You don’t have to be a massive MMO studio to have a big showing at PAX West – Intrepid Studios proved that. The indie studio developing Ashes of Creation had a large booth with a giant TV broadcasting videos, hands-on demos for players to see what the game is about, a merchandise counter (which appeared to be doing good business), plenty of devs on hand to answer questions, and a full panel to discuss the game’s progress and plans to a large audience. And Founder and Creative Director Steven Sharif was on hand the whole time to talk about his game with everyone who came by. As he told me, “That’s our job here today, to expose more people to [AoC’s] potential.” He wants players to know that it isn’t about promises without delivery
Between a demo and a couple of interviews, I had the opportunity to chat with Sharif about the game a few different times. We talked about classes, crowdfunding, and character customization. I also got to team up with a group and run through a short PvE adventure narrated by a dev, testing out skills and exploring a few features. Then I delved into a PvP match. And yes, we also discussed the red hat controversy.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Master X Master, Blade and Soul, EVE Online, RoboManiac, Hearthstone, Hyper Universe, The Black Death, Pokemon Go, RuneScape, TERA M, Champions Online, Wurm Online, Final Fantasy XI, Gigantic, Allods Online, Hellion, League of Legends, Diablo III, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
En Masse recently introduced
the newest class coming to Kritika Online
, and while visiting the studio’s offices during PAX West 2017
, I was able to dive in and play it. This Psion class — a combination of swordsman and mage — generates psychic swords to slice, dice, and generally Ginsu her enemies to pieces. One skill even allows her to throw her blades, which combined with her guns (bound to right click) gives her good ranged options during battle. As I am not the biggest fan of in-your-face combat, I appreciated having options to move me outside of melee range and keep attacking.
What do you get when you take a bunch of stubborn and foolhearty Dwarves, get them tanked on ale, and then start boasting about physical prowess? The Harnkegger Games
, of course!
Starting next Monday on Lord of the Rings Online’s Laurelin server, players will compete in the sixth annual Harnkegger Games for glory, honor, and most importantly, gold and LOTRO Points. The Games cover a week of player-run events, including the spike jump, the fishing competition, a dive into molten lava, the cross-country run, a poetry contest, and the drunken sprint across the Shire.
Players will compete for their “nation,” which is represented by their race. Even if you don’t want to participate, there is plenty of entertainment to be found in spectating and enjoying the musical acts. The event will also be broadcast live on the official LOTRO livestream.
It’s all about the controller: My En Masse Entertainment PAX West
office visit last weekend included a hands-on with TERA
Now, I have played TERA before, and it isn’t a game I have returned to with regularity, though I do still return and dabble. Interestingly enough, after this experience, I learned that things might have been different had I been playing the game on console.
As much as I didn’t really like and wasn’t used to movement (I didn’t get the hang of looking the direction I wanted to), I really enjoyed the combat with the controller during my demo. I discovered actually preferred TERA’s combat on the controller than on the keyboard, so I agree the dev’s words: “It’s TERA’s true action combat that makes it such a great fit for consoles and game pad controls.”
When I visited the En Masse offices during PAX West, it was a crash course in learning how to use a controller — which I haven’t picked up in years — as I was introduced to Closers, an episodic anime online RPG. The game has five different characters players can choose from from the Black Lambs, each with its own personality and dialogue with all the NPCs. For my hands-on, I played Seha (a melee swordsman), but there is also Sylvi, Yuri, Misteltein, and J.
Devs noted that the story of Closers is very important; the game itself is story-driven. The characters are all teens with psychic abilities brought together as a team to fight back the interdimensional monsters that are pouring into New Seoul (Old Seoul was devastated during the last invasion) through portals.
These portals, of course, need closing.
PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.
If I had to pick a PAX West booth to give an award to for sheer fun factor, it would go to Digital Extremes’ new board/card/computer game combo The Amazing Eternals. (I’m not alone: The booth also got an award from a magazine!) The retro bowling alley vibe — complete with bowling shirts, orange shag carpet, and wood paneling — combined with the awesome old TV console frames on the monitors just screamed funky and fun.
