MMORPGs are massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, our core focus here on Massively OP. MMORPGs are traditionally differentiated from mere multiplayer games by their persistent worlds, massive playerbases and/or servers, customizable character development, and always-online status. [Follow the MMORPG category’s RSS feed]
Last week Daybreak pulled a switcheroo (or more accurately, didn’t switch!), keeping the Felwith map in EQII’s new Proving Grounds instead of changing. But Massively OP’s MJ wanted pirates, and she still wants pirates. Today, she gets pirates! She’s heading back in to the sure-to-be punishing instance to show off the second map in this new feature. How far will her group get this time? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for a look at the Battle on the High Seas.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017
Enjoy the show!
The second expansion for Final Fantasy XIV
is bringing more than just new abilities; it’s also bringing an extensive set of changes for existing abilities and classes. Yesterday’s live letter
covered the changes in brief, including the various job gauges for each job and the new role-specific actions for tanks, healers, and all three types of DPS. But perhaps you’d prefer to see these things in action? You can do exactly that with the latest job ability trailer and screenshots of the same just below.
The letter also revealed that PvP will be changed to have specific job layouts for PvP, with a small selection of traits and abilities replacing the existing system of PvP ranks and improvements. Players will also have access to jumping potions starting on June 16th, with one potion allowing you to level a specific job to 60 instantly and another allowing you to flag all of the MSQ as cleared up through Heavensward. Both will cost $25, so you can use them to speed your way to being ready for all of the new tricks shown below in Stormblood.
Hector is coming! That’s not a person’s name; it’s the name of an update in Albion Online, so you can spare yourself getting a cake ready and all of that. But there’s still a fair bit to do with the update, since Hector brings the introduction of the game’s Black Market as well as revised Hellgates and Outlands for players to explore. The Black Market allows you to sell items which will then be resold to enemies around the world as drops, so you can get rid of that unwanted sword and let someone else pick it up unexpectedly after fighting a beetle.
Outlands are seeing their harbors and cities removed (which means players will need to retrieve items stored there before the patch), replaced with portals that allow quick travel in and out. Resources and watchtowers are being tweaked to allow all players access to the region while maintaining a sense of danger. Hellgates, meanwhile, have a new map layout, new minions and mechanics, and new tiers of difficulty for various players. You’ll be able to try all of this yourself on June 7th, so make sure to grab items from the Outlands settlements before then.
Even superheroes like to look their best.
The Ship of Heroes team announced that it just finished updating the game’s graphic engine to Unreal Engine 4.14.3, which will give the devs some shiny new toys to integrate into the upcoming sci-fi MMO. The update was not to the Unreal Engine’s latest build, as the devs prefer to stay a step behind so as to work with a trusted and stable version.
“What does this mean for the Ship of Heroes team?” the devs asked. “Well, we’d like to highlight one particularly helpful new feature: in 4.14, Epic has added a tool which enables developers to generate lower level of detail (LOD) variations for static meshes with a few clicks. It sounds simple, but this is a big time-saver for artists who no longer have to spend time creating those lower-detail LODs manually. ”
As a bonus, these LOD variation buildings have a fraction of the polygon count of the original structures, offering faster load time and smoother playfield rendering.
Just when you think the MMO industry is predictable, it jukes and jags all over the place, tossing out surprises left and right in an attempt to shake you off its tail (or to pull you in, we haven’t decided on that one yet). Marking one of the most unpredictable news weeks of 2017, Bree and Justin ride out westerns, space operas, and fantasies with aplomb.
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.
Listen to the show right now:
Remember when real-time strategy games were all the rage and not games where you did weird things with dino poop to stay alive? Insane Unity does, which is why the studio is building a MMORTS called Win That War.
“The heart of the Win That War experience lies in a massively multiplayer online campaign, in which opposing factions wage merciless war to conquer territories at planetary scale,” the team explains. Players join up with one of three retro-futuristic factions to conquer the galaxy one planet at a time.
Win That War just launched on Steams early access and includes a PvE mode for those who would rather beat up a computer than a fellow gamer. The game’s not free to check out, alas; it costs $20 to purchase at this stage of testing. Check out the trailer after the break!
update is live in the game today
as promised. The big draw is the faction war for level 40+ characters, along with what My.com has dubbed “Inner Demon Trials,” which are not an existential test but are in fact small-group portal dungeons. Yeah, strange demon portals, what could go wrong?
“The update introduces a full-scale Guild versus Guild tournament, a new ice cold battleground and exciting new trials for adventurers to test themselves in. Situated at the top of the world, the Snowpine Peak Battleground unfolds a new chapter in the faction war between two known races in Nuanor. The feathered Wingar and the furry Ursids are at each other’s throat and it is up to each player to select a faction and jump in to determine the outcome!”
Get caught up with the launch trailer, which we’ve tucked down below.
