Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Up-and-coming PvP MMORPG Crowfall has been counting down a 40-day timer that ends next week, biding its time with announcements about its destruction-oriented voxel-based tech, physics engine, and new classes. Any guesses as to what’s happening when that timer runs out?
Read on for a look at the rest of this week’s top MMO stories.
A player on Reddit recently asked one of the most pressing questions in the MMO genre today: “Where can I find a fun Bard-like class?” Though often posts on the MMORPG Reddit aren’t heavily populated, this one elicited dozens of responses and ideas. I’m telling you: Bards are awesome, and everyone knows it.
Naturally, the thread quickly devolved into bragging about just who could twist the most songs as a Bard in classic EverQuest.
Welcome back to What Are You Playing, the game where we tell you what we’re playing this weekend and you tell us who’s getting pushed off the cliff first because we have finally identified that cliffs and especially pushing people off cliffs is Crowfall‘s core mechanic. I’m done now.
What do you get when you combine the the quirkiness of Glitch or Wakfu with the voxelboxiness of Trove? That’d be SkySaga, the UK sandvox that’s finally opening its alpha doors to those of us in North America. Act quickly, though; the offer ends February 26th. What else is new in the land on MMO testing?
Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.
Back in December, film editor and author Jason Bailey wrote a piece on Flavorwire called How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA. He spins a tale of the booming movie industry of the ’80s and ’90s, when mid-budget films were commercially feasible and commonplace. By the turn of the century, however, the movie industry had bisected itself; studios stopped committing resources to mid-budget films, “betting big on would-be blockbusters” instead and generating a hard-scrabble indie scene in their wake. As Bailey’s title suggests, that dramatic shift uprooted a generation of brilliant filmmakers and cheapened the art of films and filmmaking for everyone.
It’s no stretch to say we’re witnessing the same phenomenon in the world of MMORPGs.
The Massively Overpowered Kickstarter campaign is now half over: two weeks in, two weeks left to go. We’re tickled to now have over 1400 backers who’ve busted through our goal, Kool-Aid Man style. Oh yeah!
In honor of the occasion, we have a new video! I present to you the Massively Overpowered Kickstarter Mid-Point video, once again crafted by our very own Jef Reahard and this time narrated by Larry Everett. We’re pretty sure you’ll get the reference.
A Massively Overpowered reader by the name of DaBruuzer posed a great question to the team, one I thought we’d have a better time answering as a group since many of us play with spouses, significant others, or dear friends in duos.
“I would love to see some coverage about MMOs that are couple-friendly. My wife and I have been playing MMOs as a couple for many years now, always trying out new games that make duoing fun. Since the sunset of City of Heroes/Villains, we just haven’t found a new home. I have seen lots of stuff about soloing and grouping, hence my ‘couples’ angle. I don’t necessarily mean about a game’s marriage features — more like MMOs that complement a two-person group set-up.”
For this first installment of the reincarnation of our old Think Tank, I asked the MOP crew about the very best MMOs for duoing.
The folks behind “throne war simulator” MMORPG Crowfall have released two new archetypes today. The first is the Elven Frostweaver, a ranged DPS reminiscent of Drow; the second is the Guinecean Duelist, an adorable dexterity-oriented melee character who will have the Ratonga fans in our audience squeaking with glee.
ArtCraft has also posted a new game physics FAQ that covers everything from collision detection to friendly fire on the Voxel Farm tech platform it announced earlier this week. Collision detection, by the way, is totally happening.
Can players block other players from moving? Yes they can, which should allow for some interesting battlefield formations. However, not all characters will have the same mass, so a larger character like a Centaur will have no trouble pushing a much smaller Assassin out of the way. Also, some characters may have special powers that enable them to teleport past other players, while others may have powers that prevent players from passing them. Controlling the battlefield will be a key strategy to master!
Are you over the Daybreak Game Company layoffs shock yet? Nope, neither am I. But my shock is compounded by dread over the fate of the studio’s games. While Daybreak has reassured players that it’s still got teams working on most of its MMOs (and I myself argued yesterday that most of the games are probably safe), some of the studio’s titles seem more vulnerable than others, especially given last year’s infamous purge. Of course, getting H1Z1, PlanetSide 2, and Landmark players to agree on who’s in the most trouble is a daunting task. Let’s put it to a vote in our shiny new poll: Which Daybreak title’s future seems the most in jeopardy to you?
has just announced that Neverwinter’s
sixth expansion, Elemental Evil, is set to launch on March 17th.
In what PWE is calling the game’s largest update since its original release in 2012, players will be able to roll up a character from the new Paladin class, level up to the raised cap of 70, and tinker with new quests, feats, and special class powers (“slottable class feature powers”).
But the best news is that the update will feature Baldur’s Gate’s beloved ranger/hamster duo Minsc and Boo. “The fan-favorite duo will be assisting players on their journey to discover the true nature of the Elemental Evil cults,” says the studio.
Crowfall developer ArtCraft Entertainment has announced today that the game will employ the Voxel Farm technology platform. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Voxel Farm is licensed to several other high-profile MMORPGs, including Landmark and EverQuest Next.
The best part is how the studio leads describe what they’re doing with the tech. “We want to create hundreds of unique worlds, with unique maps — mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, dungeons, ruins — for players to explore and destroy,” says ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. Sounds peaceful, right? Wrong! Creative Director Todd Coleman says ArtCraft is out to subvert that trope: “Most games are using voxel technology for creation — effectively, giving players a sandbox to build things. We’re using them for a very different reason; we are using Voxels for destruction. We’re creating sandcastles for the players to kick over.”
According to a Raptr press release posted today, MOBA League of Legends dominated the service’s January rankings with just under 20% of total playtime share. World of Warcraft held onto second place with not quite 11% of total playtime share, but it “lost 5.28% of play time in January compared to December.”
DOTA 2, SMITE, and Hearthstone scored well; Diablo III, in particular, saw its playtime rise 77.27% percent month-over-month, likely a result of the 2.12 patch.
I’ve been spending my gaming time lately PvPing in Guild Wars 2 in an attempt to reinkindle my old obsession with World of Warcraft battleground-style gameplay. It’s working: I really love the GW2 maps, and it thrills me that it’s one more fun facet of a game I already enjoy more than most titles still alive today.
(Of course, there’s no more disgruntled a group in GW2 than PvPers, and I’m sure I’ll get to that same point in a few months. But for now, while everything is still new to me, I’m actually *gasp* having a good time.)