Did that same vibe translate into the game? Yup. It was prevalent when I got to dive in and try a couple of matches. Admittedly, the first one was less fun, but that’s because I jumping in totally blind; the enjoyment spiked up quite a bit more after talking with Lead Game Designer Allen Goode and actually learning about the game. And now you, too, will have that same info so you can have a blast in your matches — or at least know better what’s going on!
I admit that before PAX West 2017, I hadn’t logged into Defiance in a long, long time. I couldn’t even say how long. Even so, I still have very fond memories of the hellbugs (isn’t it just so cute the way they try to eat off your face?), so I was intrigued to see where the game was nowadays. How is it doing? Where is it going?
I met with Executive Producer Matthew Pettit, who hooked me up with a character in-game for some high-level Arkfall hunting while we talked about recent updates and future plans for the open-world MMO shooter.
“I can tell you it’s going to be a very exciting year for Defiance,” Pettit told me. And after listening and playing, I think the game is definitely worth keeping an eye on — or maybe even jumping in right now.
Curious about Shroud of the Avatar but not curious enough to drop money on the title first? Now you can try it out and save your cash, as the game is holding another free trial event through September 27th. For the developers, it provides a valuable opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t work in the current new player experience and how the servers handle stress. For you, it’s… well, it’s a chance to try out the game without buying it.
Naturally, your options are fairly limited in the free trial; you have no ability to own land, you can’t buy or sell items by player vendors, you can’t PvP, you can’t trade items, you can’t use the letter “j” in your name, and so forth. (All right, that last one isn’t true.) But if you’d like a taste for what the game is like, well, it’s still the most free option to find out that you’re likely to get. Jump on in before September 27th if you’re curious; just make an account, download the game, and get going.
Although I’d recently played a bit of Dauntless, I was looking forward to my hands-on at PAX West. That’s because I was primed to see — and hopefully face — a new behemoth. I also spoke with Phoenix Labs’ Encounter Designer Reid Buckmaster about development, reception of the game at the convention, plans moving forward, and of course, behemoths.
One of the unique aspects of fighting behemoths is the fact that you can break off physical pieces of the boss to weaken them and score specific loot. Currently in the beta, there are around a dozen different behemoths, according to Buckmaster, but each of those has different variants between easier tutorial ones, the base versions, and then hard versions that include different attacks and attack patterns. “All told with the variants we have I believe it’s 27 different versions of encounters in Dauntless right now,” he said. “Every encounter has a little something new to encounter.”
City of Titans studio Missing Worlds Media has just posted a recap of its presentation at last week’s PAX West and a status update on the game.
“For City of Titans, our remaining goals for this year (2017) are to deliver the pre-Alpha for testing, and that we would be finally delivering the Second Chance promised back during our Kickstarter,” the studio’s Nathaniel “Doctor Tyche” Downes reports. “The pre-Alpha release has taken us longer than other games due to our compartmentalized approach to development. It works for us in that we have fewer roadblocks due to our distributed nature of development, but the drawback is that as we integrate, we will find new bugs and challenges to overcome. That’s what testing is for, and once delivered, our progress will continue apace.”
The “second chance,” he says, will allow folks who didn’t Kickstart the City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG years ago an opportunity to do just that, as well as to take another crack at the original Kickstarter rewards. Some of them, anyway.
Need a diversion to keep you from getting too productive in your work or school life? Perfect World Entertainment is here for you, because if there’s one thing that company knows, it’s how to pump out events in its games. And lockboxes. Events and lockboxes.
Star Trek Online has a new red alert coming up with Season 14: Emergence. When the patch hits, groups of five players can answer the call to stop the Tzenkethi from bombing planets into extinction. Seriously, what is their deal? Get a hobby already. May we suggest playing MMOs?
Over at Neverwinter, a solo PvP queue event is running through September 14th. It’s a good way for players to find a more balanced PvP experience, especially if they’re tired of being steamrolled by premades.