It is reasonable to assume that anyone who has spent a bit of time playing MMOs is familiar with the basic concept of passive powers. They’re powers you don’t click to operate, they just… work. But Crowfall is taking the concept a bit further with its passive powers, as players will start with a variety of passives from race, class, and any disciplines chosen. At this time, three can be slotted, but these powers are not limited to selections like beating things up with more power.
For example, are you just starting to gather? You can equip gathering passives which will allow you to gather more resources when you’re just starting out. Have an otherwise great weapon with an awful power cost modifier? Equip a passive to drop your power costs again and balance it out. Invested a lot of points in leadership? Equip the Group Leadership skill and unlock powerful buffs as long as you’re in the lead of the party. It’s a multi-faceted system, in other words, and there should be no shortage of interesting combinations to build for dedicated players.
With the move to put The Secret World in maintenance mode and shift focus to the rebooted Secret World Legends, one MMO blogger decided that it was time to say goodbye to his stable of characters by logging each of them out in meaningful locations.
“It is now clear that The Secret World’s days are numbered,” Tyler of Superior Realities writes. “I have decided to say goodbye to the game while I still can, conducting a final tour of some of my favourite parts of the game and finding thematically appropriate ways to retire my many characters. And taking an unhealthy number of screenshots.”
I’ve seen others do this sort of thing, especially when an MMO ends, and it almost never fails to be touching and profound. These games meant something to us, and when we say farewell, it can be an emotion-laden funeral for time well spent.
Join us today as we tour around other essays from the MMO blogosphere, including an examination of class customization, musings on SWTOR’s road map, and a balloon ride in World of Warcraft.
“Destiny 2 tells a brand-new story. What happens when a world full of superheroes loses their powers, their history, and their home?”
The big almighty reset button is coming to the Destiny franchise with its sequel, and in a new gameplay video, the devs show off snippets of the title while setting the scene for the story to come. A new villain, Dominus Gal, arrives in the solar system with his Red Legion, looking to take the Light away from Guardians. Players begin the game stumbling, shorn of their abilities, and without a friendly base to protect them.
Reclaiming your powers and taking back the City is the overarching goal of Destiny 2. “It’s a fresh start for all players,” promised the team.
Check it out after the break!
Turns out that a fifth of you are already deep in The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind head start early access period thanks to your having preordered the game on PC. You are dismissed from reading, though you might want to listen up anyway to learn just when the masses (another fifth of you) will be joining you in Vvardenfell: It’s June 6th as planned, at 5 a.m. EDT in the morning. Yes, the literal crack of dawn (or earlier!) for those of us here in the US, and smack in the middle of the work day for Europeans. And yes, there will be a “maintenance period” for consoles ahead of the launch.
“Retailers worldwide will allow players to purchase the game and pick-up pre-orders in advance to allow for pre-loading,” ZeniMax noted today. “In North America, customers will be able to pick-up ESO: Morrowind on the evening of June 5, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern time. In Europe, the game will be available when retail stores open on the morning of June 6.” Check out the map to figure out when to set your wakey-wakey alarm!
What would a western MMORPG be like if it didn’t include the classic saloon? A darn poor game, that’s what. Fortunately, Wild West Online confirmed that these taverns will be part of the game, although it’s uncertain what features they will offer.
“Wild West Online is going to have saloons,” the team said on Facebook. “Rootin’ tootin’ saloons. That much we all know. While we have our own ideas that we’re developing and working on for what actually goes on in those saloons, we want to know what the community at large wants to see. Will there be gambling, drinking, music, dames, brawling… what?”
Another small reveal this week was that Wild West Online will ship with three biomes, with more variety and larger maps to come as the game is expanded post-launch. Check out concept art of these saloons and biomes below!
Improbable keeps popping up in news stories relating to MMOs lately — that’s thanks to SpatialOS, what the company is calling a “distributed computing platform for building large virtual worlds for gaming.” The platform is now in use on MMOs from Identity and Worlds Adrift to Chronicles of Elyria and Metaworld; its most recent partnership was announced last week with RuneScape studio Jagex, and it’s already working with Google to bring the tech to “hundreds” of developers.
GI.biz has a great interview out with Improbable CEO Herman Narula today that illuminates what the team worth over a billion bucks (an extrapolation based on the fact that Japan’s SoftBank’s half a billion dollar investment bought less than a 50% stake in the company) is focused on. It turns out it’s mostly video games — but it’s also bigger than video games.
“Our long-term objectives, and it is long-term, is to literally create other worlds,” explains Narula. “Not just in the context of gaming, but in the context of being able to solve really important problems. This core problem of massive distributed systems and engaging large-scale virtual worlds, is as important and significant as AI or space travel. It is just as important for the future of what our experience will be like as human beings in the world, and how we are going to solve some of the most pressing problems that we have. […] A lot of people just can’t believe that we think games are important. They are incredibly important and they’re going to be more important. Hypothetically, one day, if 100m, or 1bn, people entered simultaneously into a virtual world, that would cease to be a game, that would be a country.”