Over the past couple of weeks, I have been enjoying the journey through RIFT Prime, the game’s first progression server. Trion Worlds surprised and delighted many of us when it announced that it would be creating a slightly more difficult, vastly more cash shop-free shard that would take players through the entirety of the RIFT experience from vanilla through the latest expansion.
As I’ve reset the clock on my RIFT adventures, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the benefits of progression servers. With a lot of World of Warcraft fans wondering if Classic will eventually morph into a progression shard (which I certainly hope it does), and with games like EverQuest and EverQuest II repeatedly embracing the alternative ruleset, I think we could be moving into an era where older MMOs experience new life with this relatively simple move.
So why are MMO progression servers a brilliant idea? Here are 10 thoughts on the matter.
Last month, Ship of Heroes ran its first alpha combat test with backers, and it was a blast (literally). With enough time to process the test, the studio put together a dev blog that shared what it has learned from the combat alpha to use in development going forward.
There are many critical notes that the devs provide, such as this one: “Enemies should attack relentlessly. We have already begun an enemy AI upgrade. This upgrade will be affected by the poll results you’ve given us on this subject. Our goal to is to add a new level of challenge to the AI.”
Heroic Games said that it will be polling the community for several decisions that need to be made about adjusting the combat. There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself, so check out February’s combat alpha highlights after the superjump!
Whether you are personally playing it or not, there are a lot of ambitious pirates trying to cram their way into Sea of Thieves with this week’s launch. Unfortunately for Rare, the studio has seen its servers struggle to keep up with the influx of players and perform as expected.
In fact, Sea of Thieves even disabled the ability for new players to join the game yesterday. “For those playing and those joining we are continuing to work on improvements to the game in order to ensure the playing experience will be optimal,” Rare said. “Please be patient as we are working on updates.”
For those who can get in, there’s a rush to be among the first to encounter the kraken and mysterious stranger. Have you been playing over the past day or two? What’s your take so far?
She’s buff, she’s beautiful, and she’s bringing her modern-day squire style into the realm of Overwatch.
She’s Brigitte, the goddaughter of Reinhardt Wilhelm who fancies herself a squire. She’s a heavily armored fighter who uses a rocket flail and barrier shield as a support hero. Brigitte can smash several enemies in an arc, knock opponents back, and shield bash her way to victory. She can also throw out repair packs for health and rally allies to generate more armor, making her an invaluable teammate.
Brigitte went live in the game yesterday as Overwatch’s seventh support hero. Check her out and get playing!
As an amateur historian and an MMORPG enthusiast, I generally applaud efforts by the community to resurrect, preserve, and even reboot sunsetted games. While there are legal issues to consider, especially over intellectual properties, I want these games to continue on in some fashion. If a studio is not willing or able to do it, then having the community pick up the slack is an acceptable solution in my book.
But this past week I was wondering if there are cases where fan emulators of these MMORPGs might not be worth pursuing. Is keeping City of Heroes operating as a ghost of itself in Paragon Chat helpful to a community that maybe should move on at this point? Do some of the smaller emulators that lack funds and development talent end up doing a disservice to the original title?
What are your feelings on this? Are fan emulators of dead MMOs worth developing, or should we let the deceased rest in peace?
Wizards of the Coast’s most famous card game continues to prepare its newest multiplayer version for public consumption. This Thursday, Magic: The Gathering Arena will update its closed beta to be more public and full-featured.
Thursday’s update will mark the end of the NDA and allow testers to discuss, stream, and share the game with the larger community. Wizards will be sending out 100,000 more players to come try the game out and some of its newer additions, such as preconstructed decks and the recent Amonkhet cards.
Interested participants can sign up to be part of the upcoming stress test over on the Magic: The Gathering Arena site.
“This new phase is an exciting time for us,” Wizards said. “As we’re still in closed beta, we’re still testing many aspects of the game, looking for feedback, and learning a lot along the way. That means there are plenty of areas we want to add more polish and finish to, plus additional functionality and content to be implemented. But we’re very excited to see what discussions and feedback arise out of this new testing period.”
