Big news for ARK: Survival Evolved today on multiple fronts. For starters, the game now claims more than a million Xbox One copies sold — that’s in addition to almost 4 million on PC. The PlayStation 4 launch is set for Q4 of this year, at which time all three platforms will see the game fully launched.
To celebrate, Studio Wildcard has announced a mod program for both PC and Xbox intended to bring elite player-made mods into the game for everyone. The first two maps plucked from the community’s braintrust will release next month and this summer and massively increase the size of the game:
“Designed by community member Ben Burkart, The Center adds an over-the-top, fantasy-themed map that doubles the size of the current game and is more varied than the original ARK
map, with tons of new biomes, dungeons, floating islands, end-of-the-world waterfalls, massive ancient ruins, along with other wonders to explore and secrets to find. Drawn completely by hand without any auto-generated content, The Center is a massive increase in the game’s official playable content and is free to both PC and Xbox One players.
In the case of Primitive Plus, players are challenged to use only wood and stone without the benefit of advanced metals to create weapons such as guns. A whole new set of items and detailed new mechanics focus the player on ‘primitive’ survival, which fits snugly in the world of ARK. Primitive Plus will be playable as a functionality mod on all official ARK maps.”
You can cite all of the fancy, flashy features in your MMO, but at the end of the day, if your game looks horrible and runs sluggishly, nobody’s going to play it. So let us rejoice that Gloria Victis has taken the time to tune up its game engine, offering players a smoother ride with improved visuals.
This week’s alpha patch “greatly improved” the performance for both the client and server, which the team said will contribute to more enjoyable skill-based combat. The draw distance for terrain and characters has grown significantly as well. “Defenders will be able to see invaders way faster, while the latter can sneak to a town or castle they want to claim, making use of the landform and hide in the woods,” the team explained.
The Valley of Death tournament also received some tweaks, including changing how NPCs respawn during the fight.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Richard Garriott (Ultima Online, Shroud of the Avatar) has penned an autobiography called Life at the Extremes in which he talks about all of his life’s crazy adventures. You’ll have to wait a little while to read it, however, as it won’t be out until next January. In the meantime, check out lots of online gaming news, including stories from DC Universe Online, ARK, Eternal Crusade, and more!
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Camelot Unchained’s devs revealed that they will not make their planned target for beta. The beta phase has been postponed while the game’s ability code is refactored to properly handle what the design team is throwing at it.
Meanwhile, Fragmented dropped its NDA and prepped for its early access launch next week, Star Citizen invoked “minimal viable product” verbiage, and Origins of Malu put its development on hold indefinitely while it attempts to secure other funding.
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!
Daybreak has just posted a new trailer for DC Universe Online’s Xbox One release. The company announced the Xbox One edition back in January; it’s intended to launch this spring. Cross-play between the PC, PlayStation3, and PlayStation 4 is already live.
The team is showing off how the game plays on the console at PAX this weekend.
Which is worse? ARK’s new swamp cave or the ice cave? MassivelyOP’s MJ and the crew found death fairly quickly in the poisonous air of the swamp cave last time, and they barely managed to get their dinos back out. So now they will explore the ice cave. Of course, there are also three new dinos dotting the landscape, and the chances of meeting up with a ferocious Direbear makes MJ’s chances of survival plummet even faster than the temperature on the frozen tundra! Bundle up and join us live at 12:00 p.m. for a frigid foray into the belly of the ice cave!
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
This week, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft’s sixth expansion, Legion, will indeed arrive this summer as planned. August 30th is the big day. Got your preorder in yet? Here’s what else is new in the land of MMO beta testing:
- Tree of Savior banned 3000 cheaters and dealt with pricing fallout from scheming arbitrage artists.
- Tree of Life — yeah, all the trees are confusing — launched its beta (along with its cash shop).
- Origins of Malu announced it has suspended its development as it shops for investors.
- Camelot Unchained announced its beta one release has been delayed, likely several weeks.
- Nexon’s flying MMORPG Riders of Icarus began its second round of closed beta.
- Hi-Rez’s shooter-hybrid Paladins patched its closed beta with, Dragon Punch, which pushes live new champion Drogoz, The Greedy.
- Guild Wars 2’s live beta test of world linking for WvW began today.
- Cube World is alive!
- Fragmented released a trailer ahead of next week’s Steam early access launch. Stress tests are ongoing.
- Glitch-spinoff Children of Ur updated its open alpha with a new build.
