MMORPG Category

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]

Neverwinter details the boss encounters of Fangbreaker Island

Dungeons are defined in part by their mechanics, and a good chunk of that is usually the boss fights. The next high-end dungeon in Neverwinter, Fangbreaker Island, is no different. But it will feel somewhat different than previous Neverwinter dungeons, as detailed in a new development entry on the official site, with a different set of bosses and a different design philosophy behind the boss encounters. Rather than using adds, all three bosses use phase transitions, new abilities, and positioning to create dynamic fights.

The first fight against a manticore will involve using the battlefield against you, while the second fight pits adventurers against a massive dragon turtle belching scalding steam. Capping things off is a fight against the giantess Drufi, wielding rune-covered weaponry and using powerful attacks to tear down the group. Check out video previews of all three bosses just below.

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Skyforge preps the Inghar Test Area for its next update

Skyforge is not short on challenges for its deities-in-training — but more is always better, right? With its next release, Relentless Onslaught, the sci-fi title will be introducing a new area tailored for brutal small-group content.

Five-player teams will be able to venture into the Inghar Test Area once the patch arrives. This area throws waves of enemies from various invasions at the team, with each tougher than the last. As if that’s not enough, each stage is timed and has specific objectives. If the team fails, it gets the boot and any rewards earned up to that point. The area also has a special mode for teams made up of players from the same pantheon.

“The further you go, the more impressive the rewards,” the devs teased. “Equipment items, credits, sparks and lots more await those strong enough to take them! However, those reaching the top of the ratings in the Inghar Test Area will receive the most rewards.”

Source: Skyforge

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Dual Universe: How many players can fit in one universe?

Dual Universe’s server-tech teaser trailer out this afternoon poses one simple question: How many players can fit in one universe? If you’re tired of the problems of sharded MMOs, then you’re going to like the developer’s response.

“The answer is limitless,” Novaquark’s PR declares.

The studio has promised a fuller dev diary on the game’s foundational tech tomorrow. The game hit the ground at E3 running, revealing itself as a builders-first sci-fi sandbox. A Kickstarter is planned for later this year.

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Pokemon Go: Corporate espionage, bots, and Uranium

There are a lot of unofficial Pokemon games out there on the internet, including MMOs, games that filled the gap Nintendo left. One such fan-made, non-profit title was called Pokemon Uranium. In development for nine years, it launched on August 6th… and has already closed down, or at least will stop distributing copies officially. In spite of seeing 1.5M downloads since launch, the developers wrote that they wanted to respect Nintendo’s wishes (though they hadn’t received any legal notices themselves). The game, however, is still functional for those who have copies, and it’ll keep on getting updates too.

Here’s what else happened in Pokemon Go over the weekend:

  • Volkswagen joins the roster of companies sending around internal memos to employees warning them not to play Pokemon Go — indeed, to strip it from their phones — lest they unwittingly engage in corporate espionage via location tracking, camera activation, and data sharing.
  • If you think bots cheapen the fun of Pokemon Go, cheer a little cheer: Polygon reports that in the wake of Niantic’s new FAQ, which states that players using bots or location spoofers will be banned, many of the larger bots are shutting themselves down voluntarily, even before a takedown notice has been received.

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Black Desert promises Awakening weapons ‘quite soon after GamesCom’

In response to a player requesting hints about when Black Desert’s Awakening weapon systems might drop, Kakao has dutifully produced a teaser.

“Not next week, but quite soon after GamesCom,” the company replied on Friday. The trade show begins this coming Wednesday. The game itself has most recently dominated headlines thanks to its rapidly pivoting business model; in fact, the MOP community were polled over the weekend about whether they believe a free-to-play conversion is imminent.

The Gamescom trailer’s tucked below.

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Wisdom of Nym: What I’d like to see (and probably won’t) in the next Final Fantasy XIV expansion

One of the things I do in this column, at times, is stomp on dreams. It’s not really an intended function, but it’s one of those things that I can’t help but do by the nature of the column. As I’ve said before, speculating about Final Fantasy XIV is about guessing what will most likely happen rather than what I necessarily want to happen, and that means sometimes that I have to say what you really want will probably not come to pass. Blue Mage? Probably not. No level cap increase? Unlikely to happen. Five dungeons per patch, completely new rather than hard modes? Yeah, I think the development team would die.

But I am not insensitive, and I am a creature of my own wants and wishes. My gaze of “unlikely to happen” does not solely extend to things that other people want. So here, then, are some things that I’m really hoping for with the next expansion that smart money would put in the “not going to happen” category. Fair’s fair, after all.

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Riders of Icarus plans ‘new banning initiative,’ will name and shame cheaters

Riders of Icarus’ latest producer’s letter makes a grim admission: “Since Head Start, Riders of Icarus has been riddled with spammers and bots.”

“We understand that you are wondering why we’re adding more content when many of you are still frustrated by bots and spammers operating throughout the game,” writes Nexon’s Han Sol Junger, apologizing for being insufficiently transparent. “I want you to know that our team is aware and cares deeply about the overall health of our community and our game. […] Our intent was to quietly clean out those who hurt our community, while providing you with the experience you deserve. We understand now that we must have more open communication with you about the actions we are taking on these important issues.”

