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]
Virtual landsapes are made up of thousands of tiles that are shaped and forged into landmarks and obstacles. The first steps to making Em8er’s alien world are complete, as the art team has produced some ground tiles to use in the making of the zones.
“Em-8ER is a icy/volcanic world. Volcanoes with lava flows exist next to freezing snow and ice. The idea was inspired by the moon Io, which orbits Jupiter, and the fire and ice terrain of Iceland and part of Russia,” the team posted. “To create the look, we first had to create some terrain textures that would let us have snow, ice, volcanic rock, lava and snow/rock combinations.”
Wherever there is trouble, Manastu Utakata will be there to fight it with her lightning-fast screenshot button and trademark pink hair. Villains, start running right now! The pink is coming for you and it will never, ever give up until you are six feet under the ground (in your hidey hole, shaking in your boots because you never saw it coming).
Pink: It’s what’s for winners.
As we rebuild our One Shots catalogue from the ruins of Livefyre, let us be blinded by the neon colors of WildStar and dye all of our hair pink in honor of a certain famous pig-tailed commenter.
I’ve been thinking about balance a lot. We all say that we’d like a balanced game, but there are a lot of different potential meanings behind “balanced.” Final Fantasy XI, for example, is balanced around the idea that every single job has a roughly equivalent pool of tricks. That means that classes like Red Mage and Blue Mage are considered balanced because Red Mage is more flexible and has access to more tricks constantly… despite the fact that Blue Mage, in every practical sense, is better at doing everything and is far more desirable in content.
By contrast, World of Warcraft is fond of across-the-board balance changes wherein a given class or spec gets 20% higher damage or 20% lower damage. The problem with that form of balancing is that it doesn’t really address tricks (or lack thereof), and a 20% damage drop just makes a spec 20% worse, while a 20% increase doesn’t make a bad rotation any more fun to play. You could also balance things by trying to tune or adjust specific abilities… but that runs the risk of having a cascade effect or having no effect at all, and sometimes you remove or weaken an ability that isn’t really at the heart of any power issues.
In short, any approach has issues. But what do you think, readers? What form of balance is best for MMOs?
Shards Online’s latest newsletter is homing in on the game’s Steam launch. The game hit always-on alpha back in January, but now it’s eyeing plans for backer head-start on Steam — everyone who’s pledged ahead of the close of crowdfunding will be guaranteed a week-long early access period before the launch. The servers will be wiped, note, but backers will get a refund of their loyalty points to spend again and keep their loyalty titles to boot.
Citadel Studios also says that it’s waiving the NDA for the game’s normal client (not for the experimental client, though). The main alpha client’s most recent hotfix included stability and lag fixes, plus improvements to the pet system, AI, and PvP balance, as well as a new sunken treasure system for fishermen.
Early access is for chumps. If you really want to be in on the ground floor, you need to land yourself a spot on the development team so that you can experience early, early access. Of course, that takes years of work, possible relocation, and actual skill, so let’s explore the next best thing, which is to watch the devs play the game while you drool a bit in envy.
Speaking of which, the team at Valiance Online is definitely enjoying the game’s alpha client, as evidenced by several of the videos posted on the official forums. For the low, low price of clicking a button, you can see these superheroes in action, combat, leveling, the user interface, and other various mechanics.
Kakao is a major company in South Korea with over 5000 employees and its fingers in many pies, from a major instant messaging app and taxi service to online music distribution. But around here, we know it best for its stewardship of MMORPG Black Desert. The company’s recent financial report covering the fourth quarter of 2016 suggests Black Desert did well indeed when it launched in the west — a story we don’t often hear.
In fact, Kakao touts Black Desert as one of the major factors in its games division reported 63% year-over-year revenue increase and 19% quarter-over-quarter revenue increase (the other being mobile game publishing, which has been its forte since the 2014 corporate merger). Fans of the game in the west don’t have much to fear, is what we’re saying.
He’s the fastest man alive, and so it only makes sense that DC Universe Online
would have an appreciation weekend for the Flash that shows up in the blink of an eye. The Flash Appreciation Weekend is running right now, and it ends on February 12th
; you’d better act fast, or you’ll miss it. Fortunately, there’s not much you need to do, as just logging in will award Members with the Flash cowl costume piece. Not a member? That’s all right; becoming one this weekend will also
award you the costume piece.
You can also earn the Flash base pack just for logging in regardless of whether or not you’re a member, and everyone can take part in the Flash Selfie Sweepstakes. Take a selfie of your character with any version of the Flash, upload it to Twitter, and maybe you’ll win some cash for the game. Just make sure to hurry it up; you don’t have that much time.
If you were sad as I was that The Elder Scrolls Online’s
Homestead housing patch this past week didn’t offer much for the provincial Morrowind fan, take heart: ZeniMax
was as expected just holding back the good stuff for the Morrowind
release. Spoilers follow!
