Bossa Studios‘ new Worlds Adrift title already seemed rather ambitious. With a recent dev blog, though, the studio admitted to the lofty goal of retooling the “mightily stagnant” massively multiplayer online genre. How does a small indie plan to “reboot a genre as entrenched and monolithic as MMOs?”
Well, for starters, Worlds Adrift has kicked XP and leveling to the curb, along with other time-honored MMO fun bastions like grinding, spawn-camping, and scripts. Instead, the title focuses on “exploration, knowledge, skill-based gameplay, ecosystems that live, breathe, and grow […] and the ability for players to change and build as they well please.”
NPC critters will feed, grow, mate, and reproduce, Bossa says, which is a far cry from the static spawn pops in other MMORPGs. Even harvesting is getting an extreme makeover, apparently. “Cut down a tree the wrong way and it will fall on your head. Push it the other direction and watch it fall over and kill a creature or enemy,” the company writes. “Cut it down into a log and roll it downhill to run over everyone in its path. You name it. No two sessions of gathering materials are ever the same, and you better be prepared for the unexpected.”
Skyforge North American producer Aaron “Legatus” Biedma has penned a new producer letter that’s posted on the game’s official website. Biedma says that he recently returned from a meeting with the Allods Team, and that “a vast amount of very constructive feedback” was taken from the western community and presented to Skyforge’s Russian devs.
While Biedma steers clear of specifics in most instances, he does mention that PvE and PvP class balance changes are in the works, as are event tweaks and additional PvP modes.
The long and checkered history of Darkfall has taken an interesting turn thanks to Darkfall: New Dawn, a project that aims to reboot the fledgling sandbox title “into a medieval fantasy EVE Online with an amazing combat system.”
A group of former Darkfall players has formed a company called Ub3rgames which is currently attempting to negotiate a licensing deal with original publisher Aventurine. Assuming success, the company’s website estimates between six and nine months of development prior to launch. It aims to avoid the safe zones and classes introduced in Darkfall’s Unholy Wars reboot, and it also says that it will incentivize “positive interactions to make Darkfall more than a gankbox.”
New Dawn will feature a box price, a monthly subscription, and it will not have a cash shop, though some sort of PLEX-like game time object is planned.
Are you of the mind that Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade jumped into alpha a little bit too early? A new state of the game dispatch from the development team explains that having the game in its current alpha testing isn’t slowing down design but is instead helping to train the team for the future development environment on a live title. Players can start finding bugs and the developers can start refining systems earlier by keeping a small team on live updates while most of the team works on the larger developments.
Keeping a single map in rotation at the moment is meant to have a similar impact, with players fully exploring and refining one map before the next one enters the playspace. A more robust lineup is planned for the future after the designers know they have several polished maps. It makes the current rotation a bit bland if you don’t like the map, but hopefully the final result will make the game more fun to play.
Daybreak Executive Creative Director Jens Andersen admitted on Reddit that PlanetSide 2 isn’t doing as well as it should: “The game is really struggling, and it isn’t just on PS4 to be honest, and we are actively looking at things that can try and help change that in the short term. I hope everyone will be open minded that in order for the game to have a bright future and be supported it needs to not only retain people but find ways to generate revenue to support the team’s efforts.”
This comment was part of an overall AMA for the studio’s newest lead. Andersen talked about many topics in the discussion, including one small detail about Daybreak’s secret game. “The unannounced title I came up with,” Andersen said.
As we’ve reported previously, Funcom’s financials aren’t in the best of shape, and as of this morning, the company is appealing to its bondholders to lend a hand in keeping the studio running.
The studio has summoned its bondholders to a meeting on October 26th in which they will vote on a proposal to reduce the conversion rate of each bond and extend the bonds’ maturity date for a year, giving Funcom more time to pay its debts. “The proposed amendments are intended to provide cash relief to Funcom N.V. in 2015 to allow for sufficient working capital,” the summons stated.
Funcom’s stocks have slid sharply in the wake of this news. You can read the relevant quote from the bondholders’ meeting summons after the break.
