It struck me, very recently, that a decade is a long time for MMOs.
If we’re going to count Ultima Online as the first proper MMO as we think of them – and I am – we’re almost 18 years out. Most games have not seen all of those years, and I’m not just talking about the games that launched more recently. It’s rare to find a game that’s been going for a decade, and even rarer to find one that’s been going for a decade and is still getting updates rather than just being stuck in maintenance mode.
So here’s a Perfect Ten celebrating 10 titles that have made it past that mark, even if they’ve just squeaked over the border. Sure, they’re no longer the fresh-faced darlings of the industry, but when you look at all of the great titles that have either shut down or slipped into quiet maintenance over the years, “still going” is often a pretty huge boost by itself.
In the MMO community, shady websites selling game currency for real currency are considered especially heinous. In Star Wars: The Old Republic
, these operations are shut down by an elite squad known as the Creditseller Destroyers. OK, not really; we don’t know what it’s called. We just know that it’s been active because we’ve been informed that it just busted up a nice big credit-selling ring
It might not even be a squad at all, but that doesn’t play into a Law & Order joke.
A post on the official SWTOR forums reveals that the team had been watching a large ring that spanned hundreds of accounts and took action to shut the whole thing down at once. The net result was hundreds of accounts banned and over nine billion credits removed from the circle. You can probably make your own jokes about whether or not the sellers in question would have made the Hutts proud.
[Source: Official forums
; thanks to Tibi and Khalith for the tip!]
Here we are in the wilds of Guild Wars 2 once again, and you can see we’ve got a big old dragon right there. He’s a beauty, he is. The worst thing you could do here, naturally, is shoot him full of arrows from a divinely powered bow, so we’re going to be doing exactly that! Why? Because we’re Dragonhunters, the newly revealed Elite Specialization for the Guardian, and also because killing any and all dragons in Guild Wars 2 is probably just good practice.
Despite its name, the Dragonhunter’s powers work just fine on non-draconic targets. The specialization is focused on giving Guardians a different way to play, making the Virtues more active gameplay mechanics and encouraging players to support their allies while firing from the back lines. It’s a specialization full of traps (including the healing abilities) and support abilities; check out the full reveal for more details on just how you can bring down the big dragons with your new tricks.
If you wake up in the morning and find yourself just unable to get enough early access sandbox titles to whet your appetite, you’ll be happy to know that Tree of Life is coming to Steam as an early access title. What is it? Imagine Wurm Online, only Korean, and you’ll be at least halfway there.
Tree of Life plans to release in full by the end of the year, although early access players will get the game cheaper than post-launch players. In its unfinished state players are already able to roam across the world, build settlements, fight off monster sieges, and work together to build anywhere. Check out the Steam page if it sounds like your cup of tea.
is heading into a dark place with its next major update. Darker than dark, even. Tenatively dubbed Neverwinter: Underdark
, the next module will bring players into the eponymous Underdark, exploring kingdoms of Drow and featuring a questline written by well-known fantasy author R. A. Salvatore. Yes, you’ll be fighting alongside Drizz’t. You knew that was coming, don’t pretend you didn’t.
The module is scheduled for release in 2015 on PC, with a console release to follow. More is in the works for players before the next module, however; there will be more fixes to the Elemental Evil content, as well as an update before the module featuring guild housing. All of it is exciting stuff for Neverwinter fans.
[Source: Neverwinter: Underdark Coming in 2015
So what sort of nautical nonsense can you get up to in the most recent ArcheAge update? How about beating back a leviathan of the deep and then starting up a three-way war? The battles in the Sea of Graves – a twisted collection of oceanic flotsam overlooked by the statue known as Ezri’s Light – start when the Abyssal Kraken is summoned to the surface, launching an effort by players to defend the statue from the great beast.
Defeating the kraken spawns several valuable scrolls in the area, which can be looted by anyone in the area, including opportunistic scavengers. It also offers players the opportunity to take control of Ezri’s Light and the surrounding islands, prompting combatants from different faction to focus on taking one another down even if they worked together to put down the kraken. Once the island is controlled, however, it’s a race for the controllers to mine valuable resources before other factions sink their ships. Read up on the full flow if you haven’t yet gotten to take part in this particular naval scramble.
[Source: Dread Prophecies Spotlight: Sea of Graves and Abyssal Attack
The next major milestone for The Elder Scrolls Online is its console release, obviously. But what comes after that? When can players on the PC actually expect to start seeing some new content? What about these whispers about the Imperial City? When do players get to reach the fireworks factory? After the console launch, apparently.