Russian fan site ElderScrolls.net managed to get its hands on a leaked Game Informer article (Game Informer is owned by Gamestop) covering the Morrowind expansha-chapter, complete with some gorgeous images of what is clearly some of the iconic cities on Vvardenfell, from the towering mushroom towers of the Telvanni east coast and the sandstone Hlaalu dwellings to the Velothi cantons of Vivec and thatched-roof construction of the Bitter Coast. In fact, if you squint, you can see scaffolding surrounding parts of Vivec and what appears to be Balmora’s canals. I don’t spy any Redoran shells!
There are a few interesting tidbits in the translation, including the fact that there are five great houses (plus one) in play during this time period (presumably the extras are Indoril, Dres, and Dagoth) and the fact that there’s a quest to become a skooma drug lord. See, mom, memorizing Morrowind lore did come in handy some day.
Check out the shots below!
We were remarking in the Massively OP office the other day how weird it was that Club Penguin’s shutdown was getting mainstream news attention in a way that many more important and long-running titles (Asheron’s Call anyone?) were not. One reason why this might be, apart from its Disney connection, is that for some players, Club Penguin was their introduction to online worlds and they still retain a strong emotional connection because we tend to fondly remember our first everythings. Never underestimate nostalgia!
MMORPGs as we know them today weren’t really around when I was growing up, but I have no doubt that many of our readers cut their teeth on titles at a much younger age. How young were you when you played your first MMO? Was it a kiddie title like Wizard101 or an all-ages pick like World of Warcraft? Were you one of those who picked up RuneScape because it was free and you didn’t have access to your parents’ credit cards?
Nexon released its Q4 2016 and full-year 2016 financial results today, painting a mixed picture for the quarter and year: Revenues are down slightly year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter, but the company’s portfolio performed better than expected all the same thanks to “robust performance of key titles primarily in China and Korea” and depreciation of the Yen.
Of note for the western market is plenty more content on the way for 2003 MMO MapleStory, a 2017 launch for LawBreakers, and of course, production on Titanfall Online. HIT is also apparently doing better than expected. Just 11% of Nexon’s revenue is generated by countries other than China, Japan, and Korea.
The extended beta for Albion Online gives the developers time to add more to the game. For example, when the Galahad patch goes live, players will be able to explore completely revamped cities! Not partially vamped, either, they had no vamps before and now they’ve been re-vamped. (We might not know exactly what that means.) There’s also the upcoming expedition system, which is… instanced PvE dungeons, but don’t call them that, probably.
Other beta news? Oh, sure, we’ll do that for you. Because we’re friends and all.
- The closed beta for Dragon Nest 2 is recruiting now, although there’s no word on when exactly it starts. Or much hope for onlookers from this side of the pond, as it really does require Korean players. But it’s moving forward, that’s something.
- CBT3 for Revelation Online has come to an end, with the open beta around the corner. How far around the corner? We don’t know. Of course, considering that name reservations go live on February 14th, we can certainly speculate.
- Crowfall was all ready to go with its Templar setup, demonstrating the animations and everything. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a little longer, as the planned test on February 10th was cancelled. The sadness, she is overwhelming.
- Want to see a bit of Ashes of Creation in action? You can check out the first glance inside one of the game’s dungeons right now. Per legal agreements, there will be no puns about how the ice-themed dungeon “looks cool,” intentional or otherwise.
- Cloud Pirates is hitting that most special of all times, early access! It even includes a new gameplay mode, so you can’t be mad. (Is that how the rules work? You can’t be mad if you get extra stuff too? Someone should check on that.)
Rather calm week, yes? Don’t blame us, most of us were buried under snow. There’s still a nice full list just below, though, but you never know when some of these games might have hopped test phases without us realizing it. We do our best to track the offenders down, but if we miss someone, would you be kind enough to let us know down in the comments? Thanks.
While Project Gorgon is not going to implement a permadeath mode any time soon, the team has put in some tools to allow players to operate their own hardcore challenges.
In response to a discussion on the forums about permadeath, the team quickly added a new feature that will keep track of player activities in the game as a means of proof if someone wanted to show that, for example, they had not died yet or bought any items from the vendors.
“I spent a few hours adding a new command to the game. It’s undocumented right now, because it’s untested and pretty bare-bones — but if you’re interested in challenge contests, I’m hoping you can help test it and figure out how to improve it,” Eric Heimburg posted. “The idea is that after the challenge ends, you can take a screenshot of the output of this command, and post it on the forums as your ‘proof’ that you participated without breaking whatever rules the challenge had.”
One thing is for certain these days: Standing Stone Games
really wants your business and loyalty, and it is not above a little bribery to ensure it.
Similar to how the studio gave out a free horse to all Lord of the Rings Online players, Standing Stone is gifting Dungeons and Dragons Online players with a free copy of Asheron’s Call. What, too soon? Actually, the studio is delivering a level 20 hireling to all VIP players who log in between now and March 13th.
The Alabaster Lioness Figurine of Wondrous Power (yes, that’s its actual name) can be summoned at level 18, can be brought out practically anywhere, counts as a party member, and has a contract that never expires. And it’s yours for the taking, even if you have to deliberately choose to sub up this month to get it.