- The Black Death lurched like a plague-ridden zombie into Steam early access.
- Nexon launched the alpha for LawBreakers with a new trailer featuring no less than Ice-T.
- The Culling’s first big early access patch introduced female playable characters.
- Asta’s still in beta too, but it’s also getting a big content patch.
Check out our complete list of games in testing below!
Launched into early access back in March, The Culling is a short-scale battle royale survival game that’s already pumping out patches. Ahead of PAX, Xaviant announced what it’s calling a major content update arriving April 27th. Trials of the Isle is set to include:
Private lobbies – Create and join private lobbies to play free-for-all matches with friends
Female playable character – Play as a female contestant with an extensive suite of customization options
Trials Matches – Use Trial Tokens awarded for wins participate in weekly free-for-all Trials Matches (weekends only) against other winners for a chance to score exclusive loot
New customization items – Spice up your gear with new shirt designs by Filthy Casual and Design by Humans as well as limited edition hats
New weapons – Spray even more blood on the island with the Crafted Cudgel (Tier 1 Bludgeon) and the mighty Trident (Tier 4 Spear)
Additional perks – Experiment with new perks like Dig Deep and Angry Octopus―yeah, we don’t know either
SteamOS support – Spread mayhem at your desk and in your living room
New lighting and significant optimization
Improvements to balance and stability
Xaviant is at PAX this weekend; you can scope out the game at booth #11085.
ArenaNet is kicking off the first stage of Guild Wars 2’s WvW World Linking beta tonight beginning at 10 p.m. EDT for North American servers; Europe’s began earlier this afternoon. The goal? To even out the populations in the mass-scale WvW battlegrounds.
“We used factors like the world’s current rank and population numbers to define pairings,” writes ArenaNet. “For NA we will be able to divide the total number of worlds in half, and give every world a partner. However, pairings for EU are a lot trickier, both because there is an odd number of total worlds, and because there is an odd number of specific language worlds. EU also has a greater number of well populated worlds, so it makes sense to link fewer worlds. The result is that a number of worlds in EU will not be linked.”
The studio says that as populations “drift” in the future, it may link more than two worlds together for WvW purposes.
closed beta is closing soon, but not without one last big closed beta event. The team is looking for as many people as possible to log in and stress test the game’s server hardware
on Saturday, April 23rd. Participants will have their names entered eternally upon a list that records the people who took part in the final stress test of Gigantic
‘s servers, assuming that someone is in fact recording such a list eternally for some reason.
Stress testing will take place between 3:00 p.m. EDT and 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, with two maps available for participants to storm across. If you want to give the current closed beta one last spin before the game enters another phase of testing, you know when to show up.
With the beginnings of Landmark’s storyteller system in place, MassivelyOP’s MJ is on the prowl for some player-made dungeons to dive! She’s already had fun creeping through her neighbor’s crypt, but there’s so much more to be found. Will she bust up a ring of dark-elf wizards plotting to take over the island, or maybe storm a castle overrun with skeletons? And what new bosses will MJ stumble into? Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as she searches for some fun player-made content.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 22nd, 2016
Armor in Crowfall is about more than just stacking the biggest armor values and praying for rain; it’s meant as a tactical choice for every given player. Your character isn’t forced to wear plate or leather armor based on archetype; instead, you base that decision on what is giving you a better advantage for what you’re trying to do. While the initial pass of the game’s armor systems had some trouble, the developers have outlined a new set of restrictions and benefits that should make armor more meaningful as a player choice.
Most archetypes have had their damage buffed, but to compensate, heavier armor now actually decreases damage done when worn. The counterpoint, of course, is that heavier armor also provides better defense against most physical attacks (not necessarily magical ones). There’s also a new set of armor benefits in place for archetypes wearing gear of the same type in all slots. It’s doubtlessly not the final pass of the game’s armor system, but it should force a rethink of some of the existing assumptions for wearing a set.
It’s going to be hard to escape Overwatch’s presence this spring as Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter revs up for release at the end of May. Part of the promotion for the superhero-themed game is coming in the form of digital comic books, the first of which you can read right now. This ten-page comic features the gunslinger McCree and an action sequence aboard (and on top of) a train.
For those more curious about the making of the game and its roots, Gamespot has posted the first part of a documentary about Overwatch’s creation. What’s interesting about it is that Blizzard talks candidly about its work on Titan and how that massive project ultimately failed — and led to the birth of Overwatch.
You can watch the 20-minute video after the break.