Yes, a quick tweet did not explain exact dates in detail, but it made the overall thrust of things clear. The Imperial City will be released some time after the console launch, with Orsinium slated to come out after that. That could mean both will be out in the next few months, but more importantly it means that players can expect to hear more about it just as soon as the console version is finished with testing and on the shelves.
; thanks to Ricky for the tip!]
As nifty as Crowfall‘s mechanical goals are, they’re not going to help the game much in the long run if the fundamental combat engine of the game isn’t fun to play. It’s a game that lives and dies on the strength of its PvP conflicts, after all. So it’s a good thing that the team is thinking hard about making sure the first thing players test is a very stripped-down and intensified form of the combat engine, as outlined in the most recent development article.
Players shouldn’t expect to see all of the archetypes in motion here, nor should they expect to see a finished outline of what archetypes are capable of doing. The idea is to test the core engine and the flow of battle, to make sure that the process of fighting other players (and possibly monsters) is fun and worth doing. Current plans are to start letting players in to test all of this out in the summer, so until then you’ll just have to survey the details about the test closely and get your combat-testing pants on. It’s assumed you have special pants for this.
[Source: Milestone 1: Combat Testing
Did you know that tomorrow is EVE Online‘s 12th anniversary? It’s pretty old! And as is the tradition these days, the developers are celebrating by giving players something: a jacket! A very nice jacket for your pilot to wear around, with a slight variant for male and female characters.
Oh, and everyone is also getting two implants in their redemption system, Genolution Core Augmentation CA-3 and CA-4. That’s probably pretty cool, too. But what most players really want is probably the chance to stride around in stations in sweet new jackets, right? And they’re both a nice way to celebrate more than a decade of everyone’s favorite internet spaceship and spreadsheet game.
There’s also some discussion about elements players want to add into the Image Export Collection, which is less anniversary-focused but still worth attention.
[Source: A Pre-Birthday Announcement
, Additions to the IEC
All right, bear with us here. We’re not great
at math at Massively Overpowered. But as it stands, Hearthstone
has apparently hit 30 million players
, which probably
means that at least a third of your body is playing Hearthstone
right this moment. Even if you’re not aware of it. Maybe it’s your toes? Have you checked your toes?
Or perhaps that’s not what the announcement means at all. It might just mean, you know, 30 million people play Hearthstone, which is pretty neat. All we know for sure is that at this growth rate, next year Hearthstone will be the President. Or something. Again, not so good with math.
[Source: Hearthstone twitter
You have not played enough of Crowfall to form an opinion on how it plays. You haven’t. It isn’t playable yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start buying in-game goodies to have when you finally can play the game, right? Yes, the game’s store is live on the official website, with plenty of options for future players to drop some cash and get cosmetic stuff whenever the game can actually be played.
Before you start rioting in protest, it’s important to note that the store is more “present” than “omnipresent” at this point; there are several categories simply marked as “coming soon” with no entries listed, and the only part that’s really working according to design at a glance are the bundles. Whether or not the ability to buy things sight unseen for the game is a good way of supporting its further development or a naked pre-emptive cash grab is left as an exercise for the reader.
[Source: Crowfall store
Today’s lesson is that you shouldn’t cheat in online games. Alas, a Guild Wars 2 character had to die to provide this valuable information if you couldn’t come up with that one on your own, as players captured video of a rather notorious cheater doing that cheat thing. If you were wondering if video evidence was enough for ArenaNet to ban you, well, yes it is.
How do we know that? Because Chris Cleary, game security lead, posted video of the team logging in to the character, stripping him of his gear, flinging him to his death in the middle of Divinity’s Reach, and then deleting the character. And to add insult to injury, yes, the player is banned now. So “don’t be filmed while cheating” could be the lesson here, but we prefer to go with “don’t cheat.”
Do you want a pet? Do you want to take on some contracts? Are you excited to play around with an expanded wardrobe? Is it time for a new raid? Literally all of these things are contained in the latest WildStar patch that’s just hit the live servers. No, really, all of them; we have a tendency to list one humorous item on the list at the end, but this time they’re all in there. They’re focal points, even.
As revealed in the full patch notes, the update contains various other quality-of-life fixes including more consistent gold rewards from Shiphand missions and a material vendor allowing players to trade lesser materials for higher-tier ones. Enjoy all of the new features live in the game right now, or in the next several hours, depending on your work schedule. Surprise!