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]
Pixelmage Games boss John Smedley has issued another update for Hero’s Song Indiegogo watchers, who’ve pushed the game to $55,000 in crowdfunding thus far. Of note, he invites gamers to email him if they’re in San Diego and would like a personal preview of the game. “We’re always happy to have people swing by and show them the game as long as we know you’re coming,” he writes, vowing that class previews and crafting details are still on the way.
Smed also mentions that you’re probably not going to need to upgrade your rig for the pixelart sandbox OARPG.
“We aren’t ready to put [system specs] out yet, but we will once Alpha 3 is underway [in late October]. The simplest way to put it is – if it will play LoL or WoW it will play Hero’s Song. What we don’t have are the specific server performance stats and the simple reason for that is the game isn’t done and we’re still working on this.”
If you missed out on Chronicles of Elyria’s Kickstarter but wanted to take part, you’ll have a second chance. The game is launching its online store on October 3rd, and for the first month it will be offering the exact same packages that were offered in the Kickstarter. That means that you can toss in some money and get the same stuff as backers, with the exception of the various early bird specials for funding (those are all filled up anyway).
Funds raised in the store will still go toward stretch goals for the first month of operation, while subsequent sales will go to hiring more staff members and other development-related expenses. Certain tiers will also be server-specific due to limited titles available within a given realm. Behind the scenes, work on hiring and concept design has been continuing, which you can read all about in the official update.
One of the many things I like about Final Fantasy XIV
is the fact that its scaling difficulties for dungeons don’t simply mean more health and damage. Stone Vigil (Hard) is not a more punishing version of the exact same dungeon but a separate experience with different tuning, different encounters, and so forth. It means that a new hard mode is itself a new dungeon by its very nature.
At this point, though, we have hard modes for most of the dungeons in the game, with another one coming out with the next patch toward the end of the month. So today, I wanted to look at the dungeons that have as of yet not been announced, to speculate about both what comes next and whether or not these dungeons could even fit another dungeon out of them. That includes the dungeons that have languished because they’re not exactly new to the second version of the game, which are… different, too. It’s all complicated.
Pokemon Go’s latest update fixes several annoyances and introduces Pokemon Buddies, but it’s also ticked off hardcore phone users: Android and iPhone players who run a rooted/jailbroken device will have noticed that Niantic is now suddenly blocking them from playing the game, presumably because cheating is easier with root, and it’s not as if there are a million good reasons to root your device. Oh wait, yes there are.
“We continue to focus on eliminating bots and scrapers from Pokémon GO,” declare the patch notes. “Rooted or jailbroken devices are not supported by Pokémon GO. Remember to download Pokémon GO from the official Google Play Store or iTunes App Store only.”
Of course, the vast majority of people running rooted devices (like, for example, me) aren’t cheaters and still want to play with their pokeymans. If you’re on Android, there’s a fix for you: Android blog Android Police has a guide out to using a specific mod, Magisk, to get around the block, proving once again that legit users are harmed and inconvenienced far more than problem players when indiscriminate rule changes are deployed.
Dualshockers has a new interview out with Black Desert’s Pearl Abyss, the Korean-based studio that develops the original game (Kakao is the western publisher, you’ll recall). Lead Producer Jae Hee Kim and Head of Game Design Suh Won Choi cover the female Dark Elf class, the Witch and Wizard class awakenings, visial pop-in, problems with the internal engine, and the continent of Magoria. Both western and eastern players should get to see upgraded snow effects in the game over the winter and cherry blossom trees in the spring. “Each season will get changes in the field,” the devs says.
Then, out of the blue, the interviewer asks about swimsuits in the summer. “[I]t’s pretty sensitive, because we think that it might conflict with the philosophy of our game,” Pearl Abyss replied. “While there are many suggestions about bikinis and bathing suits, on there other side there are enraged people that say that if we implement bikinis, we’d ruin the game. […] Even internally there’s a lot of discussion about it.”
Community Manager Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan
was on hand at DragonCon 2016 to show off ArcheAge’s
upcoming updates, from the September second anniversary update coming this month to the big 3.0 expansion coming in December. The earlier update may be more known at the moment for the previously announced flashy customizable underwear, but it also introduces an 8-man free-for-all PvP arena and opens up the Auroria zones of Exlock and Sunstone Fields for castle building. ArcheAge
3.0, named Revelation, brings even more to the table, including two new races, six new zones (with tons of housing!), and a way for players to shoot a large energy cannon at the opposing continent.
