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]
Secret World Legends
just pushed a new free update out to you: Tokyo: Beyond the Wall, better known as Tokyo part II
. The highlights for core players include the Fear Nothing Foundation content, a new emote UI, and the mission item inventory.
“Today, Funcom has launched Tokyo: Beyond the Wall, moving the story into an even more bizarre and frightening direction. In Secret World Legends, the city of Tokyo has been utterly devastated and large parts of it are under quarantine. In Tokyo: Beyond the Wall players must go even deeper into the apocalyptic city in search of answers. In this second Tokyo update, players will be able to explore vast new areas of the city. From the Kaidan Docks where something strange now creeps out from a derelict freighter, to the neon-bathed ‘Dream Hotel’ in downtown Tokyo which holds unimaginable secrets.”
Part III is still expected to launch “later this year.” The trailer is tucked down below!
Many moons ago, when I was first hired on Massively-that-was, my fellow hire at the time was a lady by the name of Rubi Bayer. We hit it off pretty well and became friends. She was also very excited about a title that had yet to come out at the time, a game by the name of Guild Wars 2. For those of you coming to this story without knowledge of names, she’s now working for ArenaNet on that exact same game, along with two other former writers from our staff, all of whom are people I consider friends of mine.
So perhaps it’s a bit odd that I’ve not played Guild Wars 2 since well before Heart of Thorns launched. I have some history with the game, but it’s never been one of my main titles. And now that I’m heading back into it for its second major expansion, I think it’s a fine time to walk back through my experiences there, what I hope to find, and also ask a few reader questions along the way. Because that’s how polls work, after all.
Now that Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC is live for testing on the PT
S, the spoilers have changed over from a trickle to roar, even from ZeniMax
itself. Today, the studio’s published an overview sort of guide to the six areas in the new zone, Sotha Sil’s creepy steampunk lair
“filled with mysterious automatons, fantastic sights, and hidden dangers.” Those would be:
- The Brass Fortress, the residential area where you can craft and gather in relative safety;
- The Mechanical Fundament, a “dangerous labyrinth is crawling with fabricants and single-minded factotums that won’t hesitate to sanitize the area of organic infestation (read: people)”;
- The Halls of Regulation, which ought to be a mundane water-and-air utility monitoring station but instead is a Delve for adventurers;
- The Shadow Cleft, a shadowy Daedric realm to Nocturnal that happens to have a portal inside the city;
- The Sanctuary of Verification, Sotha Sil’s lab and factory, which plays host to a world boss;
- and the Asylum Sanctorium, the sanitarium where you’ll end up if you go mad, plus the DLC’s new group dungeon.
The DLC is slated for later this year; while you don’t technically need to have purchased Morrowind to buy and play this DLC, it’d probably make a lot of sense to do so, as the plots are linked.
RuneScape announced yesterday a new promo that works in conjunction with its existing Treasure Hunter system. It’s a bit of a lockbox system, with the caveat that you can claim one to two keys to open said lockboxes for free every day just for logging in, depending on your sub status in the hybrid MMO. If you want more, then you have to buy them with cash.
The promotion, however, changes things up. “With every Key you use, you have a chance to earn a bonus prize on the Prize Pool interface at the top of the screen,” says Jagex. “Claim that extra prize immediately, or use more Keys to get a chance at more, rarer, prizes. Every Key you use will apply one of two actions: add an extra prize to your pool, or remove all prizes gathered so far from it. The longer you hold out without claiming, the more extra prizes you can claim and the rarer your prize pool collection will get. But be careful – you could lose it all!”
That’s prompted players who normally don’t find the treasure hunter lockboxes particularly problematic to flock to Reddit with a multitude of complaints ranging from accusations that the promo is rigged to concerns that the game is shamelessly promoting gambling to a game chiefly aimed at kids.
Players have long awaited the chance to make Sleipnir, the mount of the Dark Divinity Odin, soar through the skies in Final Fantasy XIV
. Sure, the horse in question is just a regular horse, but he also happens to be a horse for a primal. So it’s good news for owners of the mount that he will take to the skies with the release of patch 4.1
, while the Witch’s Broom will once again be able to cast spells on the ground as it could during its first holiday appearance. Who doesn’t like more ways to play with mounts?
But FFXIV isn’t just making horses fly; it’s also making numbers fly. The latest Square-Enix financial report notes that sales of Stormblood have massively increased income and profits, with the game reaching an all-time subscriber high following release (exact numbers are not disclosed). So everything gets to fly on upward, and you can rest assured that big expansion releases do, in fact, result in more sales.
Villagers & Heroes’ Starfall expansion officially launches today – a week earlier than originally planned. Who does that?! Mad Otter Games, that’s who. Indeed, the studio has declared it the biggest update ever for the cutesy sandpark MMO, and to top it all off? It’s free.