Consequently, Nexon says it’s embarking on a “new banning initiative” to take out spammers, farmers, botters, and hackers. To date, over 5000 bad accounts have been actioned. The initiative will include new game masters to fight in-game exploits, a reporting tool for players to use, and an automated system for catching hackers. The team is working on a real-time chat filtering system to squash spammers as well.

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Chronicles of Elyria details the steps to world creation

How long would it take you to whip up an MMORPG world? That all depends, of course, on how detailed you want to get and the process that you take to make it. For the Chronicles of Elyria team, creating the titular world is a multi-step process that apparently involves procedural generation and perhaps a touch of sorcery.

Each of the game’s servers will feature its own world that will be shaped through both developer hand-crafting and computer assistance. Factors such as tectonic plates, wind erosion, humidity, watersheds, and the various biomes come into play in shaping the world. Once the world’s geography is set, then the lines of kingdoms and duchies are drawn, using biome divisions and topographical features as dividing lines.

The team also talked about some of the work it’s done on character animation: “When walking, the system is extremely responsive, even allowing you to tightrope walk if you wanted to. This is very important for some of the platformer-like elements we’re planning to integrate into the game.”

Source: Kickstarter

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No Man’s Sky tops the UK sales charts

Whether it’s acknowledged as multiplayer or not — and whether you experienced bugs and unplayability over the weekend — No Man’s Sky is already setting records and pushing GTA V around.

GamesIndustry.biz reports that thanks to its launch last week, the game sits at the tippy-top of the UK retail charts — that makes it Sony’s biggest launch for a new IP ever. (Uncharted 4 was bigger, but it wasn’t a new IP.)

Yesterday, MOP’s Tina Lauro Pollock examined the game’s mechanics and procedural generation through an MMO player’s lens, declaring it “mechanically genius.”

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Landmark is working on a fix for its parlor

If you’ve spent time on tweaking your appearance just so in an MMO, it can be disconcerting to have all of that work undone — especially if it’s the result of a pesky bug.

This situation is happening currently in Landmark, as player avatars are having their visual modifications from the Crimson Parlor undone if they change size at all. Daybreak posted that the team is aware of the bug and working on a fix for sometime this week. Players who have lost lumens from the bug can petition for a refund.

Landmark also pushed out a very small fix late last week. The team promised that there would be “a little more” come later this month.

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Dogma: Eternal Night delivers a sneak peek of in-game combat and twerking

The vampire-infested Dogma: Eternal Night has been making strides forward with its development, according to a new dev post. Not content just to tout the Dogma’s advancements, the team delivered a short two-minute video showing gameplay footage, including a character exploring his environs, firing a pistol into a crowd of mortals, and blowing off steam by dancing in a night club.

The team did admit that it is struggling due to inadequate funding: “Our expenses keep growing and we still need programming equipment that we can’t afford. Not having them makes our work harder, prevents us from getting the best results…and sometimes a particular goal becomes impossible to achieve. […] To add to that, we still don’t have an adequate game server, which is also one of our goals. Without it, we won’t be able to launch mass testing as the servers ‘under the table’ are simply not strong enough.”

Get a look at some of the in-game footage from Dogma after the break!

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World of Warcraft: Legion’s Azsuna is a ‘broken land’

It’s kind of a little strange to be reading zone previews of expansion areas, as you know that what is largely unknown and foreign to you now will become the familiar stomping grounds of you by the end of the year.

Today’s peek into the future of your gaming life, provided that you play World of Warcraft, is an overview and interview of Azsuna. Azsuna is one of the six zones that will make up Legion’s Broken Isles, and it’s here that players can explore a “broken land” that’s dealt with curses, invasions, and battles. It’s also, according to the team, “the research park of magic for the Elves.”

The preview tosses out a few screenshots of the zone, a piece of hauntingly beautiful music, and some anecdotes and facts about the lore and vistas that can be seen in Azsuna. As one of the four leveling zones of Legion, players might choose to hop over to Azsuna first if they want to get a feel for the effects and might of the Burning Legion. The zone also contains a PvP area, two dungeons, and an area with “top-level” fights.

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The Daily Grind: How do you decide when MMORPG class revisions have gone too far?

A bunch of my guildies flocked back to World of Warcraft during its pre-Legion festivities. One of them mentioned in passing that he’d been toying with a frost mage alt and thought it was even more stripped down than the last time he’d played. That made my husband, who mains an ice mage when we play, flip out. “WHAT?!” he said to me. “It was already so stripped down before that they may as well just give us a button that says MAGE, and we’ll just press the MAGE button over and over until it’s done. MAGE MAGE MAGE MAGE MAGE.”

He was not happy. Then again, I’m still bitter about totems, so I’m empathetic.

He also plays a lot of SMITE and Overwatch, which prompted him to argue that Blizzard seems to be MOBA-fying World of Warcraft. “We’re slowly creeping to the point that we select a premade character from a list, trading off customization for ease of play,” he insists. “Want to play an elemental mage? You might as well just pick Janus instead of building your own.” That struck me because usually MMO players believe studios are catering to the busy olds (if you’re a youngin’) or the short-attention-span kids (if you’re a vet). I hadn’t taken seriously before the idea that Blizzard might be tuning WoW as an MMORPG-lite specifically for the MOBA market.

I thought that was all worth discussing! Do you think Blizz is courting MOBA players with its character development choices? How do you decide when MMORPG class revisions have gone too far into the realm of over-simplification? Where exactly do you draw the line?

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