Rob Pardo is the former lead designer of World of Warcraft, but he’s since moved on from Blizzard. Now, he’s embarking on a new venture with Bonfire Studios, a new development studio with investments from Riot Games and other investors. Pardo is also joined by several other Blizzard veterans as well as Min Kim, best known for his work on MapleStory.
The company has something of a mission statement available now, explaining in broad terms that the goal is to mix the smaller teams and focus of indie studios with the reach and polish of triple-A design. No actual games have been announced yet, of course, although Hearthstone is cited as an inspiration; beyond that, everything is speculation.
Last week, one of my favorite MOP commenters, DeadlyAccurate, linked us to a Cracked article discussing how gaming is “being ruined by hype.” Using No Man’s Sky as an example, author Mark Hill argues that the cycle is partly our fault: We buy broken games; press and players give in to the hype narrative; we’re obsessed with quantity and size over quality and content; we flip tables when the games don’t live up to our expectations; and then we forgive and forget once the games are fixed and go right back to buying… broken games.
“The economics of why games are so expensive to make that they eventually need to be shoved out the door like unprepared baby birds is a whole different subject,” he writes. “But regardless of where the fault of overhype lies, we get lured into a false sense of security by the slow improvement of bad games, then fall for the same crap all over again when the hype cycle restarts with the next game.”
Personally, I think the economics here are not a whole different subject; they’re a key part of the problem, but I can’t quibble with the cycle itself. Then again, parts of the cycle apply to lots of other media industries. So what do you think about Hill’s thesis? Do you agree that the hype cycle is a problem? Is gaming being ruined by hype, or is the hype and its relationship to gaming the same as it’s always been? And is the MMO genre in a different place entirely from the rest of the industry?
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Blizzard has made magic happen again: It sold 3.3 million copies of World of Warcraft’s Legion expansion by its first full day of launch, tying the records set previously by Cataclysm and Warlords of Draenor and impressing some of its tough-love critics. The real question is how long can it keep the magic — and the players?
Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
Back in June, we reported on on MMO/MOBA hybrid Crush Online — “a free-to-play PvP MMO with MOBA-style combat in a persistent world,” publisher GAMESinFLAMES claims. At the time, the game was headed into a series of closed betas, but as of this week, it’s in open beta:
“We decided to make the next phase already open for everybody. So no key is required anymore but we will do a Wipe after the Open Beta before we launch the game. As we skipped another Closed Beta you can play Crush via Steam now with the Launch version. The Launch will be in September as well.”
You’ll have to create an open beta account on the official site to hop in right now. The formal launch of the game is expected later this month, at which time the game will be playable on Steam.
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!
This week we witnessed Destiny laying the foundation for its incoming Rise of Iron expansion. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from EverQuest II, Path of Exile, EVE Online, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
Massively OP reader Styopa recently posed us a question that I thought would make for a good Leaderboard since the answers can be binned pretty easily: How many MMORPGs have you all played to the cap? Or at least, whatever the cap was when you left?
You might dismiss the question as superficial, but in reality, it puts a number on how many MMOs you’ve fully committed to and which era of gaming (and your life) the games were situated in. It might even make you reconsider whether you stay in games because they’re fun or you have fun because you stuck it out in those games.
Hint: Skim our games list or Justin’s MMO timeline to jog your memory on which MMORPGs you’ve played. To the pollmobile!
Welcome along to another advice-packed edition of Guild Chat, the column in which I offer up my opinions on how best to solve a reader’s particular guild issue while asking for alternate opinions from our commenters. This time, I have some brief yet intense drama bubbling in reader stranded-admin’s mobile MMO guild: our friend has had an argument with a fellow admin while the leader was absent and tales have been told to both the returned leader and perhaps other guild members, meaning that stranded-admin has gone from being actively involved in the management of the guild to now being shut out of major decision-making that changes the nature of the guild our submitter has worked so hard on.
Stranded-admin is strongly considering leaving the guild to start afresh elsewhere with a guild that better suits, but wanted to get our advice before making such a huge leap to ensure that the original guild is not somehow salvageable. See stranded-admin’s full submission and my advice below, and don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments below.