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin infiltrate Secret World Legends’ Morninglight, dig into yet another progression server, wonder how many allied races World of Warcraft is going to introduce, and get all nostalgic over the original Guild Wars.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
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Don’t twiddle your thumbs and sigh with impatience that Defiance 2050 hasn’t arrived yet; get active in Defiance right now, thanks to its Armistice event.
Armistice is actually four events in one, running from now through April 9th. Players can engage in Hulker Hell, Neo Votanis Freebooters, New Frontier Harvest, and Outbreak activities while earning purified gulanite (that sounds important) from Arkfall drops. There are also a few new pursuits to, er, pursue.
Even better, Trion Worlds is handing out a seven-day patron pass for anyone who logs into the game between April 2nd and 9th. That should keep you busy for a couple of weeks, at least!
“Hatchmaking?” you say. “What is that?”
Leave it to Wizard101 to come up with a quirky new twist on MMO gameplay. In the family-friendly title’s next update, Wizard101 is introducing a hatchmaking system that allows players to breed pets that both they and others own. There are limits to how many times and how often a pet can be used for sweet, sweet love, and KingsIsle stresses that (at least for now) this won’t replace the old hatching system, but merely supplement it.
The patch also adds a new pet tome collection system to track your growing zoo of inbred animals, some visual changes in the core Wizard City, new loading screens, more skeleton key bosses for newbies and highbies, and plenty of bug fixes. Check out the patch notes for the full rundown!
It may not be the start of the second season
of story content, but today’s Secret World Legends
patch does deliver a few exciting improvements
for this cult horror MMO.
Patch 2.2 contains a random assortment of fixes, features, and improvements. These include adjustments to the new agent system (including its addition to the topbar menu), better server stability, and easier shop navigation.
One change will be highly visible whenever a player logs into the game: “A news page has been added to the Daily Login Rewards UI. It is possible to switch between the news display and the login rewards using the arrows in the upper right corner of the UI.”
Hope you brought your industrial-sized ion cannon, fly boy, because that is one mother of a droid that’s trying to stomp on your face. Izax, the final boss of the God of the Machine operation, goes live today with Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Update 5.8
Izax and its limited-time event is merely a part of today’s content update. BioWare has revamped the conquest system – which we’ve already deep-dived in Hyperspace Beacon – to include a new interface and additional rewards for guilds. Three companions also return for some story content: the Sith Inquisitor’s Ashara, the Imperial Agent’s Vector, and everyone’s hunky Arcann.
For those who play the Galactic Trade Network, it should be noted that BioWare has increased the tax rate from 6% to 8% to “combat credit inflation.”
The skies are crowded with activity in EVE Online
as of late. CCP came out this week to talk about many of the “little changes
” and quality-of-life improvements that have arrived with today’s patch
These cover changes to help track fleets, the addition to fleet tags on the target bar, a new way to filter the compare tool, a reduction in jump fatigue accumulation, a structures tab in systems; show info windows, tooltips on personal security status in various systems, and plenty of other smaller items.
Applications for the game’s 13th Council of Stellar Management are now open and will continue to accept bids through this Friday, March 23rd. Players who wish to serve on the community advisory panel have to meet certain requirements, such as having an account that’s at least two months old, being 18 years old or older, and allowing CCP access to your personal identification.
Perhaps one of the most amazing MMORPG emulator projects is one that has flown under the radar of the larger community. Following the shutdown of Disney’s Toontown Online in 2013, the community relaunched the game as Toontown Rewritten. Instead of wallowing in obscurity, the emulator has flourished with a vibrant community and regular updates.
It’s been so successful, in fact, that the dev team has held player conventions for years now. The next ToonFest is coming up at July’s ReplayFX Arcade and Gaming Festival in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s here that fans will gather together to meet with the developers, hear update announcements, and attend panels with the team.
“I still believe that one way or another, Toontown’s going to hang in there and have that long, long life,” said Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell.
Curious about Toontown Online and why it’s inspired such devotion? Read up on this title in our Game Archaeologist column!