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]
Practically every MMO on the market today has had to contend with botting and the range of issues that come with it, and EVE Online
has always been a favoured target for bots. EVE
‘s slow pace of gameplay and predictable PvE activities make it ideal for automation, and the nature of a persistent sandbox is that more time spent farming resources and currency will always be better. The issue seems to have escalated in recent months since the free-to-play upgrades expanded the range of ships and modules available to free users, and the community has been pushing CCP heavily for progress.
A team of bot-hunting players made the news last month when they took down eight ridiculously expensive supercarriers being controlled by bots, exposing just how big the scale of the problem is. The EVE security team responded with a ban wave hitting over 1,800 bot accounts in January and promises that they are “coming for the bots,” but one expert admitted in a recent interview that the war on bots may never be won. So just how difficult is it to tackle botting in EVE Online, and what could CCP do to improve things?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the difficulties in detecting and shutting down botters, how extensive botting may be in nullsec, and some things developers might have to do in order to solve the problem.
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 RuneScape, TERA, EVE Online, World of Warships Blitz, Path of Exile, PUBG, Final Fantasy XIV, Vainglory, Path of Exile, and MU Legend, all waiting for you after the break!
The Atropal boss in Neverwinter
is not something you want to run into in a dark alley. Heck, it’s probably not something you want to run into anywhere, for any reason, at any point in time. It is a pretty disturbing-looking monstrosity, that’s the point here. And there’s a whole development blog available now about how the boss was designed
, so if you’re wondering how a boss gets from its concept art (which may have just been a used tissue) to a finished model, it’s well worth a read.
You’ll also learn something about how skeletons and rigs work in the game, as the Atropal is based off of a heavily modified human male skeleton. Yes, it’s very different, but all of the fundamental parts work, so it’s just a matter of tweaking limb size appropriately and giving it a truly disgusting appearance. If you like reading up on how bosses get put together, it’s well worth an examination.
Does it matter how many people are playing your MMO? For some, yes, it does. It’s at least of passing interest to others, especially if players are looking for a “healthy” title or want a large number with which to impress their friends and argue that this MMO is besting another.
So don’t be too surprised that there is an effort to figure out what Guild Wars 2’s (undisclosed) population is at the moment. In An Age challenges one community estimate of 3.3 million players by looking at the available evidence and financial reports.
“Here’s my gut check: Guild Wars 2 probably has about 1.5 million monthly ‘players’ and many times less people who actually log on when there isn’t a holiday event/Living Story taking place,” he argues. “Ultimately though, I think Guild Wars 2 is actually uniquely well-positioned to survive regardless of whether it consists of a million actives or three million tourists.”
Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.
Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”
Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.
My primary servers on World of Warcraft are easy to spot, because they both have a dozen characters on them. Then there are a few other servers with single characters left there. These are characters I haven’t played in years, characters I no longer wish to play, but ones I keep around just because. Some of them just look really unexpectedly nice, some of them have the advantage of familiarity, and one of them is an Orc Warrior named Grignr.
If you don’t understand why that’s important, a bit of searching will explain.
Anyhow, none of these characters factor into my playing or overall plans; they’re just characters I can’t bring myself to discard. So what about you, dear readers? Are there MMO characters you don’t want to play but also can’t bring yourself to delete? The sort that will forever sit there, unneeded for play, but making you happy by their mere continued existence in some small way?
Is there room enough in this industry for another self-proclaimed hardcore, old school MMORPG with all of the PvP fixins? Russian-based Atlant Games is betting that there is, as it’s deep in development with a medieval title called Reign of Guilds.
A cross between a kingdom simulator and a guild sieges, Reign of Guilds thrust players into a fantasy realm where they will vie for power, control, and territory. It’s all hard edges here, with full corpse looting, non-target combat, friendly fire, and the tantalizing possibility of clawing your way to the top to become the realm’s king.
Reign of Guilds has 10 months of development under its belt and is already wielding a prototype that has a few dozen players testing it. The studio said that it plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign for it in the future.
Gamevil’s mobile spinoff of ArcheAge, ArcheAge Begins, pumped out its fourth content update this past week. The focus this time around was the debut of the Regional Championship, a 4v4 PvP arena.
By participating in the championship, players can fight cross-server as they claw, blast, and power their way to the top of the rankings. This championship is an evolution of the established annihilation mode.
Right now, Gamevil is running a pre-season event with prizes for the server that places first from now through February 19th. All players on the winning server will receive 1,000 gems and an ancient rune selection ticket regardless of participation.
Source: Press release
Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately? That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing!
In this special pirate edition of the column, we’ll be visiting the fates ‘n’ fortunes of Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Puzzle Pirates. Yo ho!
If studio job postings get your blood pumping with the thoughts of what could be, here are a couple of tantalizing tidbits that perhaps hint at future development.
Legends of Aria developer Citadel Studios posted a job listing for both a digital marketing specialist and a game programmer. By the way, if you happen to be testing Aria right now, you should know that the NDA was lifted earlier this week.
Nexon — which you may have heard of — put out a notice with the hopes of recruiting a game director for its Nexon OC Studio. The specific game in question was not mentioned, although the description does ask for candidates that have worked on previous AAA titles.
If that last post sounds a little familiar, perhaps it is because you are remembering that former WildStar and World of Warcraft developer Stephen Frost went to work as a game director at Nexon OC last year.
One of the features that captivates and draws players to Project Gorgon is the quirky indie MMO’s design of infusing the game with a wide and bizarre assortment of skills that you don’t typically see in other online RPGs. After all, this is a game that includes such skills as Flower Arrangement, Beast Speech, Psychology, Civic Pride, Holistic Wellness, Poetry Appreciation, and Howling.
It has me excited because I’ve grown tired of what I see as a limited skill set that inhabits most combat-centric MMOs. I want games to remember their pen-and-paper roots and come up with skills that go beyond “the best and fastest way to murder.” And if that takes the form of poetry, then so be it.
If you were able to add skills to an MMO, what would they be? What skills would enhance your gameplay experience and make your title that much more interesting and immersive?
Massively OP’s Justin & MJ are delving into another DDO
adventure. They will be waging war against the Arzag-Khor tribe so that the hobgoblin Karnat Thaar can seize possession of the Tear of Dhakaan, an ancient relic from the Dhakaani Empire. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. take on this long quest.
What: Dungeons & Dragons Online
Who: Justin Olivetti & MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 16th, 2018 Read more
Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!
What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?
- Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
- Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
- Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
- Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
- Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
- Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
- Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
- Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
- Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.
We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.