As we’ve previously reported, the expansion includes a reworked loot system, revamped talents, four new high-level zones, a level cap increase to 90, more character creation options, retooled crafting, tweaks to the UI, and more.
Cross-platform fans need also know that the game has an Android version already playable and an iOS version on the way later this fall, in addition to the existing Windows client and Steam edition. We’ve rounded up all our Starfall coverage, plus the expansion trailer, down below!
I have to admit to being a little on the fence about the whole Legends of Equestria project. On one hand, it looks like a spot-on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic production sans the name, and I admire fans who see a need going unfulfilled and go to such lengths to do what the IP owners do not.
On the other hand, I have a slight allergy to knock-offs (I never liked getting Go-Bots in the 1980s when Transformers were available) and it concerns me that all this work might be squashed if the IP owner decides to raise a legal fuss about it. I guess I would much rather have official products rather than fanfiction-made-MMOs, but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of that choice.
How do you feel about IP-knockoff MMO projects? Are they worth pursuing and playing, or should it be “official or bust?”
Apologies for being extensively absent from this column over the last few months! Every day the Massively OP offices are deluged with fan mail demanding, “Bring back Jukebox Heroes! Where is Jukebox Heroes? How can I survive without that epic MMO music to get me through the week?”
To which I can only mutter something about a classified mission to Paraguay, being adopted by a jaguar for six weeks, and subsequently finding myself co-starring with The Rock on his latest escapade. It’s all in the line of duty when you are an MMO reporter.
But I am back, and boy is there a lot of news to talk about this week! Let us catch up on the MMORPG music scene and see what is happening with Destiny 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online already!
Last month, we mentioned in passing an ancient anime MMO by Korean studio Entwell called NosTale, which Germany’s Gameforge apparently resurrected a while back. As of today, NosTale is even more easily accessible on this side of the Atlantic, as the studio’s now launched it on Steam proper. Gameforge is touting the game’s three classes, 28 specs, “extensive” pet system, and six-act storyline.
“The world of exciting anime online role-playing game NosTale is threatened by a dark menace. As Swordsman, Archer or Mage, the player must protect the vibrant village of NosVille and face the approaching dangers. The impressive pet system allows players to capture wild monsters and animals and then tame them. Battling aside, you can retreat to your Miniland. Here you can build a warehouse and decorate the garden with trees, plants and shrubs.”
It’s free-to-play on Steam right now, with 20% off sales on companions, mounts, and costumes, plus double-drop and double-gold events running into next week for those who jump in now.
The night unfurls before you and reveals itself once more. The small dev team behind the vampire MMO Dogma: Eternal Night put out a pretty interesting update this past week, informing fans that the game now has two new and essential systems. The team added combat in the form of brawling, and related to it, a limited form of character progression involving stats.
The team said that it is chucking hit points for fighting: “We rejected the idea of ‘health’ status bar and replaced it with ‘hunger,’ shown as a red bar in the UI. When wounded, the immortal being starts to heal itself, however this inevitably causes it to hunger […] If a vampire ends up in a situation where his body is consumed by hunger, and the Essence parameter is extremely low, he loses his ability to act and some of his attributes. He will need to get them back again, though at the moment it’s not that hard to do.”
Dogma: Eternal Night has raised $25,000 through crowdfunding, and as a result will be adding more options to the character creator. The team said that it is also working on better AI, another section of the city, and actual player missions.
Ultima Online isn’t considered the progenitor of the MMORPG genre for nothing: It’s closing in on 20 years of operation next week, to be celebrated at a real-life event outside of Washington, DC, this very weekend, with Broadsword devs and original Origin devs, including Richard Garriott and Starr Long, in attendance.
“The team and I are working hard to finish up the second part of Publish 98 which includes Holiday gifts, new Artisan Festival Rewards and new Veteran Rewards as well as several bug fixes,” Broadsword Producer Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong writes in this month’s newsletter. Some of those fixes revolve around the enhanced client, the current version of the upgraded client that Armstrong has said half of the playerbase uses; specifically, performance during live, studio-run roleplay events is an issue, both in terms of graphical effects and loot.
From the moon to Mad Max, Overwatch is keeping its playerbase on its toes as to the next destination for its endless battles. This week, Blizzard’s team shooter opened up the new Junkertown map for brutal carnage, giving the Aussies another reason to be proud (in addition to Yahoo Serious, dingo jokes, and pictures of abnormally large spiders posted on the internet).
Junkertown released today for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. According to the studio, it is “an escort map located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback. Constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it’s now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen.”
Because this is Blizzard, there is nothing low-key about this map’s release. The studio commissioned a new 10-page comic book to help set the stage, and there are a trio of videos waiting for you after the break with tales, dev talk, and an overview of Junkertown.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree saddle up for discussion on Wild West Online’s alpha, Star Citizen’s back-backlash on schedules, the miserable state of Phantasy Star Online 2, and more!
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.
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