A whole bunch of Star Citizen-related stuff happened this past weekend, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do since I missed it on account of my vacation. One thing I did notice was the A-list cast for Squadron 42, and while I’ve never been one for cutscenes or actors in my MMOs (I’ll make my own story, thank you very much), it’s hard to argue with Luke Skywalker, Commissioner Gordon, and Agent Scully.
Of course, Squadron 42 isn’t really an MMO; it’s the single-player prelude to Star Citizen’s MMO-like persistent universe. Creator Chris Roberts has likened it to the original Wing Commander gameplay experience plus a bunch of modern bells and whistles, but since it’s not really multiplayer, I’m wondering how popular it will be with MOP’s audience. How about it, friends? Assuming that you’re interested in Star Citizen, will you also be playing Squadron 42?
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. See any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we get an in-depth look at Skyforge’s newest raid, a 10th anniversary for Silkroad Online, new ships for Star Trek Online, and more!
I really enjoy being a guest on Larry Everett‘s video series Massively Opinionated, a series in which MMO enthusiasts answer some tough questions and argue the case for their answer to trump the other guests’ submissions. On each episode, Larry asks his guests to design their own MMO based on certain prerequisites or criteria. It’s a really fun question in which the answers are only limited by the question parameters and the panelists’ imaginations, so it’s not surprising that it’s my favourite question type on the show.
On one particular episode of Massively Opinionated, we were asked to design a sticky MMO that really grips players for a prolonged period of time. For that question, two of the three given answers looked to non-MMO IPs to bring something fresh and compelling to the genre that would optimise player retention rates. Ever since that episode, I’ve been mulling over how unique non-MMO IPs carry the potential to bring new, exciting mechanics to the genre.
I’ve sat on this idea for some time while I’ve mulled over which specific mechanics could potentially be derived from some well-known and loved IPs, and in this edition of MMO Mechanics I’m finally ready to put those thoughts down on figurative paper for you lovely readers. I’ve thought through three examples of IPs that could add something unique to the genre, but there’s so much unexplored possibility for the future of MMOs that I’m sure you could think of so many more. Don’t forget to scroll down to the comments to add your own thoughts.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Divergence Online landed on Steam Greenlight, bolstering its ongoing Indiegogo campaign by rocketing to #15 on the platform’s Greenlight list. The developer has vowed to push out daily patches and reminded Steam voters that “any contribution at or above $30 on [the Indiegogo platform] means you already get a free copy of the game when it’s released on Steam. You don’t have to ‘re-buy’ anything.”
Read on for Divergence’s latest alpha 3 video and our roundup of the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news.
RuneScape’s customer service team has lined up for its very own horn-tooting infographic, and if the stats are accurate, the team deserves those toots.
According to the infographic released yesterday, the sandbox game employs 41 mods who’ve helped 420,000 players helped in the last year, nuked 1.4 million bots, moderated 4.8 billion lines of chat (“more than double the lines of code needed for all Google services,” Jagex claims), and tackled 82,000 bug reports.
We’ve included the whole image below.
Computer RPG players in the late ’80s and early ’90s were surely familiar with Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI) and its now-famous Gold Box series. The series, so named because of their distinctive gold packaging, ran on a solid engine that helped the company churn out over a dozen titles within a five-year span. From Pool of Radiance to Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, these titles quickly became revered among the gaming community. I personally have very fond memories of playing both Buck Rogers titles, which is probably why I dated very little in high school.
While the Gold Box series has not become as timeless or replayable as late ’90s classics like Baldur’s Gate and Fallout, they definitely had a huge impact on the PC scene and helped elevate the CRPG genre. Following the Gold Box engine, SSI went on to produce another engine that it used for a completely new series set in the D&D campaign setting of Dark Sun. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (1993) and Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager (1994) were both modest hits, and when it came time for a third game in the series, SSI decided to make the leap to the then-untested realm of online gaming.
The good news is that Camelot Unchained will indeed be hitting the shores of the land of betas. The bad news? It’s not going to be until next year, presumably before the end of the winter. Hopefully you weren’t planning to do that, like, this weekend.
Other beta news that arrived at our doorstep coated in slime and precious stones:
Oh, and there is a long list of titles just past the break, some of which you might not be aware of. Did something swap testing states without our noticing? Let us know in the comments!