crowdfunded development process.

Meanwhile, Fragmented continued enhancements to housing and melee combat; Gloria Victis tidied up its new dynamic events system; Worlds Adrift prepped for its fifth alpha round; Hero’s Song revealed abilities usable by the Paladin and Warrior classes and streamed an AMA on Twitch; and Edengrad offered a preview of its blocking mechanics, UI, and graphics upgrade.

We’d along like to express our condolences to the friends, guildies, and family of Shroud of the Avatar player Lacey, who passed away this week and was memorialized in-game using an in-progress system for craftable, customizable gravestones.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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Marvel Heroes’ newest board member admits he’s a F2P whale

There are two things you need to know about the newest member of Gazillion’s board of directors. Mark Rubin is an avid MMORPG player (he cites both Marvel Heroes and Star Wars: The Old Republic as his go-to titles), and he considers himself a “whale” in his spending habits.

In a new interview with Venture Beat, Rubin discusses how he spends money on MMOs and the differences between the whale (i.e., big spenders in free-to-play games) culture in the west and the east. For his part, he thinks that he has dropped between $1,000 and $1,500 on Marvel Heroes prior to coming on board with Gazillion.

“You have to think about the way a whale thinks about what they’re doing,” Rubin said. “The thing with free-to-play is it’s often incremental. They don’t think about it. I don’t think about going into a free-to-play game and spending a lot of money. I just do small transactions here or there. It’s one of those things where — give me content, obviously.”

Source: Venture Beat

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The Stream Team: Ascending SMITE’s charity challenge rankings

You always have to start at the bottom, but MassivelyOP’s MJ doesn’t plan on staying there! No, she has plans to ascend SMITE’s charity challenge ladder. That means getting past the fourth and fifth rounds, which so far have proven difficult. But each battle makes MJ a bit stronger, so she’s ready to tackle those rounds — and maybe even more. Join us live at 4:00 p.m. to help the team ascend to greatness, either by playing or cheering them on.

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Enjoy the show!

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Massively OP’s guide to the best upcoming indie MMORPGs, part one

When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators’ moms don’t even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids’ names (after all, space is limited), but it’s nearly an impossible task. There’s just too much out there.

And lately I’ve noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into “state semi-regionals”). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it’s stressing us out.

Enhance your calm, citizen. Here’s the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It’s not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!

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The Stream Team: Derek Brinkmann dishes about Shards Online

How would you describe Shards Online? MassivelyOP’s MJ found the perfect way to answer that question: She nabbed Derek “Supreem” Brinkmann to do it! Who better to answer all your burning questions than a head dev? As MJ wanders the world shooting fireballs and trying to tame animals, Brinkmann will be talking all about the upcoming alpha (and probably trying to get MJ killed again), so join us live at 1:30 p.m. for this dev-filled bonus stream.

What: Shards Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 24th, 2015

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The Stream Team: Tame a Jerboa on this ARK scavenger hunt

ARK’s Scorched Earth expansion added a whole bunch of new items and dinos, but those are only available on the Scorched earth map. Or are they? One advantage of a privately hosted server is that the admin can add the new stuff in for special events — and that’s exactly what’s happening here! By request, MassivelyOP’s MJ is hosting a Jerboa taming scavenger hunt. The island will be populated with a few of these cute little mammals, and survivors can follow clues to where they will be waiting. Well, that is unless some hungry carnivores get to them first! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. to try to find and tame your very own cuddly critter.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 24th, 2016

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Camelot Unchained makes progress on the ‘long road’ to beta

It’s been a “longer road” to the first beta test than Camelot Unchained’s team originally anticipated, but the good news is that progress is definitely being made. Need proof? Then go no further than this week’s newsletter, which spells out in painstaking detail all of the projects being done.

The ability system overhaul is still ongoing, with the team identifying and stamping out bugs that skitter through it. The game should be running 10% to 20% faster now, thanks to improvements to terrain generation.

“We’ve made continued in-roads in other areas such as more than two islands, which we hope to get into testing next week,” Mark Jacobs reported. “We’ve also completed a first pass at groups which we are currently testing in-studio.”

The team also showed off some of its new Viking weapon art and some of the creations that the community has made with the game’s CUBE building toolset.

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WRUP: The anatomy of magic edition

I stopped practicing magic tricks when I realized that I didn’t like knowing the trick. It was kind of a sad thing for me; I really liked performing sleight-of-hand, and I was pretty darn good at it. I still take a lot of its fundamental lessons with me, too, since there’s a whole art to the patter and the revelation of a trick. It’s about the setup, about working the crowd, about priming people for something and surprising them when you deliver something different.

But at the end of the day? I don’t like knowing the trick. I know that it is a trick, of course; it’s all just smoke and mirrors, sometimes literally. But the fun part is that I don’t know how it works, and I’d prefer to remain in ignorance about that because I know enough. I know it’s all an illusion, and rather than reminding myself of that every minute of a show, I’d like to just enjoy the illusion despite being fully aware that it isn’t real.

And that’s why I don’t want to watch the “making of” features that come with every single movie these days. It’s What Are You Playing, let us know what you’re up to in the comments!

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The Daily Grind: What would you like MMORPG vanity pets to *do*?

I think I’ve made Bree roll her eyes dozens of times when I’ve waxed poetic about my love for vanity pets in MMOs. Hey, some people — perhaps soulless, unfeeling people — might see them as obnoxious, purposeless, and pointless. Me? I don’t feel complete unless I have a companion frolicking away as I go about saving the world.

Assuming that you too enjoy non-combat pets, what would you like them to do other than follow along at your side? I enjoy the occasional pet that speaks to me, interacts with the world, or can be taught tricks. I heard that Willy from World of Warcraft even shoots critters with the occasional eyebeam, but I’ve yet to see that happen. It’ll be the greatest day when that happens, though.

Could vanity pets be given more functionality? Would you like them to go sell your stuff back at town for you? Be mobile inventory? Unite to form Voltron?

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Betawatch: Eternal Crusade hits launch (September 23, 2016)

You know, it’s kind of weird to think that Eternal Crusade has actually launched. It seemed as if it would forever be in testing, but now it’s released. As for future support and further improvement, well, only time will tell. Hope springs eternal and all of that, yes? It’s not alone in the launch field either, as Heroes & Generals has also made the jump to full-on launch.

Gosh, are we done with betas? I mean, it has been a pretty quiet week otherwise, but there’s still some stuff happening.

While we’ve lost some titles to launches, the list of betas continues down below, as it always has. See something with an inaccurate status listing? Let us know about it in the comments! It’s good for us to know..

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The Stream Team: Fishing and frolicking in Shards Online

It’s been quite some time since MassivelyOP’s MJ dived into Shards Online to show it off to you, and much has changed since then. She’s excited to get back in during this latest pre-alpha event and check out all the changes, especially fishing! Nothing says weekend like some fishing. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you another look at…

What: Shards Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 23rd, 2015

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Get in the know with Osiris: New Dawn’s Steam FAQ

With Osiris: New Dawn’s Steam release just days away, Fenix Fire has posted a FAQ to let players know what they can expect when the space-based survival game opens its doors. Osiris: New Dawn will start its Steam Early Access life with the core campaign mode (which includes single player, online multiplayer, co-op, and faction PvP), and expects major feature updates each month. The studio will host official PvP and PvE servers, or players can host their own with personal settings.

Devs note that while the functionality to travel to other planets is built into the game feature set, the starter planet (which is described as a fully realised experience) will be the Early Access focus. Each planet can support between 30 and 40 players who can explore, harvest, craft, and otherwise carve a place out on a hostile world. Come release in 2017, the game will expand  feature “a fully realized Gleise 581 Solar System” where each planet will offer a different survival experience with its own unique environment hazards materials, creatures, plants and crafting schematics.

If you want to get in on colonizing a planet in Osiris: New Dawn, the Steam prices will be $24.99/£18.99/€22.99. For more details, check out the FAQ.

Source: Orsiris: New Dawn Steam FAQ; thanks to BabaGra.PL for the tip!

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World of Warcraft brings players up to speed on artifact weapons

As we’re now almost a month in World of Warcraft: Legion, it stands to reason that the artifact weapon system is an old hat to many top-level players. However, there’s always the real possibility that players who are just now getting started in the game or are leveling up into the expansion might be confused about the new system.

Enter a new developer blog that helps sum up what artifact weapons are, how you will obtain them, and how you can grow them over time. Sure, it’s the basics, but it’s always important to bring everyone up to speed of major changes to the game when they happen.

The studio also said that leveling up artifacts on alts should proceed more quickly than on your main: “One ‘hidden’ feature of the artifact system is that the rate at which your artifact knowledge work orders complete speeds up over time. The system keeps track of the time that it’s been since the release of the expansion, and how long it takes to process artifact knowledge work orders and gain artifact knowledge will reduce as time goes on.”

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